Miami Dolphins DeVante Parker on who is the fastest wide receiver
Attention Chris Chambers: Dowell Loggains has a message.
The short version? You're wrong about DeVante Parker.
"I've been really impressed since I've gotten here with his work ethic," Loggains, Miami's first-year offensive coordinator, said of Parker Wednesday. "The guy's spent a ton of time here in the offseason.
".... He was in the building grinding, doing the things he needed to do. A very professional guy that's trying to get better every day."
While Loggains did not address the latest dustup between a current and former Dolphins wideout, his remarks felt like a pretty strong rebuttal to Chambers' recent criticism. He said a few weeks back he doesn't "know if [Parker] fully gets what it means to be a pro" after the Dolphins' fourth-year receiver declined an invitation to work out at Chambers' Davie-based fitness center.
Chambers, the fourth-leading receiver in team history, also irritated Parker by listing him as the Dolphins' third-best receiver, prompting Parker to fire back on Twitter: "Nobody cares about his opinion."
Parker met with reporters Wednesday for the first time since the feud escalated, and echoed what Loggains said a short time earlier:
"The coaches, I do everything the coaches tell me to do," Parker said. "I just listen to what they’re saying. They tell me what I need to do and I just do as they say. I come up here and just work hard every day. They tell me what I need to work on and I just do that.”
Why is this all a big deal (other than it gives us something juicy to talk about during the quiet time of the NFL calendar)?
This is a huge season for Parker, a last chance to prove that he can stay healthy and he takes his craft seriously.
Because if he does, Parker has a chance to be special, teammates say.
"I think he definitely wants to prove to people that he's better than what they think he is," receiver Jakeem Grant said. "He's not a guy that continuously gets hurt. Mostly, he's just focusing on his game, perfecting his game and he just wants to go out there and give it his best and give it his all.
"He's going to be great," Grant continued. "Without a doubt, he's going to be one of the top receivers in the league. I feel that personally because I sit there and watch him, day-in and day-out, and his grind. I feel like he can go out there and do it all."
But Parker has yet to put it all together. He's been limited by foot, hamstring and ankle injuries his first three years, never catching more than 57 balls in a season.
And he's aware that he has yet to live up to his first-round hype.
"Not where I want it to be," Parker said, when asked to describe his career to date. "That’s just it. It’s as simple as that.”
And he knows that opens himself up to criticism — both from fans and from fellow members of the extended Dolphins family. Parker hopes to change that narrative this year for many reasons, not the least of which is he wants to see the fifth-year option to his rookie contract that the Dolphins picked up earlier this offseason.
He has goals for 2018: Go over 1,000 yards, catch a number of touchdowns.
But most of all, he wants to stay healthy. That's what has kept him from reaching his massive potential.
"You’ve just got to ignore what anyone says outside of the building," Parker said. "They don’t know what’s really going on in the inside, so you’ve just got to ignore the situation.”
Added Grant, who does know what's going on in the inside: "I call him the monster, I like [when] he turns it on, he's a complete beast."