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The Many Hats in the Dolphins Tight Ends Room

"There is a lot of communication that has to go on, especially when you're in as a Y and then you have a wing and then another wing and all of those guys are tight ends, and we're trying to communicate from inside out. So one of them has to get the call from the offensive line or the center and then it gets relayed out to the last man on the edge. We talk a lot in that room."

Confused yet?

That blurb is a snapshot of the tight end job description through the eyes of Miami's Tight Ends Coach George Godsey. Really, that's just scraping the iceberg.

Involved in the run-blocking scheme, pass protection, knowing route combinations as a receiver and considerable contributions on special teams, tight ends must wear a lot of hats – just like Godsey himself.

Godsey worked with Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores on the New England Patriots staff from 2011-2013. There, he was an offensive assistant and tight ends coach. Before his arrival in Foxboro, Godsey was a running backs and quarterbacks coach at the University of Central Florida. After, he was a quarterbacks coach and eventually offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. He even spent two years with the Lions, one of which as a defensive assistant.

When he arrived in Miami in 2019, Godsey was inheriting a pair of tight ends drafted the year prior. With Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe in tow, the Dolphins went out and acquired former Bears tight end Adam Shaheen, who quickly melded into the bond shared by his new tight end brethren.

"There's the dynamic of a new player coming into an organization where two of the guys had been here for a couple of years," Godsey said. "So just the acceptance from Mike and Durham's standpoint, and then obviously from Adam's standpoint, opening up. I think the more we get to know each other, the better off we'll be as unit. They've worked at it."

Working hard was the sole focus of Shaheen upon his arrival. Traded to Miami in late-July, the former second-round pick knew there was only one way he could prove the Dolphins right and carve out a role for himself in the offense.

"I came in and worked hard. I earned their respect and we became friends afterward," Shaheen said. "Usually when you get traded, that's not always the greatest thing. But I just came in, put my nose down, played as hard as I could and I'm happy with the results so far."

Joining Shaheen, Gesicki, Smythe and Godsey in the close-knit tight end room is fullback Chandler Cox and practice squad tight end Chris Myarick. Drafted together in 2018, Gesicki and Smythe are the old hats of the room, so to speak, and it shows.

"Me and Durham are best friends," Gesicki said. "We have a really good relationship. We joke around with each other and just kind of building off of each other."

Having fun in the room isn't exclusive to the Mike and Smythe Show. Shaheen quickly bonded into what he calls the best room he's been in as a pro.

"This is the best room I've been in as far as what I work well with," Shaheen said. "It's been a really good fit. We have a lot of fun and we've been able to play pretty good and be a positive as a whole for the offense."

In addition to the multi-faceted roles tight ends have on offense, there are four phases to the kicking game that come into play. Smythe has played 99 snaps on special teams this season.

"I think Durham probably doesn't get enough credit," Dolphins Special Teams Coordinator Danny Crossman said. "He's going to play three or four phases for us based on the week and how his play time is set up both in the kicking game and offensively. He's very trustworthy, very accountable."

Smythe caught the first touchdown of his career in Miami's Week 6 win over the New York Jets.

"Durham has been a big part of our club for the last two years that I've been here, just in the run game and from a leadership standpoint in that room," Godsey said. "I think it excited that room because we know how much he means to the tight end room."

Earlier in that game, Shaheen scored his second touchdown of the season. A week later, the Dolphins rewarded him with a contract extension. Shaheen reflected on the emotions of being traded in July and extended in October.

"I was pretty happy to be coming down here and have an opportunity to play," Shaheen said. "I had to get some things right health-wise, and I've been able to do that with some help from the training staff and the coaches. It's paid off for me and I think paid off for the team as well."

Through the hard work and constant communication, the Dolphins tight ends have produced 34 receptions for 465 receiving yards and five touchdowns this season.

Shaheen took the antithetical route that his coach might choose when it comes to describe the coaching and communication style of George Godsey – brief.

"One of a kind," Shaheen said. "Just the way he says things and gets it across is very unique, he's one of a kind."

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