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Binns Continues To Be A Player Worth Watching

Posted Jul 7, 2014

Wide receiver is all the way back from the knee injury he suffered early in training camp last summer

In the grand scheme of things, it probably wasn’t a very big deal. But Armon Binns’ touchdown reception in the Dolphins’ intrasquad scrimmage on the last day of the June minicamp did mean something.

It meant that Binns is all the way back from the knee injury he suffered early in training camp last summer, a knee injury that cost him the entire 2013 season. It also meant that Binns continues to find a way to get himself noticed on the practice field, the same way he did last offseason and in the first days of training camp before his unfortunate injury.

In the big picture, it means that Armon Binns continues to be a player worth watching.

“I’m just trying to pick up where I left off,” Binns said. “It was a tough blow. I was doing well. I just tried to pick up where I left off and be the same player that I was and better.”

Binns, who will turn 25 the day after the 2014 regular season opener against the New England Patriots, is still trying to establish himself as an NFL wide receiver.

He seemed well on his way to doing that last summer, and now pretty much has to do it all over again.

Binns is among the large number of young hopefuls trying to earn a roster spot at one of the Dolphins’ deepest positions. The wide receiver group features established veterans like Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Damian Williams, plus rookie second-round pick Jarvis Landry.

The rest of the group includes third-year player Rishard Matthews, rookie sixth-round pick Matt Hazel, Stephen Williams, Ryan Spadola, Kevin Cone, and rookie free agents Gerald Ford and Rantavious Wooten. Binns, who caught 24 passes in his only NFL season in 2012, is looking to carve a role for himself.

“I think I fit in well,” he said. “We’ve got a really deep receiver group, a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. I just want to go out there and be accountable and just make plays for the quarterback when my number is called.”

The one attribute that stands out for Binns, a native of Pasadena, Calif., who played at the University of Cincinnati and then made his NFL debut with the Bengals, is his size.

At 6-3, 211, Binns is among the biggest receivers on the Dolphins roster and what he showed last year in practice and this spring is the ability to use his size to his advantage, as well as the ability to make the tough catches.

Like a lot of young players, the next step for Binns is to become more consistent. But the ability certainly appears to be there.

“He’s worked his tail off to get back on the practice field, without a doubt,” Head Coach Joe Philbin said. “He’s certainly made kind of a name for himself on the practice field. He’s been productive on the practice field. Now, we’ve got to be able to sustain that over a period of time and continue to develop as a receiver.

“But there’s a lot of things to like about him. Obviously, number one, just the perseverance, the work ethic to get back as fast as he did. We like his body type. He’s a little bit different than some of the guys we have. He’s got good length. He’s got good size. His play speed is pretty good. He’s done some good things. Now, we’ve just got to kind of string some things together.”

No doubt, Binns deserves credit for coming back the way he did.

It would have been easy for Binns to get discouraged after the injury cost him what appeared to be a legitimate chance to earn a roster spot last year. Instead, he attacked his rehabilitation with tremendous determination.

“It was rough, but I just believed,” Binns said. “My faith in God is what kept me going and He just walked with me every step of the way. I attacked the rehab as hard as I could every day. I just worked as hard as I could to be ready for these OTAs.

“I’m just blessed and happy to be back playing football. It’s been a long time, so I’m grateful.”

Binns originally joined the Dolphins in December of 2012 after they claimed off waivers from the Bengals. He went on to catch six passes in three games for the Dolphins and was looking for bigger and better things last season before the injury occurred.

All along, though, the Dolphins never stopped believing in his potential, which is why they made sure to re-sign him this offseason as an exclusive-rights free agent.

After all, Binns had given them every reason to believe he could become a contributor at wide receiver. Binns himself has never wavered in that belief.

“I try to always stay confident,” he said. “Things were going really well. I’m around a good group of guys and a good system, so I’m happy.”
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