Body language can speak louder than words. That’s as true in football as it is in a relationship.
And Mike Gesicki’s body language after failing to pick up Minkah Fitzpatrick on a blitz Tuesday was not great.
To be clear, Gesicki has done a lot of very good things in his rookie training camp. But blitz identification is not one of them.
And his reaction after Tuesday’s obvious miss suggested he’s still working through some things.
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“They are not going to let up on me,” Gesicki said afterward. “They’re going to help me become the best complete tight end that I can be.”
Maybe he will be that someday. But for now, he’s inconsistent.
Kind of like the Dolphins’ offense in general.
That group’s training camp has been a Paula Abdul song — two steps forward, two steps back.
And Tuesday was definitely a step or two back.
There was Gesicki’s whiff.
There were the dropped passes for a second straight day.
There were protection issues on the offensive line.
There were more penalties.
And there were bad throws, including Brock Osweiler’s sixth pick in 11 practices.
“Off-day for the offense,” center Daniel Kilgore put it bluntly. “... We knew exactly what today was. It wasn’t our best day.”
In the grand scheme, one bad practice is not that big of deal.
But a bunch of bad practices in two weeks is least a little bit alarming.
Ryan Tannehill had a three-interception day last week.
The starting offense could do little against the backup defense in the scrimmage.
And then there was Tuesday’s showing, which was ugly.
Still, Dolphins coach Adam Gase isn’t panicked. Rather, he insisted Tuesday that he is comfortable with the state of his offense at this point in the summer.
“I think a lot of times in training camp, it swings like that because if one side has a good day, then the other side probably didn’t have as good of a day,” Gase said. “You see that jostling of just back and forth. I think anytime that if we would see three or four straight days of one side dominating the other side, there’s going to be concern, probably on my part more than anybody, because I have to look at the big picture. The fact that we’re competing and battling every day, that’s a good thing.”
A better gauge will come Thursday, when the Dolphins begin their preseason schedule with a home game against the Buccaneers.
All eyes will be on Tannehill, who is expected to see his first game action since suffering the first of two major knee injuries in December 2016.
Gase was not prepared to commit to a plan for Tannehill when he met with reporters, saying “we have nothing set in stone yet, and we haven’t gotten there yet with him.”
Gase added: “We’ll sit down and kind of talk through stuff. I know what he’s going to say already. He wants to get out there and get going because in his mind, these are important. Really, that’s the mindset. Every quarterback I’ve ever been around that gets put in these situations, they want to be out there to play because they want to get that feel back of a real game because they know when that first game comes, they’ve got to be on. It can’t be like, we’re going to feel our way into the season.”
And to be frank, the Dolphins’ offense needs the work.
Slow starts to each of the past two seasons by the offense have put the Dolphins’ defense in tough spots. Gase is determined to get that fixed in Year 3.
A good start would be with back-to-back good practices.
“I like the chemistry that they’re developing,” Gase said. “I like that the skill guys seem to be working together with the quarterback. It’s not like we have one guy out there and two other guys are in the locker room. They’re all working together. They’re all trying to help each other and I do think Ryan understands about spreading the ball out and making sure we’re using everybody that’s involved in the offense. That’s really key.”