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How do the Miami Dolphins Move on After Loosing Keller?

dustin keller Injury

 

 

After loosing Dusting Keller for the season to a gruesome knee injury in Saturdays pre-season loss to Houston where can the Miami Dolphins turn to fill the void left by last years “Dolphin Killer”? Do they go shopping for a veteran tight end or do they go with what they currently have on the roster?

They can do a combination of both, this is the NFL where the situation is always the next best man is up. The Dolphins can see if the rookie Dion Simms can step up or even Michael Egnew (A third round draft pick in 2012) provided he can mature  faster. Kyle Miller can also be a possibility if he can get back from injury quickly enough. The Dolphins can also hold out and take a look at the waver wire and see who becomes available, but time is of the essence to bring somebody new into the fold and integrate them into the offense.

Lets look at what the Dolphins have and what is, or will be, available to them.

 

Dion Simms:

[dropcap]7539718[/dropcap]Sims may be listed as the third tight end still even after the injury to Keller. At 6-foot-5, 262-pounds Sims certainly has the size advantage on his competition to get more reps as camp moves along. Coach Philbin has shown praise for the rookie by stating
“I like [Sims] a lot. He’s doing a lot of good things. He has a chance to be a very good blocker in this league. He’s got soft hands. He’s had a very good camp. He’s going to be a good player.” If Sims can continue to improve his understanding of the Miami offense and create more of a chemistry with Ryan Tannehill he could become one of the primary tight end targets. But to expect that Sims will become anything more than a solid contributor this season is a bit of a reach.

Michael Egnew:

[dropcap]nfl_a_egnew_m_400[/dropcap]Egnew has shown that he has some good hands catching 5 passes for 66 yards this pre-season. A third round draft pick in 2012, his drawbacks have always been in his blocking ability even though he has shown signs of stepping up and improving. He is still a big question mark come season start even if Philbin sees him as the most improved player on the roster thus far.

 

Charles Clay:

[dropcap]Brandon+Flowers+Charles+Clay+Miami+Dolphins+ZThbC2Gyzbsl[/dropcap]Clay has been used as a hybrid H-back and TE during his last two seasons with the Dolphins and has been serviceable at both. This training camp however, Clay has been working on being more of a full time H-back and has not really worked into the new offense as a tight end. If he is used as a TE option this coming season it will take some time for him to develop into the new offense so dont expect too much from him right from the start.

Kyle Miller:

[dropcap]Kyle Miller[/dropcap]Millers career started as an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars, eventually being cut and landing with the Colts, who promptly cut him  after his first start. The Dolphins picked him up off the waiver wire last season and slotted him as the fourth string option at the TE position. At 6′ 5″, 258 pounds, and experience as a long snapper ( Yes he was a long snapper at Mount Union), Miller could develop into a blocking tight end, which the Dolphins clearly want to find. He is still a developmental project and had a slim chance of making the 53 man roster with a healthy Dustin Keller. Now it is up to him to step up but his lack of experience will hold him back marking him as the very last in-team option.

Waiver-wire and Veteran Options:

The leading candidates include a familiar name in Randy McMichael and former Kansas City Chiefs player Kevin Boss. Other players could include Evan Moore or Todd Heap.

Randy McMichael:

[dropcap]San Diego Chargers v Seattle Seahawks[/dropcap]A fourth round draft pick for Miami in 2002, playing with the team through 2006, spent the last three seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He appeared in all 16 games, starting nine, last year, but only had nine receptions for 51 yards. He had a couple of tryouts in the offseason, but the 34 year old has yet to catch on with a team. The only upside is that he has played for the Dolphins in the past, but will he be able to keep up with Philbin’s quick plying style at 34?

Kevin Boss:

[dropcap]Kevin Boss[/dropcap]Boss, who is best known for his four years with the New York Giants, played two games, starting both, with the Chiefs in 2012. He was released by the Chiefs in February, following a failed physical, after suffering the fourth known concussion of his career last year. A fifth-round draft pick by the Giants in 2007, Boss emerged onto the league’s stage in 2008, grabbing six touchdowns that year. He left New York having compiled 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns over four seasons. He signed with the Oakland Raiders in 2011, pulling in three touchdowns in his only season with the team before being cut and joining the Chiefs. Although a decent option for the Dolphins but he has yet to be medically cleared to play and if it doesn’t happen soon, his chances of joining the team are highly unikely.

The waiver wire promises to be slim pickings for the Dolphins with no real stand out to go after. Their best options right now is to get the tight ends they already have and begin to work them into starters. The difference between available veterans and current roster players is very small so focusing on the future will be the Dolphins best bet.

By Sergio Peralta

 

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240 comments
lifeimitatesfootball
lifeimitatesfootball

I am pissed at Keller's injury, but oh well...don't think Texans are the new dirty team (but will never like Kubiak...he's such a poseur! Poor man's Harbaugh--both of 'em!)...best bet IMHO: Dion Sims, but as much as I don't like Egnew (he's from Mizzou after all ;-)   go Aggies!), I hope he can at least try to approach Keller's productivity. That's the "beauty" of injuries...sometimes the replacement is a pleasant surpsise (like Greg Camarillo's 2008 injury gave Davone Bess a chance and Jason Ferguson's retirement in 2009 gave Soliai a chance...and Garrard's last year gave Tannehill a chance)

Mikey7a
Mikey7a

Nice read on The Dolphins T.E. situation. Just one thing, the word is LOSING. So tired of seeing it spelled wrong, don't you guys use a spell checker? lol

Spot The Looney
Spot The Looney

There are a few Rutgers players with TE potential that Belichick didn't sign.

cgc5783
cgc5783

Just realized, if Curtis Painter is still in the league we may be stuck with Tebow in the league for a while.

Ioki
Ioki

Ehh, just sign whomever NE ends up cutting.

scottmankins
scottmankins

i hold my breath everytime someone gets tackled by the legs.

scottmankins
scottmankins

wow did you guys see pam oliver get nailed in the face with a football

scottmankins
scottmankins

sophomore slump is going to rape all the 2nd year qbs this year

Mikey7a
Mikey7a

@lifeimitatesfootballYes, many times injury brings opportunity, I hope you are right. Egnew just hasn't shown me much, but in his defense, he is young. Funny you mentioned Camarillo, I pitched a fit when we let him go lol.

cgc5783
cgc5783

Drown your sorrows in gumbo

cknuckles60191
cknuckles60191

@gregstar52 - She is already beastly looking.....a few footballs to that mug are not going to make a damn bit of difference.....

cgc5783
cgc5783

The two non-screens seemed to be on target.

cgc5783
cgc5783

Scott, I think you're missing a period or comma after "way"

cgc5783
cgc5783

No? I'm starting to think the Texans are the new dirty team in the league.

scottmankins
scottmankins

@ArcherNoles1863 i think james harrison admitted this, saying that they dont want a flag for defensless receiver hits, so they'll just dive for their legs.  its a shame. 

scottmankins
scottmankins

@cgc5783 heck no man.  he'll get suspended and fined, but he wasnt trying to hit him in the head with his own helmet. 

scottmankins
scottmankins

@FinCanada @scottmankins @cgc5783 there is great footage in cgc's link though.  its all there.  incognitos hand is down around his stomach and thats where the helmet gets swatted through.  it doesnt really matter at all though, but unless its used like with an over hand hammer smash multiple times the helmet wont be able to crush anyones skull.  

was it dirty and low? absolutely.  that dude blows.  

FinCanada
FinCanada

@scottmankins @FinCanada @cgc5783 not sure I agree man... I watched several times on tv (pvr'd the game) cause I couldn't believe what I saw and it seemed pretty clear to me... and football helmet to the temple or something could seriously f you up

ArcherNoles1863
ArcherNoles1863

Problem is sometimes they do nothing wrong, look at Big Ben, he was never charged with a crime yet was suspended

ArcherNoles1863
ArcherNoles1863

Which is my problem with the NFL, Goodell has too much power, I wish the Union was stronger like in baseball

ArcherNoles1863
ArcherNoles1863

They don't anyway for the most part but a lot of receivers and rbs duck so what was a hit to the chest is now a hit to the head. So now defenders go for the legs which will lead to more knee damage.