Putting Mike Gesicki's 2019 season into perspective is pretty simple: It was among the best ever for a Miami Dolphins tight end, and arguably THE best for a player at this same stage of his career.
In his second NFL season, Gesicki finished with 51 catches for 570 yards and five touchdowns, numbers that would put him in the top 10 list for all-time seasons for a Miami tight end for receptions (8th) and touchdown catches (tied for 6th). The receiving yards rank 12th in Dolphins history among tight ends for a single season.
But for a Dolphins tight end in his first or second year, Gesicki set new highs for receptions and touchdowns, and his 570 yards would be third behind only the 598 for Randy McMichael in his second season in 2003 and the 575 for Ferrell Edmunds in his rookie year in 1988.
Based on his emergence late last season, which saw him score five touchdowns in the final six games, Gesicki is an emerging talent at tight end, though he's not overly concerned about how he's being viewed.
"The outside perception, that’s something that I kind of try to ignore just because the opinions and the perceptions of everybody outside of our locker room, our building, it doesn’t really mean a ton," Gesicki said. "I could go out there and have a good game and everybody’s happy and then the next week not produce as much and people that had the same opinion about me the week before, had kind of changed. So it’s not something that I really pay a ton of attention to.
"I do appreciate those that do believe in me and do give me that trust and support me and our team and our organization, because those are people that I appreciate, but for the most part, I’m just kind of taking this thing day-by-day, focus right now on myself because that’s kind of the situation that we’re in, to get better and improve and make sure that I’m ready and compete whenever training camp rolls around. I am excited for this upcoming season and we’ll just continue to work and get back there whenever we can.”
Gesicki touched on various other topics during his video conference call with the media, including (of course) the famous clip of throwing a pass to himself over a building.
“Yeah, it was real," Gesicki said. "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.”
Talking about 2020 expectations for the team and himself: “Honestly, I think that for me personally and for our team, I think that we kind of just take this day-by-day approach. 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.”
Talking about what training has been like in this setting: “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. 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.”