DAVIE—Adam Gase shouldn’t be dismissive of this idea. The Dolphins offense could use help, and linebacker Rey Maualuga could be the secret weapon.
Maualuga, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 258 pounds, has played three snaps at fullback this season. Three. I don’t think the 31st-ranked offense in the NFL can afford to keep overlooking this man’s wide-ranging skillset.
He debuted in the HeavyCat package for one snap against Tennessee in October and played two snaps there against Carolina on Monday.
“My biggest thing is just make sure I’m not the one that jumps offsides,” said Maualuga, not exactly inspiring confidence that we should proceed down this road. “If someone moves, then I’ll move. Other than that, I guess I could say I’m comfortable.
“I haven’t played that many snaps at fullback, but hopefully as the weeks go on and we start playing these other teams, I can expand my role and hopefully run out of the backfield and go to the flats or something.”
Now we’re talking. The big man wants to catch a pass.
“That would be on my bucket list next,” he said. “Hopefully that’ll happen. I do have good hands. I’ll make sure not to drop the ball. We’ll see.”
Hopefully that “we’ll see” becomes reality.
Imagine Maualuga as the goal-line back. Not a bad plan considering he outweighs Damien Williams by at least 34 pounds and has no less than a 47-pound advantage over Kenyan Drake.
Imagine Maualuga over the middle at tight end. Not the worst concept when the current tight ends have a meager 32 catches for 305 yards out of their 51 targets.
Imagine Maualuga as a Wildcat quarterback. Not a dumb idea considering some of Jay Cutler throws.
And separately, it bears noting that Matt Haack is 20th in the NFL in net punting yards. Don’t be so quick to rule out Maualuga doing that job, too.
“I’m not asking for anything,” Maualuga said. “I’m just trying to help out the team any way I can.”
So modest. But he knows.
Not to mention the fact that this would be good use of Maualuga when the Dolphins play games in which they spend the majority of the time in nickel coverage. He played just 44 and 40 percent of the snaps, respectively, against Oakland and Carolina.
Gase believes his conditioning has reached a level at which he could handle way more than one or two snaps at fullback per game.
“You can do it 30 plays if you want,” Gase said before practice today. “That was just kind of the situation that we felt like it was good for us with what we wanted to do, what we had in. We didn’t get to a couple things that we liked. We’ll just kind of keep seeing where that goes.”
Where that goes is the end zone. It’s just a matter of how soon the Dolphins want to get there.
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