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Training Camp Breakdown: Tight Ends
By on August 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

Besides the quarterback position, the one spot on the offensive side of the football that has plenty to digest is tight end. I say that because through the first week of training camp, the tight ends have been shifting, motioning and running ragged across multiple formations for offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

This new offense has terrific skill players and should be able to put pressure on opposing defenses. That’s Daboll’s philosophy and he should have the weapons to be successful. It was my opinion that last year tight end Anthony Fasano didn’t get enough credit for what he brought to the table. A solid blocker at the point of attack and a guy with sure hands down the middle of the field. Fasano’s 39 receptions were good enough for fourth on the team in total receptions and four touchdowns were second only to Davone Bess with five. Yards per catch was 13 plus and the future looks bright in this offense, especially if what were seeing thus far in camp translates to the regular season.

The rest of the pack looks young and hungry to make an impact in camp this year. Rookie Charles Clay has displayed the skill set so far to create a possible mismatch either coming out of the backfield from the fullback position, or motioning out and creating space in the passing game. Clay looks the part and plays physical and fast! Mickey Shuler was the only other tight end on the roster last year to catch a pass (two receptions for 44 yards) from the tight end position. He and Jeron Mastrud must find a way to separate from the pack and make a play or two in the preseason games. That also holds true for Dedrick Epps and rookie Brett Brackett. Epps must make the most of his pass catching opportunities because his speed and athletic ability will give him chances to excel. Brackett has been very impressive showing quickness in and out of routes and has been sure-handed early in camp.

The tight end position looks healthy for the Miami Dolphins in 2011. Daboll’s offense should always have a spot for this position to thrive, but with the addition of Reggie Bush and the flexibility of Clay, the number of receptions should be spread out this season. Remember, last season in this offensive system, the running back (Peyton Hillis caught 61 passes for 477 yards). Dolphin fans should expect some of those receptions to land in the hands of Bush, Clay and running back Daniel Thomas.

For more on Dolphins rookie tight end Charles Clay, check out his in-studio interview with The Finsiders here.

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