Barry Jackson

Dolphins coach ‘frustrated’ by DeVante Parker’s third season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Justin Evans (21) intercepts the ball intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) in the end zone in the Dolphins-Tampa Bay game on Nov. 19.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Justin Evans (21) intercepts the ball intended for Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) in the end zone in the Dolphins-Tampa Bay game on Nov. 19.

A six-pack of Thursday Dolphins notes:

• Dolphins quarterbacks have an abysmal 60.8 passer rating when throwing to DeVante Parker, according to Pro Football Focus. That ranks 81st of 89 NFL receivers with at least 31 targets.

Over the past two weeks, four passes thrown to him have been intercepted.

And Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen admitted Thursday that Parker’s third season has been “frustrating.”

Christensen didn’t rip Parker, instead attributing Parker’s seeming regression to injuries.

But here’s the thing with Parker: He seems unable to play at a high level if he’s not completely healthy. And he seldom is completely healthy.

Asked if he is puzzled by Parker’s season, Christensen said:

“No because of injury. It’s left me frustrated. You want these kids to show what they can do. I don’t think it’s one of those where he’s healthy and it hasn’t happened for him. It’s more a case of him not being 100 percent. Some of technique things and drops can’t happen.”

Parker has just one touchdown catch in eight games and his yards per catch has dropped every season, from 19.0 as a rookie to 13.3 last season to 11.7 this season.

He missed most of four games with an ankle injury but has played every game since Nov. 5.

In May, Christensen said he expected Parker to be a “monster” this season.

• Rookie defensive end Charles Harris has just one sack and 11 tackles, but defensive coordinator Matt Burke said Thursday that Harris “has been good. That’s a hard position as a rookie, if you look across the history of the league, to make impact plays. We have probably played him more… with William Hayes going down.

“We are happy with where he is. I don’t think there’s a man or woman in the building who would question his work ethic. We are cautioning him not to be results oriented. Got a hit on Tom Brady last week. I am happy with his progress.”

• With Hayes out for the year, the Dolphins will take a long look at Terrence Fede.

“Terrence has done a good job filling in; he’s a bigger defensive end for us,” Burke said. “He has earned some of that playing time. We’ve moved some guys around. We have played [Ndamukong] Suh out there some. We will continue to mix and match” with those available defensive end snaps.

• Opposing quarterbacks have just a 77.2 passer rating when targeting Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain (37th of 119 corners), and Burke said: “He has emerged as one of our leaders. His growth curve has been amazing. He communicates probably as good as anyone from there. He has taken to this is really my role in the world I’m going to live in.”

• The Dolphins and Pro Football Focus have disagreed on several evaluations the past two years, and here’s another:

PFF says this is Mike Pouncey’s worst run blocking season ever, ranks him 33rd of 35 centers in run blocking.

But asked if Pouncey’s run blocking has regressed, Christensen said: “Probably the opposite. It’s been better. He’s been in there more. Which is the best news of them all – that he’s been in there and stayed healthy – especially how the quarterback thing has gone. At least you have stability right there.”

• Quick stuff: Of new tight end A.J. Derby, who was claimed off waivers from Denver, Adam Gase said he’s “a guy we’ve been looking at. Fits what we do.”… Matt Moore sat out practice Wednesday, and Gase said: “Matt is a little banged up. He’s got more than one issue going on right now.”… Why are the Dolphins starting Chase Allen ahead of Mike Hull at middle linebacker? “Mike has been nicked up here and there,” Burke said. “Chase is a bigger body” against the run.


Related stories from Miami Herald