Don’t be so fast to typecast Miami Dolphins’ Jakeem Grant as only a track guy in cleats

Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant breaks a tackle by inside linebacker Reggie Ragland of the Chiefs en route to a 65-yard touchdown in December. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Note: This continues a series in Daily Dolphin spotlighting members of the team individually. In addition to reliving highlights and lowlights of the past season for each, we’ll provide analysis and criticism, plus take a look at how each player fits — or doesn’t fit — into the team’s plans for 2018.)

WR Jakeem Grant

Height, weight: 5-7, 169

College: Texas Tech

Age: 25

Experience: Entering third season, all with Dolphins

Acquired: Drafted by Dolphins in sixth round in 2016

Contract: Due to earn $665,095 in 2018, with contract to expire after 2019 season

Pro Football Focus rank: Unranked

In 2017

Stats: Returned 25 punts for 7.6 average; returned 31 kickoffs for 22.8 average; caught 13 passes for 203 yards (15.6 average) and two TDs

Notable moments: Recorded first career reception vs. Jets in September. … Had two good days vs. the Patriots, averaging 24.3 yards on kickoff returns in first meeting, then scoring his first career TD on a 25-yard catch in the rematch. … Caught four passes for 107 yards and a TD at K.C.

Straight talk: After a rookie season in which Grant didn’t catch a pass, it was tempting to wonder if the blazing speed he possesses was just a tease — if he was more suited to running on a track than a football field. Doubly so because of his size. 

And then something special happened just before halftime at Kansas City. Grant caught a screen pass from Jay Cutler. Grant was quickly surrounded by three Chiefs, which actually was the least of his concerns. Bearing down on the smallest Dolphin from 2 yards away was a fourth defender, safety Ron Parker, who’s 6-feet and 206. No problem. Grant lowered his shoulder and ran through Parker. Only after having showed off power we didn’t know he had, Grant then accelerated into high gear, cruising the final 40 yards for a 65-yard score.

“Didn’t think I was going to run him over, but I ended up doing it,” Grant said. “When he fell off, it was easy running.”

Keep in mind that also in December, Grant went up over former Patriots Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler, who’s 5-11, for his 25-yard TD.

“I just made a great play,” said Grant, who’s never short on confidence. “I used my ability, which people don’t know, being a short guy, I can jump. I can dunk a basketball.”

Bottom line: “I’m just a big guy stuck in a little guy’s body.”

Prospects for 2018

It would be crazy to say everything from here on will be easy for Grant. It’s premature to say he has arrived in this league. But it’s not jumping the gun to say now that Jarvis Landry is gone and the receiving corps is being reconfigured, Grant will have more opportunities than ever to show what a little seasoning can do.

“Jakeem got some opportunities this year and made the most of them,” coach Adam Gase said. “We had high expectations going in, especially after training camp, that we felt like there was going to be a little bit of a jump there.”

Interestingly, Gase said Grant “lost a little juice” around midseason after getting “beat up” on returns, which makes his late-season performances even more meaningful.

With Landry in Cleveland and Kenyan Drake the starting running back, Grant will be heavily relied upon as a return man, but he wants to make one thing clear:

“I’m a receiver before I’m a return specialist,” he said.


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Latest on the progress of Miami Dolphins’ backup quarterbacks

David Fales is the favorite to win the backup quarterback job. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — The Dolphins still have ample time to sort out their quarterback situation, but it continues to look like David Fales is the man to beat for job of being Ryan Tannehill’s backup.

Fales, who was with the team last offseason and the back half of the regular season, is getting significant snaps with the second-string offense, with Brock Osweiler and Bryce Petty behind him.

“We’re just going to keep, really, just pushing those guys and keep opening up the offense to do as many things as possible,” coach Adam Gase said this week. “They’re trying to get used to the guys that they’re practicing with. I know even for David it’s a different group than he was last year.”

[RELATED: Don’t miss our exclusive photos from Dolphins OTAs in Davie]

Fales took third-string reps last offseason behind Tannehill and Matt Moore, but Gase said he’s spent more time second unit this year. He’s had a lot of plays with Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant, both of whom are borderline starters.

“Those guys are really good receivers and they challenge those DBs.,” Gase said. “It’s been good for both David and Brock and Bryce to get to work with a lot of the guys they’re working with right now.”

Fales, Osweiler and Petty have not been available to the media this offseason.

Tannehill is the clear starter and takes the majority of his reps with DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills and Danny Amendola.

Gase is out to back up his claim that he has a dependable No. 2 quarterback on the roster and won’t need to call a veteran free agent if Tannehill gets hurt again. Fales and Petty have limited playing experience, and Osweiler hasn’t been viable since 2015.

The advantage for Fales and Osweiler is their experience with Gase prior to this year. That’s especially true for Fales after playing in the offense last season and impressing Gase with extended playing time in the season finale. Dating back to January, Gase has repeatedly indicated Fales is a strong candidate to be Tannehill’s backup.

“Last year we felt really good about how David was coming along,” Gase said three months ago. “Letting him move on (to another team) was not going to be an option for us.”

Gase also said at that time he would “probably” keep three quarterbacks on the active roster in 2018, compared to two each of the past two seasons, though that was factoring in the possibility that the Dolphins would draft one. It’s unclear whether he still intends to go that route, and he doesn’t have to decide until the cut from 90 to 53 players at the end of the preseason.

[Which undrafted rookies have impressed Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke so far?]

[Who wins a race between Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant and Kenny Stills?]

[Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team visits Dolphins practice]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.

Dolphins’ Jakeem Grant faces long odds in quest for snaps at receiver

Jakeem Grant faces serious competitors as he tries to earn snaps at receiver. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

DAVIE — Jakeem Grant didn’t blink when the Dolphins went out and signed two expensive slot receivers to replace Jarvis Landry, rather than move him into that vacancy. Honestly, he probably saw it coming a mile away.

Grant has been trying to prove himself as more than merely return specialist since coming to Miami as a sixth-round pick in 2016, and it hasn’t been easy. Just getting the opportunities has been a struggle, and it’ll be no different now that he’s fighting for snaps against up-and-coming talent Albert Wilson and former Patriots mainstay Danny Amendola.

“Whenever we did that, I was happy, actually,” Grant said after today’s practice. “I’m a guy that like to compete.”

“When they brought in Albert and I saw him for the first time, I was like that’s a guy that’s almost the same height as me. So I’m like, ‘OK, I’ve got to compete.’ That just added fuel to my fire, not just because those guys came in, but because I want to get out there and show (Adam Gase) that I have the big-play ability and I am a receiver.”

Even with the addition of 5-foot-9 Wilson, Grant remains the shortest player on the team at 5-foot-7.

That isn’t necessarily what’s held him back, though. The biggest hurdle for Grant has been establishing himself as a reliable pass catcher — the same issue that looms for him on punt returner.

Last year, finally, there were signs that he could add an electric element to the offense. His breakout performance came in the memorable Monday night win over New England, when he had two catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.

The score was a 25-yard grab against former Pro Bowl cornerback Malcolm Butler. Grant also let a would-be 55-yard touchdown slip through his fingers in the fourth quarter.

He followed two weeks later with four catches, 107 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs a week later and had 26 yards on three receptions in the season finale. It was enough to show the Dolphins that he’s worth real consideration for a role in the offense.

“The potential that he has as a playmaker, I think he has done a really good job continuing to grow that way,” Miami offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “You keep expanding his route tree. He’s short in stature, but he does not think he’s short. He does not play short. He plays like a big person. He’s had a really good camp so far.”

Grant’s been running more deep routes than anybody else in camp, according to Gase, but that’s something the Dolphins did last spring as well. Whether Grant can actually turn that into a bigger role hinges on how dependable his hands are and how he stacks up against two players with a lot more on their résumés.

“I look to perfect everything,” Grant said. “In previous years, I didn’t have it all down. Now that my head is all the way in the playbook, I feel a lot smoother and I feel a lot of confidence.

“This is going into my third year. I’ve got to make the most of it. I’m just improving all the way around. Hands, route-running, being able to get in and out of breaks and just becoming a threat and being available so the coaches can put me in the game knowing I can make that big play.”

[Kenny Stills is exactly what the NFL needs, so why is it alienating him?]

[Who wins a race between Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant and Kenny Stills?]

[Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team visits Dolphins practice]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.

Everyone, including Miami Dolphins’ DeVante Parker, is a critic of Parker’s

Dolphins coach Adam Gase interacts with DeVante Parker during OTAs. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — For anyone, it would constitute a decent shot delivered via social media. For a man of as few words as DeVante Parker, it was a shot heard ’round South Florida.

When former Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers was asked on the Five Reasons Sports Network podcast to rank current receivers on the team, he listed Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Parker, in that order.

“Nobody cares about his opinion,” wrote Parker, who has a bit of history with Chambers.

It was somewhat understandable in the sense that when it comes to DeVante Parker — especially in summertime — there always are more opinions floating around than there are receptions for the man himself.

The consensus, of course, is that Parker’s potential and Parker’s production are acres apart. The funny thing is that Wednesday, another voice chimed in to agree.

Asked how he’d describe his play over his first three years in the NFL, Parker said, “It was not where I wanted to be. It’s as simple as that.”

Parker caught 57 passes for 670 yards and one touchdown last season. In his career, he has yet to have a year with more than 60 catches, 750 yards or four touchdowns. His per-season averages: 46 catches, 636 yards.

But if it’s June, it must be time for someone to say this year finally will be the year everybody sees the real DeVante Parker. Last year, it was offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen predicting a “gigantic” 2017. Wednesday, it was fellow receiver Jakeem Grant.

“His approach this year is way different than it was last year,” Grant said. “I think he definitely wants to go out there and prove to people he’s better than what people think he is. He’s not just a guy that continually gets hurt or whatever. … He’s going to be great. Without doubt, he’s going to be one of the top receivers in this league.”

Alongside Julio Jones and Antonio Brown? Grant also said he calls Parker “a beast.” At 6-feet-3 and 212 pounds, Parker should be just that, especially in the red zone. Instead, he has dealt with ailments such as hamstring and ankle problems that seem more prevalent than they really are.

Believe it or not, Parker has missed only five games in his career. But the injuries have limited him to 24 of a possible 48 starts — hardly what you’d expect of a first-round draft pick. As they’ve shortened his Sunday afternoons, they’ve restricted him to just three 100-yard games, none in 2017.

“Stay healthy,” he said of his top priority for 2018.

If you’re wondering if Parker believes he has changed anything in his offseason approach to curtail nagging injuries, think again.

“Right now I’m doing the same thing I’ve been doing that’s been working,” Parker said.

Ironically, Grant’s boast came just a week after receivers coach Ben Johnson said the team was working to tone down expectations for Parker.

“The biggest thing for him is we were making these giant claims about him last year,” Johnson said. “Right now, it’s one day at a time.”

Outside of that jab at Chambers on Twitter, Parker seems content to just tune into those around him.

“You’ve just got to not worry about what anyone says outside the building,” Parker said. “They know what’s really going on on the inside.”

Parker said he’d like to get 1,000 yards this season and “a few touchdowns.”

Although he stopped short of claiming Chambers should have ranked him the best receiver on the team, Parker added, “I’m with Jakeem every day, so he sees me working, knows what I’m doing.”

The Dolphins showed faith in Parker in April when they picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. It’s worth $9.5 million, but it’s guaranteed only if he gets injured. Otherwise, Parker could be thrust in a position of having to prove he’s worth $9.5 million next year.

The ideal way to avoid sweating that out: have a gigantic year.

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Dolphins’ return man Jakeem Grant still in plans offensively

Jakeem Grant made a major contribution in last year’s win over the Patriots. (AP)

DAVIE — There’s always been an allure for the Dolphins when it comes to Jakeem Grant’s speed, and that’s kept him from becoming solely a kick and punt return specialist.

That finally started materializing into a weapon for the offense in the final month of last season, and even though the team signed two slot receivers in Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola, Grant still has a shot at being a regular part of the passing game.

“We had some nice packages for him at the end of last year, and it certainly helped us out offensively to get the ball moving and explosive plays,” wide receivers coach Ben Johnson said this week. “He’s the same guy. He’s just trying to get better every single day right now. I think we’ll continue to include him going into next season as well.”

The biggest thing working against Grant is that he’s 5-foot-7, but he’s overcome his height disadvantage throughout his football career. He had 90 catches for 1,268 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior year at Texas Tech and has been dangerous for the Dolphins at times as well. He is in the conversation for fastest man on the team.

His breakout game with Miami was in last season’s memorable Monday night win over the Patriots. Grant had two catches for 42 yards including a huge touchdown and nearly hauled in another long reception but couldn’t hang on to the ball. Hands have been an issue for him at times, but he’s improved over the last two years.

Grant followed the New England Game with four catches for 107 yards and a touchdown two weeks later at Kansas City.

New offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains mentioned Grant a few times in a press conference last month and indicated he’s examining the best way he can factor into the offense.

[Dolphins try a new approach with defensive line under Kris Kocurek]

[Who wins a race between Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant and Kenny Stills?]

[Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team visits Dolphins practice]

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.

Why proposed changes to kickoffs could give leg up to Miami Dolphins, Jakeem Grant

Jakeem Grant returns a kickoff vs. the Patriots last season. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

DAVIE — When Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi was asked about scouting kicking prospects and responded by rattling off the field-goal percentages of the NFL’s top kickers coming out of college, there was no getting around that this guy spends a crazy amount of time mulling such things.

Next week, there’s a good chance that when NFL owners gather for their spring meeting in Atlanta, there’s a good chance they’ll OK changes in kickoff rules to enhance safety without compromising excitement.

And Rizzi’s special teams could stand to benefit immensely.

Without delving too deeply into the minutiae of what’s being (pardon pun) kicked around, Rizzi, part of a select committee chosen to make recommendations to the owners, believes the changes could open up the return game, which by extension could be a boon for those with speed to burn.

If you’re a Dolphins fan, you know exactly where this leads: Jakeem Grant, who has been timed at 4.38 in the 40.

“Listen, I’ve talked to Jakeem about the new rules,” Rizzi said. “ … I think a guy like Jakeem could certainly benefit from the rule. It being a more wide-open play, I know he’s excited about it for sure.”

Nor should he be the only one. Kenyan Drake (4.45) has handled return duties before, including that memorable 96-yard return for a TD against the Jets in 2016. But with his promotion into the featured-back role, it remains to be seen whether the Dolphins will lighten his special teams load in 2018.

And among the newcomers, there’s Albert Wilson (4.43), who returned some kicks for the Chiefs, and fellow receiver Danny Amendola (4.58), who handled some punt-return duties for the Patriots. And fourth-round pick Kalen Ballage (4.46), a running back, averaged 20.8 yards on kickoff returns at Arizona State last year.

Rizzi believes if the changes are approved, you’ll see more skill-position players and fewer linemen on special teams. You’ll see fewer of those high, short kicks that the Patriots like to utilize because kicking teams will have less of a running start and therefore will be hard-pressed to pin returners inside their 25-yard line. And, reversing a recent trend, you’ll see returners more likely to take it out of their end zone rather than settle for touchbacks.

So much of this could benefit a Dolphins team that needs every inch of field position for the offense that it can get. Last season, the Dolphins were seventh in the NFL with an average of 54.4 kickoff return yards a game. For perspective, the Chiefs led at 65.7. But Miami was 20th in return average at 20.9 after finishing tied for fourth in 2016 at 25.1 yards. Miami’s longest return in 2017, 37 yards, ranked 25th in the league.

Individually, Grant tied for seventh with a 22.8 average.

The impact will be felt before the season even starts. If teams are going to load up on running backs, receivers, tight ends, defensive backs and linebackers on special teams, it’s bound to affect competition for the final roster spots.

“I’ve talked about that with our front office,” Rizzi said.

It’s only May, but of course Rizz has.

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Miami Dolphins look for new punt returner to replace Jarvis Landry

Danny Amendola could be the “hands” guy on punt returns this year. (Getty Images)

DAVIE — The Dolphins never clearly stated how they divided up punt returns between Jarvis Landry and Jakeem Grant, but they appeared to lean toward Landry when they were backed up and Grant when there might be more room to run.

Grant is still here, but Landry’s departure to Cleveland means the team needs a new return man for punts that look like they’re going to be in high-traffic situations.

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Veteran receiver Danny Amendola, who often returned punts for New England, seems like the most likely man to replace Landry in that role. Special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said today he’s consider Amendola, receiver Albert Wilson and rookie running back Kalen Ballage on punt returns in addition to Grant.

“We’ve added a couple of guys onto the roster that have had return experience,” Rizzi said. “We all know Amendola did it with New England. Albert Wilson is a guy that did it in Kansas City. He just got buried behind a couple of really good returners, but he’s got returner experience.

“Then Kalen Ballage was a kick returner at Arizona State. He’s a big body that can run really well. He had some really productive kick returns. We’ve kind of added a couple of pieces there, as well.”

Rizzi said all four players will get reps as punt returners over the next several months. The Dolphins begin four weeks of offseason practices May 22 and start training camp in late July. There’s plenty of time to nail it down before the season opener.

Amendola returned 27 punts last year for an average of 8.6 yards, including a long of 40 yards. Between his time with the Patriots and Rams, he has returned 174 punts and 152 kicks.

Wilson has no punt returns on his record and returned three kicks in four years with the Chiefs, but he did work on return teams in practice.

Ballage, a fourth-round pick, was a running back and kick returner at Arizona State. In four seasons he returned 48 kickoffs for an average of 22.1 yards per return.

Last season, Grant was used on 36 of 51 punts. He returned 25 for 190 yards and called for a fair catch on 11. Landry handled the other 15, fair catching three and returning the other 12 for 81 yards.

Over the last two seasons, Grant was on the field for 59 punts compared to 46 by Landry.

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Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.

2018 NFL free agents: Miami Dolphins to sign WR Albert Wilson

Albert Wilson will join the Dolphins as their new slot receiver. (Getty Images)

The Dolphins have reached an agreement with former Chiefs receiver Albert Wilson, a source confirmed, and he comes aboard as Jarvis Landry’s apparent replacement. NFL Network reported the deal is worth $24 million over three years.

Wilson, 25, is a former Port St. Lucie High School quarterback who played out of the slot for Kansas City the last four seasons and put up a career year in 2017. He 42 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns.

That’s about half the damage Landry did last season with a league-high 112 catches, 987 yards and three touchdowns, but Wilson comes at about half the price. Landry, who is being traded to Cleveland, is set to play for almost $16 million on the franchise tag this season.

Nonetheless, this is a monumental contract for Wilson after making roughly $3.3 million over his first four years.

Wilson, 5-foot-9, 200 pounds, became a favorite in the Chiefs organization after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2014, the same year Landry was a second-round pick.

After an incredible run as Port St. Lucie’s quarterback from 2007 through ’10, he had an outstanding career at Georgia State. As a senior, he piled up 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns, which earned him the first invitation to the NFL Combine in the program’s history.

Pro Football Focus ranked him the 33rd-best receiver in the league last season. The Chiefs raved about how he progressed in four years, but seemed resigned to losing him in free agency.

“Albert has done a great job,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said at the NFL Combine. “He has worked hard in the offseason, got his weight down.

“You saw that last game in Denver, he kind of took off. He is a very tough player. He does everything from the slot to the outside, he can block, and he can return if you need him to. He is a very valuable commodity for us and certainly has done a lot for us the last few years.”

In the Chiefs’ regular-season finale against the Broncos, Wilson had 147 yards on 10 catches, both career-highs.

Any free agent agreements are unofficial during the league’s legal tampering period, which ends Wednesday at 4 p.m. At that point, players are free to sign. That’s also when many of the reported cuts and trades will be finalized.

The Dolphins’ current options at slot receiver are Jakeem Grant, Leonte Carroo and Rashawn Scott, as well as some practice squad players they’ve been trying to develop. Wilson is easily the most proven player of the group.

Grant is the biggest threat to Wilson out of that group after showing encouraging signs late last season. He had 42 yards and a touchdown in the Monday Night win over New England and a career-high 107 yards and a touchdown against Kansas City in December.

Wilson joins incumbent starters Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker, both of whom play mainly on the outside. Stills had 58 catchehs for 847 yards and six touchdowns last season, and Parker struggled through injuries to catch 57 passes for 670 yards and a touchdown.

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New Miami Dolphins OC Dowell Loggains: ‘We’ve got to do a better job’ with young talent

Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant breaks a tackle by inside linebacker Reggie Ragland of the Chiefs en route to a 65-yard touchdown in December. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It didn’t take Dowell Loggains long to learn one basic truth about the Dolphins’ offense.

“We have a talented group of young players that we’ve got to do a better job with next year than we did last year,” said Loggains, who is only a few weeks into his role as offensive coordinator of the Dolphins.

Loggains arrives from Chicago, where he served for two seasons in the same capacity. Because he had succeeded Adam Gase as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, Loggains kept tabs on the Dolphins when Gase first came to Miami, although he admitted he’s having to “get caught up” on the offense’s performance from 2017.

The more he studies, the more he’ll see there’s work to be done following a season in which the team finished 25th in total offense and 28th in scoring. But already, he senses there’s a nucleus to work with at receiver, especially if the Dolphins can keep the group intact. Much revolves around Jarvis Landry’s impending free agency, the hope being Loggains can work with Landry (league-high 112 catches, 987 yards), Kenny Stills (847 yards), DeVante Parker (670 yards in another injury-plagued season) and Jakeem Grant (203 yards as he continues development).

“I’m really excited to sit down and talk to (assistant head coach Shawn) Jefferson and (receivers coach) Ben Johnson about those guys each individually,” Loggains said. “When you watch the tape, you see splash plays on splash plays. It could be a really good group.”

Collective-bargaining rules limit the type of contact coaches can have with players in the offseason, so Loggains said he and the other coaches will be “figuring out where we failed and where we need to get better going forward.”

The Lions and Steelers led the NFL with 16 passes of 40-plus yards. The Dolphins were tied for 25th with just five, but there was the late-season emergence of Grant, who finally was able to display his sprinter’s speed on offense with a 65-yard touchdown catch against the Chiefs.

The deep ball would give running back Kenyan Drake breathing room. Toward that end, the Dolphins know what they have in Stills, who has scored 15 touchdowns the past two years.

If Loggains can solve the Parker riddle, he’ll become the first to do so. Parker, the former first-rounder, was limited to 12 starts in 2017, which doubled his total of his first two seasons. In 42 games played, he has managed three 100-yard games, a total that most agree is not indicative of his athletic ability.

“We’re just got to keep coaching these guys hard to get them to where we want to go next year,” Loggains said.

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[GRADING THE RBs: Kenyan Drake’s explosiveness offers hope for ’18]

[GRADING THE OL: Without upgrade next season, team isn’t going anywhere]

[GRADING THE RECEIVERS: The top two are obvious … but then what?]

[GRADING THE DL: Lots of dollars, so why not lots of sacks?]

[GRADING THE LBs: All downhill once opponents discovered blueprint]

[GRADING THE DBs: Veteran safeties, youthful corners form good nucleus for ’18]

[GRADING THE SPECIAL TEAMS: Parkey, Haack have moments, but unit has ups and downs]

Who’s buried in Jakeem Grant’s shadow? Miami Dolphins’ 5-6 offensive coordinator

Then-Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains (right) talks with the much larger offensive lineman Cody Whitehair. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Dowell Loggains is still settling into his new job as offensive coordinator of the Dolphins, but he already has one part of his game plans down pat, and it involves receiver Jakeem Grant.

“I’ll probably try to stand next to him as much as I can on TV games and pregame warmups,” Loggains joked.

You could say Loggains stands out in football circles.

In a literal sense, though, you cannot say he stands tall.

Loggains is 5-feet-6. Maybe. In some places you’ll find him listed at 5-5.

Either way, he’s about the same height as Grant, who’s listed at 5-7. That makes Loggains short for a football coach (writes the Daily Dolphin reporter equally short).

And Loggains is way short for a Division I football player, which he once was. He was a walk-on backup quarterback at Arkansas who spent most of his time as a holder. Upon being named offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 2003, Roy Wittke took one look at Loggains and according to the Chicago Tribune thought, “I’m in the SEC, and this is one of the quarterbacks?”

[RELATED: Dowell Loggains says reuniting with Adam Gase was ‘no-brainer’]

Speaking with the South Florida media Friday, Loggains explained how he managed to overcome obstacles.

“It was work ethic,” he said. “It was knowing your own limitations and knowing what you had to do to separate yourself when you’re playing with guys that are a lot more talented than you. You just work your tail off and put yourself in good situations.

“It’s kind of the same way with coaching. You might not always be the smartest guy. You have to know your own limitations and just try to work harder than the next guy. I think that’s how you get jobs in this league and stay in this league is just develop an unbelievable work ethic, try to out-work as many people as you can and have self-awareness.”

So Loggains should have no problem identifying with Grant.

“It wasn’t the size, it was when I watched that slip screen that he took to the house,” Loggains said, referring to Grant’s 65-yard touchdown against the Chiefs. “His play strength for being a small guy — he plays very physical and very strong. I’m really excited about him.”

He’s excited about watching him play. He’s excited about not having to look a foot up when coaching at least one of his players.

“I’ll enjoy talking and being able to look eye-to-eye with him,” Loggains said.

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