Minor Move at Wide Receiver and What It Means

Alain Poupart

On a day they welcomed back four players from the COVID-19 list, the Dolphins brought back wide receiver Ricardo Louis for another shot at contributing on offense.

The move means more than anything that the Dolphins are comfortable with what they have at wide receiver because Louis hasn't played in two years and his NFL resume includes 45 catches over two seasons.

After all, the Dolphins waived Louis on July 25 after first re-signing him to a contract extension in the offseason. The Dolphins initially signed Louis, who played at Miami Beach High, in the spring of 2019 but he was placed on injured reserve in May.

So let's just that Louis is no lock to make the roster.

After Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opted out this week, the Dolphins wide receiver corps now includes DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, Jakeem Grant, Isaiah Ford, Gary Jennings, Mack Hollins, rookie free agents Kirk Merritt and Matt Cole, and we also could include rookie seventh-round pick Malcolm Perry at that spot.

Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey was asked about the wide receiver corps when he spoke to the media Saturday afternoon.

"Watching film from last year, there’s obviously some talent on the field," Gailey said. "They made a lot of big plays the last half of the season and it wasn’t just one or two. We all know about DeVante, but there were several people that made big plays during the course of the end of the season, so I think that we have a good group and I know that (Head) Coach (Brian) Flores and the front office are always looking to upgrade because every position is going to be challenged this preseason. Nobody is locked into anything, so we’re open to anything and everything and my job is to coach who shows up on the practice field and that’s what we’re going to do.”

There's nothing to prevent the Dolphins from going after a veteran free agent between now and the start of the regular season, but it certainly appears as though they want to fully evaluate their own players first.

While on the topic of wide receivers, Gailey compared the great ones to artists and said he's not so much concerned how they run their routes, as long as they're where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be.

“The great receivers I’ve been fortunate to be around through my years — and I’ve been doing this for 40-something years now — they’re artists," he said. "They run a route and they never paint the same picture twice because of the way the defender is, because of the route they’re running, because of whatever it might (be) ... they paint a different picture every time and if you take an artist who knows how to get open and who knows what he’s doing versus a defender and you try to fit him into a box, that’s where you make the guy less of a player than he really is.

"I want guys to be able to go out and be creative. ... We give them the freedom to go get open and then we think we have talented enough quarterbacks that can see that and get them the football.”

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