The first couple of weeks of March produced a lot of excitement for Dolphins fans in terms of the passing game, what with the team re-signing
It actually was easy to forget for a while there were other receivers on the roster. But not only do the Dolphins have other receivers, they have some young players with intriguing potential.
That group includes 2012 seventh-round pick
Of that group, Tyms probably is the least known. He’s also perhaps the most intriguing and the one with the most upside.
Remember, Tyms played only one year of high school football and then went to junior college before walking on at Florida A&M University. But what Tyms lacks in experience, he makes up for in athletic ability and a good size/speed ratio.
There was a reason the Dolphins re-signed the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Tyms for the 2013 season on Jan. 10, less than two weeks after the end of last season.
“I was happy, of course,” Tyms said at the Kiting with Kids and Fins event at Haulover Park. “I guess that just means that they see I actually have some talent to show and I can actually play at this level. That lets me know that I actually have people believing in me that are in this organization. I’m pretty excited. I’ve been working my butt off and I’m going to continue to do so going into camp. I’m going to prove a lot of naysayers wrong, man.”
Make no mistake, Tyms has some big plans for his NFL career despite the fact he has yet to appear in a regular season game.
While the additions to the wide receiver corps might make it tougher for him to earn a roster spot in the fall, Tyms prefers to take a different view.
“I like competition,” he said. “My college coach, Joe Taylor, always preached competition. You always want the best talent around you because it makes you better. You don’t ever want stuff to be the same because you just don’t progress. I feel the more talent they bring in, the better as a wide receiver group we’ll become and the closer we’ll get. You learn off each other. When you’re in camp, that’s all you have to watch is each other. You have each other with the coaches as well.
“I think it’s really good for our team, especially with Brandon and Mike coming. Both of those dudes, they play. They’ve been through every type of situation, winning season and losing season. It’s a lot of us guys coming back. It’ll be a good experience for us to learn off of them, learn off of mistakes, learn how to run routes better, how to go after the ball better, how to catch on the offense, just everything. I like it, honestly.”
For Tyms, all of last season was a learning experience, and he said he paid particular attention to Hartline.
“I listened to Hartline a lot in meetings because he’s real smart as far as how he runs his routes, the depth he gets based on the drop of the quarterback,” Tyms said. “I never paid attention. Like in college, you’re asked to run a comeback and you don’t ask, what’s the quarterback’s drop? What’s his read like? I never paid attention to that. It’s just development mentally because physically I didn’t have a problem. It was just mentally, how to do stuff because you’re playing against guys that have been playing this game since they were 4 years old, been in the league 15 years.”
Tyms joined the Dolphins practice squad last September after being released by the San Francisco 49ers.
In his short time with the 49ers, Tyms says he made it a point to pick the brain of Randy Moss, who has similar physical dimensions and will go down as one of the greatest receivers in NFL history.
“That was my favorite receiver, first player I ever saw catch a pass,” Tyms said. “My cousins used to have me watch him when I first started playing football and I talked to him. I asked him, ‘What is your goal as a receiver?’ ‘At the end of the day, they say I’m the best.’ It just wasn’t, oh, he had a good year this year or he could play. No, he’s the best. That’s what I look forward to doing.”
Tyms understands that might take some time — if it ever happens. He also understood why the Dolphins never promoted him to the active roster last season. Even though he didn’t necessarily like it, he understood and trusted his coaches.
This season, though, just being on the practice squad all season won’t cut it for Tyms. He’s got much bigger goals.
“Oh no, oh no, I’m not settling for that,” he said. “My goal as a football player is just to be the best. I’ve been around some greats, like Randy, I met Brandon Marshall. Those are great receivers. That’s just my goal. At the end of my career, hopefully it goes 10-12 years, somebody could say or put me in (among) the best. So I work on everything.
“Though I didn’t like not playing, it made me work that much harder to make me try to prove to them that I could do it. And it made me that much better as a wide receiver and as a teammate because in college, I went to a small school, you’re starting in college, you feel like you’re the man, can’t nobody tell you nothin’. You kind of get an ego.
“It kind of brought me down. It humbled me. I appreciate the coaching staff for that because I needed that. As far as not playing this year, that’s not what I’m looking forward to. I’m trying to grind to get there, trying to grind to get there.”