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Keller: I Can't Wait To Play Against The Jets

Posted Apr 22, 2013

New TE joined WR Hartline and SVP Claudia Lezcano on conference call.

Loyal season ticket members got a jump on the South Florida media when it came to hearing new tight end Dustin Keller’s thought on the 2013 schedule.

Keller, who spent his first five seasons with the rival New York Jets, joined wide receiver Brian Hartline and Senior Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Claudia Lezcano on an exclusive conference call tonight that lasted 30 minutes. Just about everything was covered, from the new logo to Keller’s one-year contract and how much the addition of speedy wideout Mike Wallace will help Hartline in the passing game.

It wasn’t until the final question, asked by a 15-year Season Ticket Member, when Keller weighed in on the two December meetings between the Jets and Dolphins (December 1st at New York and December 29th at Sun Life Stadium in the regular-season finale). The fan was focused on the second meeting but Keller made it no secret that he has both games at the forefront of his mind.

“I can’t wait,” said the former Purdue Boilermaker, who used to frustrate Miami’s defensive coordinators. “Obviously, I had a good time there in New York but I’m on to bigger and better things and I definitely have those dates circled on my calendar. I can’t wait to play against those guys.”

Hartline simply can’t wait to play any team after putting together the best season of his career in 2012, surpassing 1,000 receiving yards for the first time (1,083 on 74 receptions). He was a fourth-round draft choice out of Ohio State back in 2009 and has steadily improved each year, so now he wants to take his game to the next level.

When Miami made a big splash last month by signing free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace away from the Pittsburgh Steelers, all sorts of possibilities with the offense started being talked about. With Wallace, Keller, free agent wide receiver Brandon Gibson and veteran Davone Bess all in the fold, Hartline can hardly contain his excitement and that was evident on the call when he was asked about Wallace.

“He has the intangibles that you really can’t find in the NFL. It’s really hard to find,” he said. “We’ve had guys in the past that can definitely run but just can’t play football and this guy can do both. It’s definitely important and he’s definitely a huge threat but I think the biggest thing that we did including Mike Wallace was bring more threats to the offense. He’s a huge part and a huge threat but having the multiple threat options is definitely going to be very important for us.”

Between all of the moves made in free agency and the anticipation of the upcoming NFL Draft beginning Thursday there is plenty to be excited about for those that follow the Dolphins.

Obviously, football was on the minds of the majority of the callers tonight, but the new logo has drawn a lot of buzz and the home schedule along with the proposed modernization of Sun Life Stadium warranted some attention. Lezcano was asked a three-part question addressing all three of those topics.

“I too am a Season Ticket Member and claim my heritage to being one for 29 years now so I’m very much a traditionalist,” said Lezcano, who has been working for the team for almost two years. “I think with the logo and the uniform specifically we wanted to back to our roots through the colors because that’s where we came from. The orange, we wanted it to be a more vibrant orange like the sun of South Florida and the aqua we wanted it to reflect truly the colors of the ocean as it once did in the early 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. So the goal really in this exercise was to go back to our roots with an eye towards the future.

“When I say an eye towards the future, the dolphin looks drastically different. … At the end of the day we wanted to capture the dolphin at the most powerful and ascending position that the dolphin would actually project in, so we actually worked with dolphin experts. We didn’t do this in a vacuum, we took into account our heritage and our roots and it was an 18-month process and we did focus groups with our Season Ticket Members.”

Lezcano reiterated the team’s commitment to a successful private/public partnership on the stadium modernization and the desire to keep a home field advantage with early September games, but the league and the networks also had a say in that schedule.

By the time the call ended, there really wasn’t much left to be asked.

Conference calls with Dolphins players, coaches and executives are just one of the many benefits of becoming a Seaon Ticket Member. Fans can purchase tickets for all 10 home games at Sun Life Stadium through season tickets by calling 1-888-FINS-TIX (1-888-346-7849) or visiting Dolphins.com. Miami Dolphins season tickets start at just $34 per ticket per game in the upper bowl and just $75 in the lower bowl. With a season ticket membership, fans receive an average savings of 43% off the online ticket prices and they also receive exclusive access, experiences and savings. Club Seat Memberships are available starting at $160 per ticket per game. Partial Season Ticket Plans, featuring the choice of 3 games, will also go on sale April 25th.

Dolphins’ fans can also purchase 2013 season tickets at two unique and interactive community events in connection with the upcoming NFL Draft and the debut of the team’s logo and uniform at the 2013 Draft Party on Thursday, April 25 and the second annual Fin Fest, Saturday, April 27. Both events are presented by Melanoma Exposed ™ and AT&T. Admission and parking for both events are FREE at Sun Life Stadium. For more information, visit www.Dolphins.com.

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