Gesicki Hauls in Tannehill Pass During Third Quarter of NFL Debut

Sep 12, 2018
Courtesy of: Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki had to endure several lightning delays and more than seven hours inside Hard Rock Stadium, but the first game of his NFL career is in the books.

The former Southern Regional star athlete and Miami Dolphins rookie tight end had one reception for 11 yards in his first pro contest – a 27-20 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 9 – and another pass thrown in his direction moments later during the third quarter.

After a quiet first half, which included the first of two weather delays toward the end of the second quarter, Gesicki’s number finally was called during the Dolphins’ third possession of the third.

Set up by Tajae Sharpe’s interception of a Marcus Mariota pass with 9:04 left in the third, Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed two consecutive passes to Jakeem Grant and Danny Amendola, sandwiched around a Tennessee holding penalty, to give the Dolphins a second-and-2 at the Titans’ 18-yard line.

The next pass was delivered to the left side of the field, where Gesicki made the grab on a crossing pattern for an 11-yard gain to give Miami first-and-goal at the 7. Two plays later, after Kenyan Drake ran the ball to the 4-yard line, Tannehill fired a pass into the end zone, intended for Gesicki, but Tennessee’s Malcolm Butler picked it off and returned the ball 33 yards with 6:57 to go in the third quarter.

“It was on me – completely on me,” Tannehill said during his post-game press conference. “We had a one-on-one matchup there, and I have to find a way to get him a better football.”

During the change of possession, lightning again was spotted nearby and the game was delayed a second time. By the time the teams were allowed back onto the field to resume the third quarter, just over two hours later, most NFL games which had started at 4 p.m. – the Miami-Tennessee game kicked off at 1 p.m. – were well into their fourth quarters.

Tannehill didn’t throw another pass in Gesicki’s direction the rest of the game. In his press conference following the win, head coach Adam Gase was asked whether he had expected more opportunities for Gesicki, who started the contest.

“I don’t want to say ... It’s probably not what I expected, but it was just kind of how the game went,” he said.

In a game that ended up as the longest in NFL history, Gase also was asked to assess the play of the squad’s rookies.

“I felt like they were all very loose before we started the game,” he said. “It seemed like everybody was playing fast. It’s going to probably take some time to just kind of see how everybody fits in and really what their roles become. We’ve got an idea, but I don’t think we really got as good of a flow offensively as we wanted to.”

On Sunday, Sept. 16, the Dolphins will visit MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford to take on the New York Jets.  —D.B.


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