DAVIE — This is a different DeVante Parker, all agree.
“You feel like no one can guard you,” Parker said Saturday.
“My legs are stronger,” Parker said.
“A new work ethic,” Parker said.
He’s caught everything. Long passes. Short passes. Medium passes.
And then the coach chimed in. Adam Gase is all aboard the Parker train.
And the momentum and hype is building and not a single Dolphin has done a thing to curtail it at this point.
“Watching him in that last period, they’re running a lot of plays and he looks like he’s not even close to being tired,” Gase said. “He accelerated on a scramble and the guy is in really phenomenal shape right now and I think he realizes what he needed to do to get the body to that point.”
Parker spent the offseason working with trainers in Davie. And changing his diet.
“Pears,” Parker said, noting what he eats way more of now.
Parker’s training camp opened with a long, leaping touchdown catch from Ryan Tannehill.
“I feel like I can go up and attack every ball,” Parker said. “I don’t think anyone can get it from me. I just go up and high point it. And that’s the way it goes.”
Parker is more comfortable. And healthier. And he’s gaining the trust and respect of Gase and Tannehill, and really, what’s more important than that?
Tannehill says Parker is the breakout player of the off-season. And that he has more confidence and more trust in Parker than ever. And Parker loves it.
“Glad to hear that from the starting quarterback,” Parker said. “He knows what he’s talking about. I’m healthy now, so his trust in me has grown a lot.”
Parker has sneaky swag. Gase says he’s coming out his shell a bit.
Parker has generally been quiet, even aloof.
But it sure seems he’s more comfortable being DeVante Parker.
“I’m playing a lot faster,” Parker said. “And I know all the plays.”
Parker goes so far as to suggest there were certain routes he hasn’t been able to run in the past because of how bad his body felt. So many injuries. Feet. Hamstrings. Nag after nag.
“The way he practices (now), you can tell, it looks the same as it does in the game for the most part,” Gase said. “You can tell when he comes out to practice, you’re getting full go the whole practice. And really I feel like that’s one of the main reasons why there is good timing going on with him and Ryan.”
Now, Gase says Parker is not only healthier, but he understands defensive back leverages. He understands the intricacies of Gase’s offense. And, interestingly, Gase says Parker is unselfish.
Parker is not a diva who demands the ball.
He may not have to ask. It seems clear to all involved.
Parker is going to get the ball in 2017.
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