Tight end Mike Gesicki has made clear and significant strides over the past few games, and that hasn’t happened by accident.
The 2018 second-round pick has worked hard to put himself in this position and he has no intention of slowing down.
“I am working toward becoming the player that these coaches envision me being and the player that I envision myself being,” Gesicki said this week during an interview on The Audible. “I’m going to continue to work and come out here each and every day out here in practice because we’ve still got a whole second half of this season to go. There’s a lot of football ahead of us and I just want to continue whatever I can to help this team win football games and put a great product out on the field on Sundays.”
Gesicki’s numbers increased dramatically over the past four games from the first four. Of his 21 catches for 248 yards, 15 and 197 have come in the past four games.
His production has been one of the many factors in the resurgence of the offense and he gives a lot of credit to his position coach, George Godsey.
“Coach Godsey has done a great job just attacking each and every day with me out on the practice field,” Gesicki said. “It doesn’t just click on Sundays. This has been along drawn-out process going all the way back to OTAs. George and I and the rest of the tight ends have put a lot of time and work on the practice field. It didn’t just happen overnight. But there’s still a lot of room left to grow and to improve and get better in a lot of aspects of my game. But it has been fun to go out and make some plays here and there, but there’s a lot of football left. Obviously never satisfied.”
A perfect example of Gesicki’s dedication comes from the fact he has asked to take reps with the scout team to continue working at his craft.
It’s the kind of work ethic that could go a long way toward helping him achieve his goals.
“He’s still a young player and I keep saying that just because there’s a ton of improvement to do every day,” Godsey said this week. “He’s practicing a lot harder. He’s taken reps on the show team to kind of get his craft down. When you’re a receiving a tight end — which that’s his main trait — if you get one opportunity, then you better be on-point on that one opportunity. So I keep stressing the fact that you’d better get multiple opportunities in practice so you make the most out of your one opportunity in the game, if it’s a third-down rep or depending on the situation. He’s practicing a lot harder.
“That’s the biggest improvement that I’ve seen — the way he’s been practicing — so I’m not really surprised when he has a game like that based on how he’s been practicing because if the ball’s thrown his way, he’s done a pretty good job of attacking and getting the ball.”
At 6 feet 6, Gesicki represents a great target for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and he’s taken advantage of his height to go get a couple of passes during his recent hot streak.
“The big thing about playing with Fitz is that he’s just going to give you a chance to go make a play, which as a receiver, tight end, any pass catcher, that’s the trust and the belief that you want your quarterback to have in you that when the play … worst comes to worst, he’s just going to give you a shot and go make a play for him,” Gesicki said. “And that’s kind of what you’ve been seeing. DeVante (Parker) with that one-handed touchdown catch last week, a lot of (Preston Williams’) catches this year have been a lot of contested catches and he’s been giving me a couple of shots here and there. It’s all good fun. Everybody is kind of bouncing around making plays and I think you’ve been able to see that the last couple of weeks.”
With his 21 receptions on the season, Gesicki already has almost as many as he had during his rookie year when he finished with 22.
But he’s not looking to just top last year’s total. As he said, he’s never going to totally be satisfied.
He is, however, getting more and more satisfied each week.