The Secret Behind Gesicki's Emergence
If the Dolphins offense is to be successful this season, it certainly could use the kind of production tight end Mike Gesicki provided in the final weeks of 2019.
Gesicki simply was one of the best tight ends in the NFL over the final six weeks, catching five touchdown passes, including two against Cincinnati and the game-winning score in the gigantic upset at New England in the season finale.
His position coach says the key to Gesicki's emergence in the second half of last season was pretty simple: hard work and dedication.
It's also the kind of answer that should provide optimism Gesicki can pick up where he left off.
"He put an emphasis on his practice habits," tight ends coach George Godsey said. "We say practice execution is more game reality, so if you can get out there and practice at a high level and go against high-level competition so going against that first-team defense, maybe taking a show team rep — I would say ‘dropping the shield,’ so to say as a pro, get out there and be a show team guy and go against good competition.
"And he put time into that, got some extra time with ‘Fitzy’ (Ryan Fitzpatrick) as far as seeing, running routes so that he could see it the same way as a quarterback. That’s a hard thing to do, too, especially where he is in his career. Every quarterback sees things differently and so making sure you’re on the same page with them, it’s not necessarily the same thing as just running a route, 'Hey, I caught it.’ That may still not be the correct way that he’s looking at it or the actual detailed way. He became more of a communicator with the quarterbacks and I think that was part of his production increase, how to look at it that way from a passing game standpoint.”
When Gesicki spoke to the media via Zoom in the spring, he said his increased production was the result of making the most of his opportunities.
But there's no question that more of those opportunities presented themselves in the final week of 2019 because of what Gesicki was doing, things like getting a good release at the line of scrimmage and getting open.
Whatever it was, Gesicki became a major factor in the offense and the hope is it continues the way this season.