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Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki: The Vaccine

Joshua Soden

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When the Miami Dolphins selected Mike Gesicki in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, most fans rejoiced that Miami had finally decided to put an end to the half measures that they’ve been taking at the tight end position in recent years and spent a high-end resource to acquire a guy that is tailor-made to thrive in Adam Gase’s offense.

Gesicki is an athlete that’s nearly unparalleled at his position in terms of physical prowess, and also shows up on tape as a savvy route runner that understands how to set up defenders and find space in zone coverages.

Gesicki’s tool set combined with Adam Gase’s vision for how he wants to utilize his new offensive mismatch has many fans excited about the possibility of Gesicki making an immediate impact on offense.

What many should pay attention to throughout training camp and the season is the potential impact that Mike Gesicki can have on the Dolphins’ defense.

It’s a well-known fact that Miami has struggled to defend tight ends and running backs in the passing attack. It’s not only the Rob Gronkowski’s and Travis Kelce’s of the world, it’s also mostly pedestrian tight ends like Jared Cook, who looked like a Pro Bowler when he lit up Miami for 126 yards on 8 catches in 2017.

Miami took steps in the draft in order to fortify their defense at the second and third levels, drafting do-it-all safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in the third round, and linebacker Jerome Baker out of Ohio State in the third round.

What will be interesting to see evolve throughout training camp and practices is how does second year defensive coordinator Matt Burke solve the riddle of Mike Gesicki. Gesicki is the personification of the problem that has plagued Miami throughout the last several seasons.

A mismatch wherever he lines up that can flat out beat people at the catch point, he will present the Dolphins defense with as big a challenge as they’ll face from any TE in the league every single day at practice.

Burke will have large dose of TE medicine throughout the season as Gase incorporates Gesicki into advantageous formations and packages and slowly adds wrinkles as they install the offense. Burke has new weapons at his disposal as well, in Fitzpatrick and Baker. It will be an interesting development to watch the back and forth, cat-and-mouse game between Gase’s offense and Burke’s defense.

Though most training camp reps are meaningless, when it comes to football in July and August, Minkah Fitzpatrick lining up against Mike Gesicki in man coverage is about as must-see as reps can get.

The saying goes that iron sharpens iron. Mike Gesicki may not only make a positive impact immediately on offense, but may also have a subsequent positive impact on Matt Burke, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and the rest of Miami’s defense as they confront the team’s boogeyman in practice every day.

Joshua is a lifelong Dolphins fan living behind enemy lines. Born and raised in New England, he’s an avid Red Sox fan, amateur home chef, and cat enthusiast. He hopes to contribute to the Locked On team and to continue to learn and grow as a football analyst.

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