MarQueis Gray: Don’t underestimate Miami Dolphins’ crowded, diverse TE corps

MarQueis Gray is helping mentor the Dolphins’ two rookie tight ends. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — If there’s one player who could have done a double take at the Dolphins’ draft, MarQueis Gray is the guy.

It surprised no one when Miami took Mike Gesicki in the second round, but the real twist came two rounds later, when the Dolphins did a double take of their own, nabbing Durham Smythe — another tight end.

Yes, Gray was watching.

No, he says, he wasn’t sweating.

“We just got two new guys,” Gray nonchalantly said. “I’m not a stranger to it. I’m undrafted. I’ve been in competition all six years I’ve been in the league. So I didn’t really think too much of it.”

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Despite seeing Julius Thomas depart, Gray finds himself in a crowded room. Besides those three, the Dolphins also have Thomas Duarte, a former-seventh round pick in 2016; plus veterans A.J. Derby and Gavin Escobar, who were plucked off the waiver wire.

Although Gesicki might have the inside track because of his pedigree and the downfield threat he presents, he is a rookie, so the Dolphins have a long way to go toward settling on a starter.

In previous seasons, Gray said, “I either had a head guy that has been assigned or they brought in some all-star guy, like they did last year. For us to have an open spot this year is pretty rare. You are competing.”

Competing, but also teaching. Gray said all the tight ends have been splitting first-team reps, which can only compound the questions he gets from the rookies. He welcomes it.

“I didn’t have any choice,” said Gray, 29. “I’m the oldest guy in the room, I’ve been in this playbook the longest with Thomas. So anytime those guys have questions, whether it’s on offense or special tams, I’ve got to be the one to step up and help them.”

Gray’s primary message: “Just be able to get the formations down and everything else will come. So they’ve done a great job so far this offseason and it’s going to continue to grow during camp.”

Both draftees have impressed Gray.

Regarding Gesicki: “He’s been making plays. I see why we got him in the second round. He’s a big-time athlete and he’s going to help us out a lot.”

Regarding Smythe: “Oh, man. They talked about his run-blocking and he’s been doing a great job of it, but he also can get open and make those tough catches.”

Are people underestimating Smythe as a threat?

“I believe so. They’re underestimating everybody, really.”

Gray shouldn’t be underestimated. Even though he was a quarterback at Minnesota, at 263, he’s the heaviest of the tight ends and respected by the Dolphins for his blocking ability so much they gave him a two-year contract through this season. It wasn’t for his receiving ability; he caught just one pass for 10 yards last year.

Bottom line: The tight end competition will be one to watch in training camp.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that can do everything, really,” Gray said. “I mean, line up in the backfield. Play fullback. Line up in the slot. Line up at receiver. Tight end. We’ve got a lot of diversity in our room and that’s a real good thing to have.”

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Miami Dolphins starting tight end for 2018? Probably A.J. Derby

Is A.J. Derby ready for his first crack at a starting job? (AP)

ORLANDO—Two key positions the Dolphins haven’t addressed this offseason are tight end and linebacker. With the majority of free agency wrapped up, at least until more players get cut, those figure to priorities in next month’s NFL Draft.

At tight end, for now, Miami looks like it’ll proceed with A.J. Derby as the leader to win the starting job. He has four career starts and appears to be ahead of MarQueis Gray and Thomas Duarte as the team moves toward the upcoming season.

“We’ll kind of see what we can do developing him,” coach Adam Gase said this week. “I think he’s one of those guys that has a great feel in the slot and that one-on-one spot versus a safety or linebacker. We’ll see how it plays out.”

The Dolphins are also recruiting 12-year veteran Anthony Fasano, who hasn’t decided if he wants to keep playing.

Derby, 26, was a waiver pickup from Denver last season and caught two passes for 11 yards in two games with the Dolphins. He supposedly had an injured shoulder when the Broncos decided to let him go, but said he was ready to play in a game when he arrived in South Florida.

The Patriots made him a sixth-round pick in 2015, then traded him to the Broncos the following season. In 21 career games, he has 37 receptions, 404 yards and two touchdowns. Almost all of that production came in Denver.

Gase believes Derby has yet to get a full opportunity to see how good he can be, and it looks like he’ll get that chance this season.

“I’m really interested to see what we can do with him,” Gase said. “Seeing him go out the first day and he’s running around and he’s fine and I could tell the quarterbacks really liked working with him. Anytime you get a guy that has been a former quarterback, he seems to have a great feel for where to be, where to fit in, kind of what that guy is thinking.”

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2018 NFL free agents: Tight ends disappearing, Dolphins still need one

Jimmy Graham might’ve looked good in aqua and orange. (Getty Images)

Maybe this is the year the Dolphins finally spend a high draft pick on a tight end. It’s looking they won’t have a choice.

They weren’t players when it came to the top two free agents at the position, with Jimmy Graham going to Green Bay and Trey Burton landing in Chicago shortly after the legal tampering period opened.

There are still some worthwhile options, but none are sure bets.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins is only 25, but has never come close to reaching the potential Tampa Bay saw in him as a second-round pick in 2014. Spotrac estimates his market value at a tolerable $12.5 million over three years.

Martellus Bennett has been a monster in his career, but he’s 31, has injury concerns and was all set to retire until last month.

Tyler Eifert is a former first-round pick who’s had one good season in five years and underwent two surgeries in 2017. Spotrac predicts he’ll draw offers in the neighborhood of four years, $30 million, which would seem to rule him out for Miami.

Then there’s Ed Dickson, a guy who is turning 31 this summer and hasn’t had a 500-yard season since 2011. Last year, with Carolina, he had 30 catches for 437 yards and one touchdown. That’s not far off of what Julius Thomas gave the Dolphins last season.

Thomas is likely to be cut by the end of today, which leaves Miami with three tight ends on its roster: A.J. Derby (37 career catches), MarQueis Gray (27) and Thomas Duarte (none). The team could also explore re-signing Anthony Fasano, who is known more so as a run blocker and had 12 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown last year. He turns 34 next month and hasn’t said whether he’s going to keep playing.

“That’s always going to be a position we look at and try to figure out what’s going to be best for us,” coach Adam Gase said at the NFL Combine. “Any time that you can have a tight end that can be effective in the pass game and still be effective in the run game and pass protection, that’s what you want there. The last two years, we’ve had some movement where guys have been in and out. We’ll kind of see what happens this year.

“Picking up A.J. late last year was good for us. He did some things that really impressed us in practice and we tried to get him involved a little bit in a game.”

Furthermore, Miami is losing its best red-zone receiver and third-down hero in Jarvis Landry.

Tight end has been a long-neglected area for the Dolphins, who have never drafted one in the first round. Their most recent picks were Duarte (2016, seventh round), Arthur Lynch (2014, fifth round), Dion Sims (2013, fourth round), Michael Egnew (2012, third round). Sims, whose career-high in catches is 26, has been the best of the bunch. Lynch never played an NFL game, and Egnew lasted two years in the league.

The last time Miami took a tight end in the second round was when it selected Loaird McCreary in 1979, and the highest tight end it’s ever selected was second-rounder Jim Mandich at No. 29 overall in 1970.

They passed on Evan Engram and David Njoku in the first round last year to take defensive end Charles Harris. Engram, from Ole Miss, had 64 catches for 722 yards and six touchdowns for the Giants. The last Dolphins tight end to put up those numbers was Charles Clay in 2013, and before him it was Randy McMichael in 2004.

In an era that has seen tight ends emerge as one of the most explosive threats on the field, the Dolphins are in the unenviable position of never having one and always getting crushed by someone else’s. If any team has seen the value of the tight end over the last several seasons, it’s this one.

Making matters worse, this is a tricky year for them to find one in the draft. With the No. 11 pick, they’re way too high to take one in the first round and probably can’t pass up the opportunity to land a top quarterback in that spot. Their second-round pick is No. 42, which might be too late to grab a top prospect like Hayden Hurst, Mark Andrews or Dallas Goedert.

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Five Miami Dolphins players on European tour to meet, greet U.S. troops

Dolphins players Mike Hull (left), Chase Allen, Eric Smith (rear), Ndamukong Suh and MarQueis Gray pose with a U.S. soldier (No. 17 Ryan Tannehill jersey) at Camp Bondsteel in Yugoslavia. (Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)

Ndamukong Suh, who knows something about defense, got a lesson on the subject on a whole different level.

Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with a soldier at Camp Bondsteel in Yugoslavia. (Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)

Suh is one of five Dolphins who just visited the troops at Camp Bondsteel, an installation located near Kosovo.

Suh and the team posted a short video on social media Monday showing Chase Allen, MarQueis Gray, Mike Hull, Eric Smith and Suh mingling with soldiers during another of the NFL’s tours in which players visit with personnel, sign autographs and learn about their duties.

“Can I get a picture?” one soldier asks Smith, who replies, “Yes, ma’am. You don’t even have to ask.”

The camp is a 955-acre facility built in 1999 and named after James Bondsteel, a decorated Army staff sergeant in the Vietnam War.

Dolphins linebacker Chase Allen greets a soldier in Camp Bondsteel in Yugoslavia. (Photo courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)

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Dolphins TE A.J. Derby looks to continue progress in season finale

Relatively new Dolphins tight end A.J. Derby is one player out to prove something Sunday against Buffalo. (AP)

DAVIE—Given the way his first couple years in the NFL went, Dolphins tight end A.J. Derby knows anything can happen in this business.

A little over one season into his four-year rookie contract with the Patriots, he was traded across the country to Denver. When things didn’t work out with the Broncos, they put him on waivers and he was claimed by Miami. He was dropped into the locker room in November, unfamiliar with most of his teammates and coaches other than practice squad receiver Drew Morgan.

“It wasn’t exactly how I saw it going, but at the end of the day, I’m happy to be in Miami,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity.”

Derby didn’t get on the field his first three games, but made his Dolphins debut in last weekend’s loss at Kansas City. He’s likely to play again Sunday against the Bills.

Miami is intrigued in Derby, a 26-year-old who is 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, beyond this season. He’s got two years left on his deal at reasonable salary cap hits of $181,000 in 2018 and $705,000 in 2019.

As of now, MarQueis Gray is the only other tight end who looks like a near-certainty to be on the Dolphins’ roster next season. Anthony Fasano is an unrestricted free agent, and Julius Thomas can be released with no salary cap damage.

In nine games with Denver, including one start, he had 20 catches for 235 yards and a touchdown. Last week, his first game action since Nov. 12, he had one reception for 11 yards on five targets.

“He’s smart,” coach Adam Gase said last week. “He’s done a good job of picking things up very quickly. It helped a little bit because Denver runs close to a similar offense. Some of the terminology is still carried over from a while ago, so I think that made it easier. We’ll see how it plays out for us.”

For Derby’s part, he’s far more prepared to contribute now than he was the day he arrived.

“I’m very comfortable with the playbook right now because I’ve put a lot of time into it since I got here,” he said. “Teammates-wise, I’m still learning everybody’s name. That’s really what the offseason’s gonna be for me, just getting to know everybody I’m surrounded with and getting more comfortable with the team.”

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Miami Dolphins RB Damien Williams in consideration against Bills

Damien Williams would be a welcome threat for Adam Gase. (Andres Leiva/The Post)

DAVIE—Don’t forget about Damien Williams just because Kenyan Drake is tearing it up in his absence. The Dolphins believe their offense operates best with both guys in the game plan, and Williams has been pushing to get back on the field.

He was knocked out of the game at New England on Nov. 26 with a shoulder injury and hasn’t practiced or played since. He was on the field for some light work on the side last week, though, and coach Adam Gase did not rule him out for the upcoming game at Buffalo.

“We just gotta keep getting him stronger and then when the trainers say he’s ready to go on the field, we’ll put him on the field,” Gase said.

Multiple media reports had Williams’ injury as a dislocated shoulder, which typically sidelines a player for 2-3 weeks. The Dolphins haven’t specified anything other than it being a shoulder issue.

Williams put up 254 total yards and one touchdown after the Jay Ajayi trade and is one of Gase’s favorite weapons. He was third on the team in total touchdowns last season.

“We’re going to keep trying to get him ready to go, strengthen him up as much as we can,” Gase said. “I know this has been frustrating for him. He wants to get out there, he wants to help us. We need him. He’s a valuable piece of this team, not only on the team but his attitude.”

Gase planned to meet with the medical staff today to gauge the likelihood of getting Williams on the practice field Thursday or Friday.

Williams’ injury leaves Miami with inexperienced Senorise Perry and De’Veon Smith as the only other running backs on the roster behind Drake. Gase plugged Jakeem Grant, Jarvis Landry and MarQueis Gray into the backfield in Monday’s 27-20 win over New England.

Drake, meanwhile, had 234 yards and a touchdown on 48 carries over the last two games, plus eight catches for 100 yards.

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Is Miami Dolphins QB Matt Moore pushing for the starting job?

Matt Moore is very popular in the Dolphins’ locker room. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE—It’s been an odd run for Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore since Adam Gase’s arrival as head coach.

Moore, now a 10-year veteran, has been with Miami since 2011. He came in under Tony Sparano and held his job through the Joe Philbin era and the move to Gase. While he was locked in as the backup to Ryan Tannehill, Moore thought he would jump in as the starter when Tannehill suffered a season-ending knee injury in training camp this year.

Not the case. That dream lasted less than a week, ending with the signing of Jay Cutler. At the time, Moore said he viewed it as a competition, but Gase said flatly Cutler was his guy. Now, with Moore making people wonder for the second time this season whether he should be the starter instead, he chose his words carefully when asked if believed he had an opportunity to change Gase’s mind.

“No, the thing is, if you’re in there to play, my goal is to execute and win games,” Moore said after practice today. “Whatever happens after that, happens. It’s out of my control. Preparation, studying, executing, winning, those are the things I’m focused on.”

When pressed about whether he’s looked at it as a competition or accepted his role as the No. 2 quarterback, Moore went with the political response.

“I fulfill my role the best way I know how,” he said, pausing for a moment before delivering the punchline. “That was an answer right there.”

He’s in line to start Sunday at New England as of now because Cutler remains in the concussion protocol. Gase hinted today that he doesn’t want to wait until Sunday to see if Cutler is cleared, so if Cutler doesn’t get the green light soon, Miami would likely stick with Moore.

The next decision would be whether to make Cutler active at all, assuming he is out of the protocol by Sunday, and determine if the team needs third-string quarterback David Fales active as a contingency. If Gase opts to dress only two quarterbacks, his third option is tight end MarQueis Gray.

Moore, 32, hasn’t been a full-time starter since that first year with the Dolphins. In 13 games (12 starts), he completed 60.5 percent of his passes, averaged 192.1 yards per game, had 16 touchdowns against nine interceptions, and had a passer rating of 87.1. Miami went 6-6 in his starts.

He played four games (three starts) in Tannehill’s place last season, and went 3-1 with a 63.2 completion percentage, 180.3 yards per game, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He also started Miami’s playoff game at Pittsburgh, a 30-12 loss, and went 29 for 36, totaling 289 yards to go with a touchdown and an interception.

Moore’s had limited reps with the first team all season. His one week as the starter, in late October against Baltimore, was a Thursday night game that allowed for little more than a walk-through. If he starts at New England, he will have had the full week to prepare.

“Obviously repetition, experience, those things are big,” Moore said. “You get to see the looks all week, regardless, whether you’re taking the reps or you’ve got to take the mental reps as a backup. To get them today was good and it will be beneficial, for sure.”

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Dolphins TE MarQueis Gray ready to “let loose, have fun” if needed at QB

MarQueis Gray is ready to give this another shot whenever the Dolphins need it. (AP)

DAVIE—Dolphins tight end MarQueis Gray knows he’s the team’s emergency quarterback. He never forgets it. He just didn’t realize he was next in line when Miami started the second half against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Some players didn’t immediately notice that Jay Cutler left at halftime with a concussion and was replaced by Matt Moore. One guy who really needed to be on top of that change was Gray, who didn’t pick up on it until three plays into the half.

“I didn’t even know at first and then I was like, ‘Oh snap, Matt’s in there. Wasn’t nobody gonna tell me I’m the next one up?’” Gray said today. “But if it would’ve come to that, I would’ve been ready. But luckily Matt stayed in there and did a great job.”

Gray spoke at the team’s annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway at the facility in Davie this afternoon. The Dolphins invited 500 families to receive complete meals that will feed up to eight people, and participants had the chance to talk with players and take photos with them.

Cutler and Moore are the clear top two at quarterback for Miami, but it’s murky after that. The other quarterback on the roster is David Fales, who has five career pass attempts and is usually inactive on game day.

That leaves Gray and receiver Jarvis Landry as the most viable options, and while coach Adam Gase is evasive whenever he’s asked about this subject, Gray said he’s the one who would get the call.

Gray has thrown one pass in his five-year career, and it was an overthrown try for Jakeem Grant out of the Wildcat against Tennessee last month. He does have decent pedigree, however, after playing the position at the University of Minnesota.

For his college career, he completed 50.8 percent of his passes, totaled 2,051 yards and had 14 touchdowns against 11 interceptions.

Gray, who is 6-foot-4, 263 pounds, has 14 catches for 174 yards over the past two seasons for the Dolphins and occasionally fills in at fullback.

There was a real chance of him playing quarterback Sunday considering of the shots Matt Moore endured, but Moore managed to stay in the game in the entire second half.

“Matt’s been taking those hits for a while,” Gray said. “He’s built up a callous on his body from some of those. If the time comes, I’ll let loose and have fun and not worry about anything and do what I gotta do to help us survive.”

According to Gray, there is no specialized playbook for him if he takes over at quarterback, but he expects Gase would hone in on plays that “cater to me and my skills.”

Gray said he almost never throws in practice outside of trying to hit the goal posts in competitions with teammates. He did not attempt a single pass in practice last week leading up to the Tampa Bay game.

Some of his most extensive work at the position actually came the week before, when he was running Carolina’s offense as a scout team quarterback impersonating Cam Newton.

Gase admitted it’s unsettling watching Moore get hit when he knows there’s no other quarterback available. With Cutler at 34 years old and Moore at 32, he’ll have to reevaluate keeping Fales active unless he’s ready to roll with Gray.

“I try not to say too much to Matt as far as, ‘Hey, be smart and don’t take any hits,’ because that’s one thing that he doesn’t really need to think about,” Gase said. “It’s a tough position to be in when you get to your backup quarterback and you really don’t have anything behind him.

“It’s always gonna be a thought, but at the end of the day, we have to figure out what’s best for that week.”

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Field may have contributed to Jay Cutler’s injury, but Miami Dolphins confident issues are solved

Divots are visible as Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook (87) makes a catch against Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso. (Andres Leiva / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — In his takedown of the Dolphins for the condition of their playing field, analyst Phil Simms said the team was lucky no one got hurt in last week’s Raiders game.

Turns out that if Simms had gone back just one more home game, he could have pointed to a player who did get hurt: quarterback Jay Cutler, because the player blocking for Cutler said he slipped on the field, allowing the hit in question.

The Dolphins haven’t been proud of either the field conditions or that it has received national attention but are confident that recent changes will have the field vastly improved, hopefully as soon as Saturday night’s University of Miami-Notre Dame game.

Cutler cracked two ribs in the Oct. 22 game when hit by Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins. Tight end MarQueis Gray was blocking Jenkins on the play but slipped. Although Gray caught himself before falling, the slip was enough to allow Jenkins to get by, Gray said Thursday.

“It’s one of those things that you can’t control,” Gray said. “It hurt me to see that happen and I was pissed during that play. And a couple of days after, I still thought about it. It was like, damn, I wore the right cleats and I did my job but at the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do about it but just try not to let it happen.”


‘I was pissed during that play. And a couple of days after, I still thought about it. It was like, damn, I wore the right cleats and I did my job but at the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do about it but just try not to let it happen.’ — MarQueis Gray, on the play in which Jay Cutler cracked two ribs


Of course, there’s no telling whether Cutler would have been injured even on a perfect field. He missed the following week’s game at Baltimore but returned for last Sunday’s 27-24 loss to Oakland, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns.

Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) struggles to get up after taking a hit against the Jets at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on October 22, 2017. Cutler left the game after this play. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Simms’ rant put the spotlight back on a playing surface that has taken its share of shots, especially early this season when the Hurricanes and Dolphins played on back-to-back days. The Dolphins have tried re-sodding the field multiple times with limited success.

“The field this year has been a challenge and we’re addressing it,” said Tom Garfinkel, the Dolphins’ president and CEO. “We believe we’ve identified the issue. We installed a new field — from a different vendor — this week and I have a lot more confidence that we will not have field issues for the UM game this weekend or for next weekend’s games.”

Coach Adam Gase said Thursday that he traditionally walks the field before each game, checking on conditions so he can recommend which cleats players wear to avoid slipping and even injuries. That happened before the Raiders game, but Gase’s plans still were sabotaged by a sudden downpour just before kickoff.

“We felt really good before it started raining,” Gase said. “I think we were a little surprised when we come out for the introductions … and all of a sudden you walk out and it’s a monsoon.”

There have been times in past years when the Dolphins’ home field has been considered among the best in the league, even dating back to their time in the Orange Bowl. But the grass previously installed this season wasn’t sturdy enough to stand up to inclement weather and the pounding from football players.

Seeing players slipping and divots in the ground frustrated fans. Some blamed the canopy or the Hurricanes playing on Saturdays before the Dolphins take the field on Sundays. But both factors were in play last season, when the field largely held up fine, which is why the Dolphins are confident the problem can be solved.

The only remaining back-to-back dates for UM and the Dolphins at Hard Rock are Nov. 18-19.

Gase smirked when asked if he’ll turn some attention to the surface this offseason.

“I’m going to let people do their job,” he said. “My job is to show up and coach.”

Gray said players have tried various types of cleats to improve footing, including a longer cleat called “seven studs,” but added that players have slipped whether they’re wearing the wrong cleats or the wrong ones.

“The crew people did whatever they could to make sure it was safe for us to play,” Gray said of the Raiders game. “And then throughout the game, everyone’s running and cutting on the field, and it’s going to make it worse. It’s really no one’s fault. It’s just how it is.”

It won’t be an issue for the Dolphins this weekend because they’re at Carolina.

Saturday, the Hard Rock field again will be on national TV for UM-Notre Dame. The Irish planned to have some of their players wear screw-in cleats in practice this week in case they have to change out of their usual molded shoes, which have an entirely different feel. Wearing screw-ins when you’re not used to them also could lead to blisters.

“There’s really not much you can do,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “Everybody’s playing in the same kind of conditions. We’ve seen it on film but they are not unplayable conditions to that point and it’s not something that we’re going to get distracted by.”


‘Those guys are working hard to make sure that we get this thing squared away.’ — Adam Gase, on the grounds crew


As for the Dolphins, Gase said he’s leaving it in Garfinkel’s hands.

“I think Tom’s done a great job of researching and finding the right solution to kind of get us pointed in the right direction,” Gase said. “Those guys are working hard to make sure that we get this thing squared away.

“It’s a couple of things that occurred that it just didn’t work out the right way that we wanted to. Hopefully we will have this thing fixed by the next time we play at home. We feel good about the direction we’re headed.”

Simms had blasted the conditions on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”

“It really did bother me,” Simms said. “In this day and age that you can’t have a great surface for all these guys? I thought that they were lucky somebody didn’t get hurt.”

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Controversy! Twitter unsure if Miami Dolphins sent Jay Ajayi or MarQueis Gray to Eagles

Do you know these men? For the record, that’s the real MarQueis Gray on the left, Sammy Watkins in the middle and Cordarrelle Patterson on the right.

DAVIE — MarQueis Gray was not traded by the Dolphins.

He will not be carrying the ball Sunday for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Who said he would be?

Twitter.

After running back Jay Ajayi was traded to Philly, the account @AroundTheNFL tweeted that “Jay Ajayi ‘excited’ to play with ‘special’ Carson Wentz” … but posted it with Gray’s photo.

“That’s crazy, right?” said Gray, a tight end. “What the heck?”

Actually, Gray knows exactly what the heck. This isn’t his first case of mistaken identity.

“It happened before,” Gray said. “Not Jay, but they call me other players. All they see is dreads, because they barely see our faces.”

So while Gray was with the Bills, people mistook him for receiver Sammy Watkins.

When Gray joined the Vikings, people thought he was receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

“Sorry, he’s not me,” Gray will tell people.

Never had the temptation to sign a phony autograph?

“No, no, no,” Gray said, laughing. “I don’t take it that far.”

Gray, who took it in stride to the point that he retweeted the erroneous tweet, isn’t sure if the opposite has occurred — if any of other dreadlocked players have ever been mistaken for him. As for which players he prefers to be mistaken for?

“I just want to be known for myself,” he said.

What Adam Gase said Friday before Dolphins-Raiders

Miami Dolphins receivers improving with eye-strengthening computer program

Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry is a talented rapper; plans to release album

[Jay Cutler won’t wear flak jacket to protect ribs vs. Raiders]

[Jay Cutler looks back to normal after rib injury]

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