DAVIE—This time, he’s done everything right.
Leonte Carroo has outgrown his immature after essentially wasting his rookie season with the Dolphins and came into this year dedicated to changing his approach. He’s no longer bothered by the fact that he’s stuck on the bench behind three top-line receivers in Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills. His mindset has been to train relentlessly and keep himself ready regardless of how minimal the chance of getting snaps is.
His day might finally be here. With Parker looking highly unlikely to play against the Falcons on Sunday because of an ankle injury, the Dolphins will likely turn to Carroo.
“My opportunity’s finally here, and I’ve gotta make the best of it,” he said. “I’ve gotta go out there and execute and play hard and do whatever’s asked.
“I’m just trusting the process. You never know what could happen, and then there’s an opportunity like this. You’ve gotta make the best of the opportunity. You know where taking advantage of that could lead you.”
The Dolphins though highly enough to trade up so they could take him in the third round last year, but he struggled to catch on. Carroo had three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown last year and was inactive the final two regular-season games and Miami’s playoff game.
He admitted in the offseason he got discouraged by the lack of playing time and allowed it to dampen his effort.
“This year I’m a lot smarter football player,” he said. “I know the offense a lot better, so I’m able to play all three spots if needed. Last year I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t process handling three. This year I can. Wherever coaches need me to play, my opportunity’s finally here.”
The Dolphins went mainly with Jakeem Grant in Parker’s spot last week, playing him 33 snaps. Carroo played four. Adam Gase said he regretted not giving him more time.
This week, Grant and Carroo have been getting a lot more reps in practice with Parker out. That’s given Carroo a lot of time to work with Jay Cutler and establish some cohesion.
“Me and him have been connecting a couple times this week,” Carroo said. “I’m very comfortable with him, and he’s very comfortable with me and how I run my routes. We’ve just gotta go out there and make plays now.”
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