The NFL is a copy-cat league and with the success of the NE Patriots use of the two-TE sets, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman will feature that into his no-huddle west coast offense. The NE Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez give defensive coordinators headaches in the NFL, because they are matchup nightmares for LBs and safeties.
The Dolphins signed veteran TE, Dustin Keller this off-season and drafted rookie TE, Dion Sims out of Michigan State in the fourth round. Expect Dion Sims to play the Rob Gronkowski role, because of his prototypical size. Sims stands at 6’5" and he weighs 265 pounds, he will be a reliable ‘Red Zone’ target for QB Ryan Tannehill. While it’s safe to assume that Dustin Keller matches up fairly well with Aaron Hernandez in stature, Keller is 6’2" and he weighs 250 pounds similar to Aaron Hernandez.
The Dolphins will have dynamic options on third downs, because Mike Wallace will be featured on the outside with Brian Hartline as well, those two are dangerous on the perimeter which will force safeties to take a few steps back in coverage. Sims and Keller will have plenty of room to work the middle of the field with seam routes; which will force defenders to pick their poison. Thus, leaving defenders to either cover Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, or leaving the middle of the field open for the TEs and RBs, with the option of running up the middle or taking short passes to the flats to convert for easy first downs or touchdowns.
Some people question Michael Egnew’s ability as a tight end, because of his lack of pass blocking skills, although he’s capable of becoming an exceptional TE for the Dolphins, because he is a good route runner with soft hands. If Egnew improved this off-season he will be the TE that the Dolphins desperately need to catch passes all over the field, in the slot and off the line. In turn that will make the Dolphins younger and cheaper; if both Egnew and Sims develop into full time contributing starters.
Finally, Mike Sherman’s offense will be hard to stop with two-TE sets, no-huddle, and spread option. Tannehill has many options at his disposal on passing downs. Versatility is the key for these young, fast, and athletic tight ends the Dolphins acquired this off-season. They can have two TEs side by side, or both TEs running out of the slot in a bunch formation to bust the coverage of safeties and LBs like the Patriots do with their TE duo.
Look for Sims and Keller to make a huge impact on offense this season.