Miami Head Coach Lauds Gesicki’s Play in First NFL Game at MetLife Stadium

Sep 19, 2018
Courtesy of: Peter McMahon/Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins rookie Mike Gesicki celebrates after catching his first career pass against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 9.

With dozens of relatives and friends in the crowd of 77,982, former Southern Regional High School star athlete and Miami Dolphins rookie Mike Gesicki stepped onto the turf at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford for the first time on Sept. 16. And while Gesicki didn’t see any Ryan Tannehill passes thrown in his direction, Monday’s press conference with head coach Adam Gase revealed that wasn’t part of the plan during the Dolphins’ 20-12 victory over the New York Jets.

“We had a couple opportunities in the passing game to get him the ball, but it didn’t work out,” Gase said after being asked about Gesicki’s blocking and whether he was an intended target at any point in the game. “They did a good job. They cheated to him a little bit. We weren’t the only ones who watched him in college. Defensive coordinators are aware of what he can do, so they’re taking him away, and the ball has to go somewhere else. And that’s good. I’m glad Ryan’s doing the right thing and not trying to force it to him.”

With Miami bringing a slightly different look to its offensive game compared to the team’s Week 1 victory over the Tennessee Titans – mainly in the form of Tannehill running the ball more, as he alone had more rushing yards than the entire Jets offense, and utilizing running back Kenyan Drake in a more diverse role – Gesicki mostly was relegated to blocking. And Gase seemed pleased with his play in Sunday’s contest.

On one particular play, a 6-yard touchdown run by Drake late in the first quarter of a scoreless contest, Gase credited Gesicki with a key block that helped Drake gain the end zone for the Dolphins’ first score.

“He had a really good block on Drake’s touchdown,” Gase said. “Drake made a great cut, and Mike did a great job of walling off the defensive end, and there was a nice little lane there and Kenyan hit it, and we got into the end zone. That was a big play for us because it got us a touchdown after a turnover.”

By the end of the game, Tannehill had thrown the ball to a tight end just twice – both times to A.J. Derby, which included a 19-yard TD strike to make it a 13-0 game with 42 seconds left in the first half. Derby ended up completing 34 of Miami’s 60 plays on offense, while Gesicki completed 33 plays, 55 percent of the total offensive plays. The Dolphins’ other tight end to see time, Durham Smythe, completed nine plays.

“I like the fact that he’s not concerned about how many targets he’s getting,” Gase said of Gesicki. “He’s playing. And I know this – he’s taking a lot of pride in trying to become a better blocker. Mike’s improving. He’s going to keep improving because the guy is very prideful. He loves doing this. He studies. He works hard. Good things will happen for him.”

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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