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- Coach Philbin: We Are All Wishing Dustin Well
- Tannehill: Our Relationship Continues To Grow
- Analyst Game Balls
- 3 Takeaways From Saturday’s Texans Game
- In Case You Missed It
- Pregame Notes: Dolphins At Texans
- PHOTO GALLERY: Dolphins At Texans Game Action
- VIDEO: Finsiders Recap
- VIDEO: Coach Philbin Post Game Presser
- VIDEO: Wallace TD
- VIDEO: Wallace 33-Yard Gain
- VIDEO: Miller TD
The signing of veteran
The time may have come to try to cash in on those moves.
With Keller sustaining an injury Saturday night against Houston that by all appearances was serious, bigger roles could be on the agenda for one or more of the Dolphins’ three recent draft picks at tight end — third-year veteran
“Dustin brought a lot to the table for us,” quarterback
In the aftermath of Keller’s injury Saturday night, Head Coach Joe Philbin was asked how difficult it would be replace the veteran’s downfield pass-catching ability if the injury turned out to be as serious as television replays would portend.
Keller, signed after he spent his first five NFL seasons with the New York Jets, had shown off that ability throughout training camp and certainly during the 27-3 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second preseason game.
“We have other guys that have caught the ball down the middle,” Philbin said. “We’ve got some big targets. Egnew is a big man. Dion Sims is a big man. Clay has caught the ball down the middle before. We’ll adjust.”
Clay clearly is the most experienced of the three, but he’s always been more of a hybrid player since joining the Dolphins as a sixth-round pick in 2010. As proof, he is listed as a fullback/tight end on the Miami roster.
In fact, Clay’s calling card at the University of Tulsa was his amazing versatility — he played tailback, fullback, tight end, split receiver, Wildcat quarterback and even got snaps at linebacker and defensive end.
“I’ve been working real hard, not only at fullback but tight end,” Clay said. “Like I said, we’ll just get back to this week of practice and we’ll see where it goes from there. If I’m the next up, I’m going to go out there and give it everything I’ve got.”
While immediately after the game Saturday night was too early to make any definitive plans at any position, Clay says he’s prepared to start focusing more on the tight end position if that’s what the coaching staff wants.
“It’s been something that I’ve worked on a lot,” Clay said. “It dates back to last season and this offseason. It’s something that I feel comfortable doing, but it’s something I also feel I need work on as well.”
Keller didn’t start against Houston on Saturday night; lining up at tight end instead was Sims, the rookie fourth-round pick from Michigan State.
While he obviously lacks NFL experience, Sims has impressed this summer with a nice combination of blocking and pass-catching potential.
He also showed late Saturday night that confidence won’t be an issue if he’s called upon to play a bigger role, maybe even start.
“Definitely, I’m ready to go,” Sims said. “I’ve been ready to go since I first stepped foot down there at the facility. I’m ready to go.”
Egnew, for his part, has earned praise from Philbin this season for his improvement after what could only be described as a disappointing rookie season.
After being drafted by the Dolphins in the third round, Egnew wound up being inactive for all but two games in 2012, but he’s clearly a better player this summer. Egnew is tied with running back
The wild card in the tight end group is
Miller, though, hasn’t practiced since the Hall of Fame Game and he sat out against both Jacksonville and Houston.
Clay, Egnew and Sims all played between 18 and 29 offensive snaps against the Texans, but it wasn’t a night to remember for any of them.
Egnew was the only one of the three to catch a pass, a 14-yard connection with
The Dolphins are hoping for, maybe even counting on, better days ahead for all of them.
“Early in the game we had three penalties out of the three tight ends, which wasn’t good,” Philbin said. “But I thought they settled in and played better as the game went on. I like the guys we have. Again, we have to see what happens. It’s very early in this whole process. We’ll take a look at what we have, what our options might be.”
Said veteran offensive tackle