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Dolphins Sign Naanee

Posted Apr 17, 2012

After addressing the defensive side of the ball earlier in the day, the Miami Dolphins turned to the offense by signing free agent wide receiver Legedu Naanee.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound former Boise State Bronco is entering his sixth season in the NFL, with his first four spent in San Diego with the Chargers. Last season he had a breakout campaign with the Carolina Panthers by catching 44 passes for 467 yards lining up opposite veteran Steve Smith and now he will be reunited with his former Chargers teammate, inside linebacker Kevin Burnett.
 
"First of all, (the meetings with the coaches) went great just walking around the facility. Seeing first of all, the history on the walls and from being a kid watching the Dolphins and then meeting with Coach (Joe) Philbin who had so much success in Green Bay and the enthusiasm and vision that they had there and kind of bring that same kind of program here. It was a no brainer to come.”
 
Naanee actually got to participate in the offseason conditioning exercises today with his new teammates and even though he has not played in a West Coast offense before he is confident he can contribute. He needs to prove he is fully recovered from the foot injury that landed him on Injured Reserve before the last game of the regular season.
 
“The foot injury is healed and the biggest part is just getting back to running and practicing,” Naanee said. “I’m ready to come in and have my best year. I just want to build on what I’ve done before and the last couple of years injuries have sort of slowed that production for me. I’m looking forward to staying healthy all 16 games and playing my best football on the field.”
 
During his first two college seasons at Boise State, Naanee was listed as a quarterback and saw limited action as a freshman and a sophomore. His final two seasons for the Broncos were solid after he made the position switch as he caught a combined 69 passes for 1,024 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Chargers selected him in the fifth round (172nd overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft and he averaged over 10 yards per catch in 2009 and 2010, with his last year in San Diego his best at 16.1 yards per catch.
 
The fact that Naanee signed in time to jump into the offseason conditioning program with the Dolphins is a plus as he can get an early start on learning the terminology of Philbin’s and Sherman’s offense. He sounds eager to create a new identity for himself in Miami.
 
“To get that relationship with the quarterbacks started is important,” Naanee said. “I’m not sure exactly how I’ll fit in yet because today was the first time I was exposed to the offense so I’m just trying to get everything down and learn it. But I just want to play football and expand the role that they have planned for me.”

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