Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki broke out at the end of the 2019 season. A second-year player, Gesicki looked like the game was slowing down for him and the offense started giving him more of a chance to shine. As a rookie, Gesicki caught 22 passes for 202 yards. In 2020, he caught 51 passes for 570 yards and five touchdowns, including 23 receptions for 276 yards and all five touchdowns over the final six games of the year. His first two-score game came in Week 16, finding the endzone twice against the Cincinnati Bengals. Gesicki positioned himself to have a huge part in 2021 for the Dolphins.
“I think it’s just part of how you kind of grow and develop in this league,” Gesicki said of his first two seasons during a video-conference on Thursday. “I think that I was able to learn a lot throughout my first season in the NFL and then kind of learn from those experiences to kind of know what I had to improve on in my game, and then make the most of my opportunities moving on to my second year; so when those opportunities were able to present themselves and I was able to kind of show what I was capable of doing, I think I was able to make the most of my opportunities and help our team win a few games and kind of build towards the second half of last year.”
What should fans expect from Gesicki in 2021? Do not expect to get too many details from the tight end. “Honestly, I think that for me personally and for our team, I think that we kind of just take this day-by-day approach,” he stated. “I think that the season is a long time away. I think that right now is the time to kind of just be kind of selfish in terms of focusing on how you can improve and develop your game to help the team and then collectively as a team, how we can – whenever all this quarantine and coronavirus and all that kind of stuff kind of settles down and we kind of get the okay to get back and work together – if you guys know anything about ‘Coach Flo’ (Head Coach Brian Flores) and how he runs our team, we’re never looking too far ahead and kind of just focus on the task at hand; and right now, this is just kind of focusing on ourselves and getting better, kind of creating that camaraderie in the locker room and just go out there and try to make the most of our opportunities when they present themselves.”
Focusing on himself and getting better with the coronavirus restrictions around the country did lead to a great social media moment for Gesicki when he threw a football over a house, ran through the garage and caught it on the other side. “It was real,” Gesicki explained. “I was honestly just super bored and I was at my girlfriend’s beach house – pretty close to where I live – and we were just kind of hanging out and I think we saw something similar to that on the Internet and we were like, ‘hey, I might try that,’ and ended up taking a couple tries, a couple of turns at it; but ended up doing it and obviously it kind of blew up a little bit. A lot of people were able to see it and just kind of entertain some people. Honestly, I was just kind of bored and just kind of put it together and we ended up going out and doing it. It was fun.”
Other than the fun of throwing a pass to himself, Gesicki discussed his actual preparations for the season. “It’s been unique just because from the time that I was at Penn State and then my two years in Miami, you always kind of have that structure and a coach kind of telling you what time your workouts are and everything like that,” he explained. “So right now it’s been a lot of accountability on yourself, but I think it’s been cool. It’s been something different and probably something that we’ll never have to experience again hopefully, so I’ve just kind of been taking advantage of this time to focus on myself and getting in great shape to come out there this summer or whenever training camp rolls around, and be able to compete. Honestly, I think I’ve made the most of these circumstances. I think a lot of guys have around the league. You see guys just kind doing what they can and working out in very unique ways back home or wherever they are, so it’s been cool. It’s been unique, like I said, but whenever this kind of stuff ends, I am excited to get back and get around the guys and get working out and kind of have that structure of coaching and schedule – all of that kind of stuff – back.”
Gesicki seems ready to get back to football - as most players probably are - and to continue to build upon the end of the 2020 season. He is in position to have a huge 2021 season and he seems to be ready to put in the work and make that potential become a reality.