Dolphins’ McDaniel admits regret over Gesicki usage; Gesicki gives take. And Tyreek’s plan

David Santiago/

For the first time this year, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Wednesday that he should have thrown the ball more to tight end Mike Gesicki this season.

Gesicki’s catches have dropped from 73 in 2021 to 25 this season, his targets from 112 to 40 and reception yards from 780 to 274. He has just one catch (for five yards) and five targets over the past four games.

What’s more, he has played his fewest offensive snaps during each of the games in this ongoing three-game losing streak: 9 against the 49ers, 20 against the Chargers and 12 against the Bills.

Overall, Gesicki has gone from playing 72 percent of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps last season to 47 this season.

Does McDaniel believes he should have done more to maximize him?

“Absolutely,” McDaniel said. “He’s a good player and I don’t give him the ball enough. I don’t like [that] he’s having to answer those questions. It feels as though it’s a failure to some degree for myself. That’s the way you have to look at it.

“If I’m to lead this team, I have to set an example and the example of accountability can’t ever be skirted. I hope and believe Mike looks at what he can do to better the situation.

“He’s a pro. It’s been a rough set of circumstances. There’s always more you can do as a coach and he’s a good player.... I really in the worst way want to do the best job possible and feel very responsible to those players’ careers.

“It’s OK for me to admit how something is staring you in the face and you know you can do better. I can do a better job of [giving him] opportunities and he needs to take advantage of those opportunities.”

Asked about McDaniel’s comments about not throwing him the ball enough, Gesicki said: “That [comment from McDaniel] doesn’t make it feel any way. I just want to help this team win games any way possible.”

Gesicki has handled his situation professionally all season, never saying anything he would regret.

So has he been frustrated?

“Yeah, I’m a competitor,” he said. “I’ve made plays in this league for a long time, proven the player I am. I think there’s probably defensive coordinators out there watching our film who have to put in time - or at least used to have to put in time - to how are we going to affect the game plan with [Number] 88 out there. In my opinion, I could help. But I’m just going to go about it in the most professional way I can.”

Has it been difficult to be as professional as he has been?

“Absolutely,” he said. “You guys know me, have watched me play for five years, have seen what I’ve done for the organization. Obviously you want to be out there making plays, you want to be out there in general. But it’s not about me.”

The lack of targets and playing time could impact Gesicki financially, because he’s eligible to be an unrestricted free agent in March.

“I’m not thinking about my next contract or anything like that,” he said. “A lot of teams around this league know me as the playmaker I’ve been, but that’s not what I’m focused on right now. There are a lot of exciting things for the future of the Dolphins.”

He said when he comes to work “I convince myself this is the day, this is the week” he will be more involved in the game plan.

“That’s how my mind works. The second you don’t is the second it happens. I continue to catch 160 balls after practice every single day. The one thing I will never let is the opportunity to come and not be prepared.”


The Dolphins are 26th in points allowed, and McDaniel - asked if the defense is playing to its capabilities - said: “Every person in the locker room, every coach would say no [they’re not] because they believe in each other...

“They earned the right to play on national television and took it very serious and got embarrassed in their own minds.”

On the team’s defensive shortcomings, McDaniel said: “We’ve attacked the reasons for those things and my expectation is they improve drastically in a short amount of time.”

▪ Dolphins who weren’t spotted at Wednesday’s practice: Terron Armstead, Jevon Holland, Raheem Mostert, Melvin Ingram and River Cracraft.

Eric Rowe (hamstring) returned to practice, as did Jeff Wilson Jr. (hip). Guad Liam Eichenberg was at practice; he must be added to the active roster by next Tuesday or stay in injured reserve all season.

Brandon Shell has now permitted only one sack in 375 pass blocking chances at right tackle.

“B-Shell has been a blessing,” left tackle Terron Armstead said.

Armstead has relinquished only one sack in 406 pass blocking chances at left tackle.

Shell has yielded 28 pressures, Armstead 14.

Tyreek Hill said of playing on Christmas: “I’m kinda looking forward to it. I’ve got some crazy celebrations for Christmas Day. It’s going to be a fun show. I’m going to give people something to watch. It’s going to be very entertaining.”

Hill - who, against Buffalo, didn’t come down with two contested catches that he would normally make - tweeted this week:

“I will never play like that again fins bad performance from myself last night I’ll be better.”

Asked about that, Hill said: “Early in my career, I probably wouldn’t be saying or doing anything like that. Now being an older guy on this team, a lot of guys look up to me and I’ve got to take some sort of responsibility for my play.”