Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki: I'm learning a new position, so I need all reps I can get

MIAMI GARDENS — Mike Gesicki said he wasn’t about to make headlines with his words.

He didn’t need to.

His preseason continued to make headlines on its own Saturday night, in a game that gave Gesicki his share of frustration, whether he was willing to discuss it or not.

Gesicki caught only half of the six passes thrown his way, for just 27 yards, had a role in a botched play that resulted in a safety and was in the game game against the Las Vegas Raiders longer than most starters.

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Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki is hit by safety Johnathan Abram of the Raiders.
Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki is hit by safety Johnathan Abram of the Raiders.

“I’ll do whatever they ask me to do,” he said. “I’m not going to get out here and give you some headlines.”

It’s no secret that new coach Mike McDaniel expects his tight ends, including Gesicki, to play an important role in blocking this season. Gesicki is the Dolphins’ franchise player making $10.9 million this year, but he’s also a receiving tight end whose weakness has always been blocking.

“It’s definitely a whole different offense, a whole different scheme,” Gesicki said. “I’m learning a new position, obviously, so it’s been good. It’s been exciting. And I think there’s been a lot of progress, but obviously a lot more to go.”

What about being on the field when most starters had been pulled?

“Any reps I can get at that, I can use it,” he said.

McDaniel admitted there was frustration on Gesicki's part.

"He was frustrated because he had a couple of options," McDaniel said. "We rely on him, and we went to him, and he had a couple pretty good ops that he wasn’t able to come up with the play. So, he needs to continue what he is doing, which is completely committing in the run and pass game to the offense.

"He is a couple plays on the ball away from having a really good game that he feels really good about. He knows that. I know that. That’s one of the reasons why he stayed in the game, because he was frustrated. As a competitor, he knew he could make the plays that he didn’t. It’s nothing out of the ordinary or nothing far from exactly what he has been doing. He just needs to continue to be diligent and not get frustrated when the ball doesn’t bounce his way."

Early in the second quarter, backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater took a snap from the Miami 11. Gesicki, lined up on the right, tried to block defensive end Jordan Jenkins but missed, which contributed to Bridgewater getting flushed out of the pocket and toward linebacker Curtis Bolton.

Bridgewater thought he threw the ball away but officials ruled it intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety.

Ideally, the Dolphins would have had two blockers in that area to slow down both Jenkins and Bolton.

“That’s the thing about some of these preseason games,” Gesicki said. “We’re running plays that we wouldn’t run into that look. … It’s not the protection you want to be in in that play.”

On Miami’s first series, Tua Tagovailoa tried to connect with Gesicki over the middle but the ball arrived as Gesicki turned to look for it, resulting in an incompletion.

“I didn’t get my head around,” Gesicki said, jokingly adding, “Tua’s a damn trained SEAL, so he got back there, his back foot hit and he put it right into my numbers. I’ve just got to get my head around quick.”

Tagovailoa said he believes brighter days are ahead for Gesicki.

"Mike knows his abilities and Mike isn’t one to kind of just ponder on it and just think on it," Tagovailoa said. "Obviously, Mike is a competitor. Mike came to me into the locker room and was kind of telling me what I’d seen. Obviously, the pass that happened, he was kind of telling me what he was going through with their press man. They kind of had man lurk with the backside safety dropping in to pretty much rob whoever the third guy is, but I think for the most part Mike did a great job. We’re going to be able to put it all together, and I know Mike knows that."

Hal Habib covers the Dolphins for The Post. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Dolphins' Mike Gesicki determined to not make ‘headlines' over usage