Twenty sixteen was a step forward for DeVante Parker.
After a lost rookie season, Parker caught 56 passes for 744 yards and four touchdowns as an NFL sophomore.
But the Dolphins want — and if Kenny Stills leaves in free agency, need — more out of their former first-round pick in Year 3.
“I think just consistency,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said, when asked of what he expects from Parker this offseason. “That day in, day out, coming in the office at the right time, making sure that you’re doing every little detail right. It’s one of those things that some of us that have been around some really good players take for granted. He’s just got to understand everything he does is important. It’s a trust level with everyone in the building.”
Gase then gave a strikingly specific example of where Parker needs to improve.
“If you tell someone you’re going to be there at 11 o’clock to lift, be there,” Gase said. “Don’t call in and ‘Hey, I’m not going to show up today.’ He’s done a good job at the end of the season and what he’s been doing it sounds like so far is he’s doing good with just staying with his regimen. And that’s how he had some success last year.”
Parker had “three really good weeks in practice” last year, Gase said, and it was no coincidence that he had productive games those weeks. But it can’t be a once-in-a-while occurrence. Parker needs to comport himself that way all the time.
Then there’s Leonte Carroo, the third-round pick who fell out of favor his rookie year and couldn’t even get on the game-day roster late in the season.
Carroo was buried in the depth chart and caught three passes as a rookie. But that could quickly change if Stills signs elsewhere.
“We’ve just got to keep bringing him along,” Gase said. “When you’re trying to figure a guy out that’s not in your top three it’s not always as easy as you’d think. The longer I’d been around him the more we’ve kind of figured out how we need to use him. He’s done a good job trying to figure out his role on special teams and where he really fits in with those receivers. With free agency it is where it is right now. We’ve got to figure out where’s he going to fit it? Do we still have Kenny? Are we going to lose him? We’re not sure about that. So our group, our young guys have got to be ready to step up.”