DAVIE — This is Jakeem Grant, the wide receiver, who starred at Texas Tech.
This is the burner. The speedster. The playmaker.
Grant, who has struggled with consistency since his arrival as a rookie last season, has the Miami Dolphins practice of his life on Tuesday morning.
Not to be out-shined in the debut of new starting quarterback Jay Cutler, Grant caught two long touchdowns, including one from Cutler.
Grant hauled in a deep pass from Brandon Doughty, beating corner Tony Lippett.
Later, Grant burned corner Walt Aikens for a touchdown from Cutler.
“It’s building each and every day,” Grant said after practice. “Just staying focused on details. And making play after play. And being consistent. I’m trying to get better each day and gain the coaches’ trust and the quarterbacks’ trust.”
Coach Adam Gase sees progress since Grant moved from inside receiver to outside.
“I think he just feels comfortable,” Gase said. “He understands what he’s supposed to do. He doesn’t have to worry about all these different options you have inside. That’s why the slot is a lot harder than a lot of people realize. You’re working off the DB a lot and trying to figure out leverages and what you’re supposed to do to be on the same page as the quarterback. I think putting him out there on the outside lets him use his strength – his quickness off the ball, his vertical speed. When he makes a cut, he creates separation. If you get the ball in his hands and there’s open space, it’s a dangerous situation for the defense.”
Gase has refused to give up on Grant, because of his explosiveness, even though at times he’s seemed a little shaky holding on to receptions and punts.
“I just see a guy that’s very focused,” Gase said. “He wants to do right. He’s really been good in the meetings. He’s trying to be one of those guys that does things as perfect as he can. It’s been good so far.”
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