In the last three years the Dolphins have made a big investment in tight ends, drafting three and signing a major free agent. They're hoping their search for production at one of the NFL's most pivotal positions is finally finished. Among Dustin Keller (the free agent signee from the New York Jets), Dion Sims (this year's fourth-round pick), Michael Egnew (last year's third-round pick), Charles Clay (the sixth-round pick two years ago) and Kyle Miller (a free agent signee last season), the Dolphins have a full complement of players. Now, they need to find the play-makers. Wednesday's OTA (Organized Team Activities) marked another early step in that process. And it appears Keller, who was limited to eight games last season due largely to ankle injuries, is emerging as the outright leader. "I like the group, it's a good group," coach Joe Philbin said of his tight ends. "Dustin's a real pro. I think that's one thing that's impressed the entire coaching staff and, I believe, his teammates as well. He's a professional. He's been a very good addition." Predictably, Keller has been getting most of the work with the first team so far in OTAs. Egnew and Clay have also gotten snaps with the first team. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill seems to be developing his strongest bond with Keller, who was limited to 28 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns last season but totaled 120 receptions for 1,502 yards and 10 touchdowns the previous two seasons. "I'm getting to know Keller more and more every practice," Tannehill said. "We had a touchdown today called back but he does a great job of getting releases, getting vertical downfield, which will be a big part of our offense, which is something we added and needed from last year." Keller feels so confident he can do the job for the Dolphins he opted for a one-year contract this season, declining a three-year deal. His plan is to get a multi-year deal in free agency after the season, possibly with Miami.
Keller emerging as leader in Dolphins' crowded TE picture
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 31