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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – For Miami Dolphins rookie tight end Mike Gesicki, the past few months have been a whirlwind.
The former Penn State standout was selected by Miami in the second round of this year’s draft back in April.
Gesicki was just the second tight end off the board behind South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, who went 25th overall to Baltimore.
Since the draft, Gesicki has been around the Dolphins facility quite a bit, diving head first into a workload unlike anything he’d experienced before.
It’s very challenging for a rookie to learn a brand new playbook, one that is usually twice the size of what they used in college, and there is always the added pressure not to make any mistakes.
Now entering the third week of training camp, the 22-year-old has a better idea of what is expected of him and isn’t as concerned about being perfect.
“When I first got here, that was kind of my mindset. It was ‘don’t make a mistake,’” Gesicki explained. “Now, it’s just to go do what I do and just go make plays. That’s what I’m here to do.”
At 6-foot-6, Gesicki is the tallest tight end on the Dolphins roster. Coaches have raved about his athleticism and body control.
It’s difficult to remember the last time a practice went by without Gesicki making at least one impressive grab in the end zone.
The former basketball player knows how to box out and time his jumps, skills that have helped him develop a red zone rapport with Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Gesicki and Tannehill have played a lot of catch this summer.
They have been seen several times following camp workouts, staying on the field and working on all the small details that champions master during the dog days of August.
“We’ve had some throwing sessions after practice, just working on the little quick timing things that are big, especially down in the red zone, where the windows are tight and the ball has to come up early,” Tannehill said. “Once you’re on the same page there, you’re going to see it pay dividends.”
Coming out of college, one of the knocks on Gesicki was his blocking ability. It’s been a real challenge for him so far during camp.
While he’s flourished as a pass-catcher, there have been some bad moments for Gesicki in the backfield.
On Tuesday he failed to engage fellow rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick on a blitz during 11-on-11’s, one that would have seen Tannehill take a massive hit on his blindside.
Whiffs like that have been just as frequent as his spectacular catches.
The good news for Gesicki is that his coaches are being extremely patient with him, and with that kind pass-catching ability it’s easy to understand why.
It also helps that he’s got a great mental attitude that has not gone unnoticed.
“He’s had some one-on-one situations, those are good for him,” Gase said. “Every time he has trouble with a guy, we can learn off of that. He does a good job. He doesn’t get hung up on one bad play. He moves on to the next one very quickly.”
“Mike has come on and he’s done a good job for us,” said Tannehill. “He’s hungry, he’s young, he wants to be good, he wants to do the things the right way, he listens and he’s really athletic. That helps him a lot. He’s a playmaker. He has a lot of athletic ability, he’s really explosive, long arms, long catch radius and he’s going to make a lot of plays for us.”