DAVIE — Dolphins coach Adam Gase has said a few times that this roster is built the way he wants it, particularly when it comes to receivers, and he’s brimming with confidence about how the passing game will look this season.
With Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker staying on as starters, plus the addition of Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson, the receiver room has undergone significant change. The team is also intent on using running back Kenyan Drake as a pass-catching threat and has a potentially dynamic tight end in second-rounder Mike Gesicki.
Those are six quality options without mentioning the threat of Jakeem Grant, rookie running back Kalen Ballage and tight end A.J. Derby.
“I feel right now that we legitimately have two groups of receivers that can play at a high level for us,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said today. “So if we want to sub somebody out and keep fresh legs in there, or if someone goes down — whatever the case may be — I don’t feel like there’s really going to be much of a drop off (in) production or ability with the group that we have.
“We have a really deep room right now. They work really hard. You see them every day out there grinding. Nobody’s complaining. They’re trying to get better each and every day and that’s what we want.”
Last year, with Miami enduring trouble at quarterback and on the line of scrimmage, plus Parker struggling, Jarvis Landry was by far the most targeted receiver. Almost 27 percent of the Dolphins’ pass attempts went his way, and the trio of him, Stills and Parker accounted for 60.1 percent.
The distribution should be a little more widespread this season. Gase believes he has more maneuverability, too, and has been enjoying the chance to move Wilson all over the place in offseason practices.
He’s a multi-talented threat. Stills has versatility. Amendola is one of the most trusted slot receivers in the league. Drake is the fastest running back Miami’s had in a while. Gesicki is the highest-drafted tight end on this team since the 1970s. Parker, the No. 14 overall selection in 2015, likely still hasn’t peaked.
“If we stay healthy,” Gase said, “we should have a lot of guys that can make plays.”
The other benefit to Gase is that he believes he’s reshaped the receiver corps into a group that won’t be derailed by ego. If no one has a great year statistically, but most of them have a good year, he doesn’t see that being a problem.
That takes some pressure off Tannehill, too.
“They’re not complaining,” Tannehill said. “They’re not griping about not getting the ball.
“But when you do have talented guys, you want to get them the football. I think it’s a balancing act… trying to get guys involved, finding them rhythms in the game and help them be productive.”
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