As a rookie in 2018, Mike Gesicki was misused by Adam Gase and his coaching staff. The former second-round draft pick played 399 snaps his rookie season and was assigned to block on 19.5% of those snaps.
And all that for a guy that was admittedly not known for his blocking at Penn State.
But 2019 was a different story.
Gesicki was used more efficiently in Chad O’Shea’s offense and, with a veteran like Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, finished the season with 51 receptions, 571 yards, and 5 touchdowns.
Surprisingly, Gesicki’s 2019 season ranks 7th all-time in Dolphins’ history.
Most telling, however, was his usage in the slot last season. According to Pat Thorman Of Establish the Run, Gesicki ran 374 routes out of the slot last year.
Mike Gesicki ran 374 routes out of the slot last year. The next most by a TE (Greg Olsen) was 243.— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) May 30, 2020
Gesicki ran more slot routes than any TE since Tony Gonzalez seven years ago, via PFF.
This number could potentially go up in 2020, now that Chan Gailey is calling the shots. Because historically speaking, Gailey doesn’t use a traditional tight end. Instead, he prefers to split them out wide, much as we saw from the Dolphins usage last season of the 6’6 Gesicki.
Another critical thing to remember is that Miami did not address the position in free agency or the draft. Yes, they signed Michael Roberts, but Gesicki appears to be the guy at the TE position.
The hardest part, as we learned last week, is learning a new offense via zoom.
“That’s just kind of the times right now, honestly across the league. Everybody’s kind of doing these Zoom meetings, and everybody doesn’t have a new offense to learn; but we are installing a new offense and just kind of learning the ins and the outs. It’s been super productive to be on those Zoom meetings and be able to talk to our new offensive coordinator, Chan Gailey, and kind of be able to talk with ‘Fitz’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick), being that he’s played in this kind of system before, and then being in our meetings with George Godsey, our tight ends coach. He’s done a great job talking us through the run game, the pass game, our role in pass protections and run game – all the phases that come with playing tight end. Honestly, it’s been really productive and I think that a lot of guys have been able to grasp the information that’s thrown at them so far.”
#dolphins TE mike gesicki had a breakout season in 2019-catching 51/89 targets (57.3%) for 570 yards (11.2 YPC), and 5 touchdowns. gesicki finished the season as a top-15 TE.— josh houtz (@houtz) January 16, 2020
here’s a look at his 5 TDs, including the week 17 game-winner vs new england. #finsup pic.twitter.com/48LyYBBZZU
No one knows Gailey’s offense as well as Fitzpatrick and Gesicki was asked if he’s excited for the opportunities the new offense could produce.
“I’m excited just for another opportunity to go out and do what I love to do and I’m sure every guy … Whatever scheme you’re in, whatever system you’re in, I think that you earn the opportunities that you’re presented with; so regardless of what the X’s and O’s are and the play calls and that kind of stuff, I think that what you do in practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and what you do in training camp or what you do before the game starts on Sunday, I think that those are the opportunities that you earn for yourself. I’m excited for whenever practice rolls around to just kind of go out there and kind of prove myself to a new offensive coordinator and a new guy calling the plays, because it’s exciting. As a competitor, it’s something I look forward to.”
Will Mike Gesicki take the next step in 2020 and become one of the NFL’s top TEs?
I think he will.
Not only is he entering his third NFL season, but Chan Gailey’s offense should forge him the opportunities to build upon his solid 2019 campaign. And if we’ve learned anything over Gesicki’s first two seasons, it’s that when used properly, he can be a mismatch nightmare.
Oh, and he can also do this.