If you don't have a good receiver core, your offense will not succeed, it's that simple. During the 09' season, our WR's scared no one...but they got the job done. So what does the FO do? They go out and get a dominant receiver in Brandon Marshall. Let's take a look at our wide receivers now.
"THE BEAST", as we all like to call him. Marshall was drafted in the 4th round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played for UCF and recorded 112 receptions, 1674 receiving yards, and 13 TD's in his college career.
Marshall's rookie year didn't start out like he planned. He suffered a slight tear to his PCL and was sidelined for a few weeks. He was able to return and play in 15 games, with 1 start. His stats were: 20 receptions, 309, receiving yards, and 2 TD's.
Again Marshall's season didn't go as planned. In 2007, he suffered a groin strain and quadriceps femoris muscle during minicamp. During the 2007 season, Marshall posted team-highs and career-highs in receptions (102), receiving yards (1,325) and receiving touchdowns (7). Marshall reached the 1,000-yard milestone during the 13th game of the season.
Yet again things didn't start out good in 2008. Marshall slipped on an empty McDonald's bag while wrestling with family members, and subsequently, fell through a television at his home, cutting his right forearm. Marshall sustained right forearm lacerations to one artery, one vein, one nerve, two tendons and three muscles. Marshall officially received a three-game suspension from the NFL on August 5, 2008, due to his off-the-field issues. He appealed the decision and won the appeal, reducing the punishment to a one-game suspension and a fine of two combined game checks, which totaled $52,353. Marshall finished the season ranked third among NFL wide receivers in receptions (104), seventh in receiving yards (1,265), fifth in receiving yards per game (84.3), seventh in yards after the catch (419), third in catches that led to first downs (65) and first in number of times targeted for the second consecutive season (181).
What is it before camp with Marshall, really? Marshall had hip surgery on March 31, 2009, to repair an aggravated hip that bothered him during the 2008 season. He returned in time for training camp in late-July however, he didn't always fully commit to practicing. This led the Broncos to suspend him for the last two games of the preseason (he didn't play in the first two preseason contests) for conduct detrimental to the team. Marshall was benched for the team's final regular season game for failing to arrive at a physical therapy session on time. Despite the benching Marshall ended the season tied for third among NFL wide receivers in catches (101), tied for seventh in receiving touchdowns (10), seventh in yards after the catch (527) and fifth in number of times targeted (154).
This is where it gets good.
On April 14, 2010, Marshall was traded to the Phins for a second round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and a second round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. On the same day, the Dolphins and Marshall agreed to a four-year, $47.5 million extension.
Marshall finished the season with 86 receptions for 1,014 yards and three touchdowns. His streak of three straight years with 100 or more receptions came to an end, but he did extend his streak of 1,000 receiving yards to four straight years.
As we all know 2011 hasn't started good for Marshall either. He was stabbed by his wife in April and has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I wish the best for Marshall and hope he gets better.
Marshall will be out best receiver this year, no doubt. He had a good season last year, but I see him getting more TD's. If he hopes to do this, he and Chad Henne need to get on the same page. I look forward to watching Marshall this season.
Hartline was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played for the Buckeyes and recorded: 90 receptions, 1429 receiving yards, and 12 TD's.
Heading into his rookie season, Hartline was battling third round Patrick Turner for playing time. I was rooting for Hartline because I was not a fan of Turner. As we all know, Turner turned out to be a bust and Hartline won the battle. Hartline finished his rookie season with 31 receptions and 506 receiving yards with three touchdown receptions plus a rushing touchdown of 16 yards.
Hartline was given the 2nd WR spot in 2010. The Phins traded fan favorite Greg Camarillo, meaning they liked Hartline's potential. Harline didn't start out good, he had zero catches in week 1. However, in week 2 his first catch of the season was a TD against the Vikings.
Unfortunatly, Hartline was placed on Injured Reserve on Dec. 11th with a finger injury, ending a promising year. He recorded 43 receptions, 615 receiving yards, and 1 TD. He also rushed twice for 27 yards.
I've heard nothing but good things about Hartline in training camp. It seems like he's catching everything and making plays. They say it takes three years for a WR to get used to the NFL. Well, this is Hartline's third season and expectations will be high for him. I look for him to be #2 again and be a consistant target, like Camarillo was.
The kid who refuses to quit. This is how I think of Bess. My favorite player on the team, the guy has gone through alot to get to where he is: The best slot receiver in the NFL.
Bess attended Skyline High School in Oakland, California, and was a letter-man in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was a first team All-City wide receiver as a junior. As a senior, he led his team to the League Championship and was a second team All-City quarterback
Bess has stated that "sports pretty much kept me busy, kept me out of trouble, kept me off the streets." Largely raised by a single mom, Bess was the first person in his family to attend college and the first on his father's side to attend high school. Bess said of his father: "My dad pretty much wasn't there. If anyone was there it was my brother's dad, but not really because he was a big time drug dealer. He was in and out of jail himself and going back and forth so he wasn't a reliable source." At the age of 10, Bess witnessed the murder of his uncle at a birthday party.
Bess was rewarded a scholarship to play at Oregan State. Life looked good for Bess, a free ride to college and football. However, tragedy struck. One night, Bess got a phone call from a friend to come pick him up. Being the friend that he was, Bess went to pick him up. Little did Bess know, his "friends" had stolen some items. Bess was pulled over and was charged with everything, because he was the driver.
Davone spent 21 months in a juvenile facility. Bess turned to his old high school coach, but his coach was reluctant to help a "criminal". Bess persuaded him to help him find a college to play at. His coach was friends with, June Jones,one of the coaches at Hawaii. Hawaii looked at tapes of Bess, and decided to give him an opprotunity.
Bess quickly gained a starting spot and recorded: 293 receptions, 3610 receiving yards, and 41 TD's. Despite the stats, Bess went undrafted in the 08' draft. This was largely due to Hawaii's pass happy offense.
The Dolphins took a chance on him and he has done nothing, but great things. His rookie season, he developed chemistry with Chad Pennington and became a reliable target. He recorded 54 receptions for 554 yards and one touchdown. Bess played in all 16 games.
In 09' Bess continued his success. After the injury to Pennington, Bess quickly became Chad Henne's favorite target, especially on third downs. Bess recorded 76 catches for 758 yards and two TD's.
2010 was the breakout season for Bess. We watched him play, we know what he did. With the defense doubling up on Marshall, Bess was one-on-one most of the time. Bess recorded 79 catches for 820 yards and five TD's.
The future looks bright for Bess. He should continue to be a reliable target for Henne this season, and help open things up in the passing offense. Look for Bess to have another great year.
Drafted in the 4th round this year, Gates has alot of weight on his shoulders. He played at Abilene Christian University recording 154 receptions, 2807 receiving yards, and 27 TD's.
Gates ran a 4.37 at the combine. The Phins drafted him as a speed WR, to stretch the defenses. As a rookie from a small school, don't expect too many big plays from Gates. However, look for his speed to stretch the defense and help the other WR's out.
Gates is a little old for a rookie. At the age of 25, the ceiling is a little low for this rook. But, I still expect big things from him for years to come.
Another undrafted WR. The FO does a wonderful job of scouting these guys.
As I stated, Moore went undrafted in the 2010 Draft, and signed with us. He played at Fresno State recording 90 receptions, 1374 receiving yards, and 10 TD's.
I didn't expect him to make the team last year. But, he surprised me with this speed in the preseason. Moore had, IMO, the best offensive play this year. It was against the Raiders, he took an out route 57 yards for a TD. For the year, Moore recorded: 6 receptions, 128 receiving yards, and 1 TD. He also has one rush for 16 yards.
As of now, Moore remains my favorite for the 5th WR spot. His ceiling is still high. Another note, he played with Tom Brandstater at Fresno.
Oh hey, another undrafted WR! Wallace went undrafted in the 2010 Draft, like Moore. Wallace played at San Diego State. He recorded: 73 receptions, 940 receiving yards, and 4 TD's.
Roberto surprised me also. In the preseason, he used his size and speed against defenders. The only problem I have with him is his hands. He dropped too many passes, IMO. For the year he recorded: 6 receptions for 62 yards.
When I'm watching him play, he looks exactly like Brandon Marshall. I'd yell at the T.V. thinking it was Brandon...but turns out it was Wallace.
Expect him to push for the last WR spot.
Pruitt was a two year starter at Oauchita Baptist. He recorded 77 receptions, 1116 receiving yards, and 11 TD's.
He was signed to the practice squad in 2009 and again in 2010. Expect him to be there agains this year.
He's also been part of the UFL. He played for Hartford Colonials.
That's all I can find on him. Practice squad is his destination.
Foster was drafted in the 5th round of the 09' Draft, by the Rams. He played at North Carolina and recorded: 93 receptions, 1237 receiving yards, and 6 TD's.
Foster holds the records for Louisville WR's in the bench press (405 lbs.) and power clean (353 lbs.).
His rookie season was cut short by an ankle injury in the preseason. He was waived in 2010. The Jets then claimed him off waivers...but they waived him a month later.
From there, the Phins picked him up and put him on their practice squad. That's where he's probably destined to be, but he could surprise alot of us.
Livas went undrafted in the 2011 Draft. He played at Louisana Tech and recorded 113 receptions, 1582 receiving yards, and 7 TD's. He also totaled 811 rushing yards and 4 TD's.
Where he really made his mark was on special teams, earning All-WAC honors each of his final two seasons and tying the NCAA record for total return touchdowns with eight, joining five other players including Buffalo Bills running back C. J. Spiller.
He's small at 5-7, but man is he fast! He's raw on offense, so I see him as a special teamer for us. He'll have to use his speed if he wants to make this team
Like I stated with the safety positon, there is alot of good depth here. Marshall, Hartline, Bess, and Gates are my lock to make the roster. I look for Marlon Moore to win the 5th position, but one of these unknowns could surprise us...we'll just have to watch and wait.
As for best WR, it's between Marshall and Bess, for me. I look forward to watching these two light up defenses this year. As of now, to me, they're both equal.
Thanks for reading. Can't wait till next Friday to start watching the Phins again. GO PHINS!!!