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Clay Picking Up Right Where He Left Off

Posted Aug 11, 2012

Charles Clay ended his rookie season in 2011 with touchdown grabs in each of the final two games of the season. He showed no sign of a sophomore slump as the opened the 2012 preseason by catching three passes for 39 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers.

Clay, a sixth-round pick in 2011, really caught fire towards the end of his rookie season. As the team was beginning to jell after its 0-7 start, he started hitting his stride with 12 of his 16 receptions coming in the team’s final nine games, including all three of his touchdown catches.

Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin has stated his desire to move players around the field beyond where they may traditionally line up, all in an effort to isolate, and in the process, manipulate favorable matchups.

This was welcome news for Clay, a player who spent his entire rookie season shifting around all types of offensive formations.

In fact, it’s pretty difficult to pigeonhole Clay at one position or another, because he rarely lined up in the same place two plays in a row.

While some may scoff at the notion of playing multiple positions, it gives Clay more opportunities to positively affect the game, and that’s the way he prefers it.

“I want to be known as that complete player and not a one-dimensional (one) just known as a pass-catching tight end, just being able to do multiple things,” Clay said. “So I’m just coming out working on my craft every day.”

The Dolphins’ tight ends, with the addition of rookie Michael Egnew, a tight end athletic enough to be split out at receiver for the University of Missouri, figure to be a focal point of Mike Sherman’s first offense in Miami.

“We’ve got a whole group of tight ends who can play multiple positions, so it’s based on being able to do a lot of different things,” Clay said.

Tight ends are hybrids, splitting their playing time between blocking and pass catching. One would figure that blocking may give a much-needed respite, but Clay said there’s no escaping the speed of the Philbin and Sherman’s West Coast offense.

“It’s being able to do whatever they ask me to do, whether it’s run blocking down on the goal line, whether it’s pass block,” Clay said. “Whatever they ask me to do, I’m trying to be polished and be able to do it.”
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