An Offense Capable Of Being Multiple

Mach2

Starter
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
2,604
Age
55
Location
Boynton Bch, Fl
I see you're completely underestimating Mike Gesicki. He's no longer a rookie. Underestimate him at your own peril, because IMHO, this is going to be a year where he changes those opinions.
There is good reason to be skeptical of MG.

I agree that it is a position where rookies making a big impact is rare, and his HC being an a$$hat didn't help. Ironically, throwing him to the wolves with tough blocking assignments may have been the best thing, as it turns out.

He did look slightly better in all phases in the latter parts of the season, but I'm not ready to say he is a complete player, or even a good receiving TE, at this point.

Was he used in a way that best utilized his skillset? Probably not, but if this offense is what I think it's going to be, there aren't going to be many opportunities for a one trick pony.

I am hoping for the best though, just not counting on it.
 

Nappy Roots

Da Dalphins
Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
15,692
Reaction score
734
Location
Bradenton,FL
They both have potential to help this team, IMO.

I think we know what we have in Drake. I hate to give Gase credit for anything, but he was correct in not overusing him between the tackles. He should have, however, been given a bigger role in the passing game.

Ballage hasn't gotten enough play to make a complete assessment. I suspect he also has shortcomings in pass pro. The good news though, is that can be improved with coaching, as long as a player is assignment sound to begin with.
Not defending Gase by any means, he miss used pieces all over the field. But its tough to get a guy involved out of the backfield in the passing game, when his pass blocking is so poor. He had 53 catches last year, not sure how much more you want him involved.
 

Mach2

Starter
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
2,604
Age
55
Location
Boynton Bch, Fl
Not defending Gase by any means, he miss used pieces all over the field. But its tough to get a guy involved out of the backfield in the passing game, when his pass blocking is so poor. He had 53 catches last year, not sure how much more you want him involved.
Point taken on the 53 receptions.
 

Digital

Starter
Finheaven VIP
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
9,067
Reaction score
8,077
Well done. You found one play you didn't like from a rookie. I'm of the mind that TE's improve from their rookie seasons. I expect your opinion will be different a year from now.

Here's a few things you did not mention that can be seen in the video below. Notice how he's not being schemed open, he's winning 1v1's, pulling away from LB's, finding the dead spots in zones, using his length and size against smaller DB's, making contested catches, No, we weren't a good offense last year … in fact we were a BAD offense, and it's not like he was a 2nd TE, he was our only TE. Even as a rookie he sometimes drew double teams, which is ridiculous respect from opposing teams. No, he didn't get nearly enough targets compared to other rookie TE's. No, he wasn't an instant Pro-Bowler, and only 2 TE's in the last 30 years that I can even think of really merit that kind of praise--Gronkowski and Graham--neither of which was even remotely near their eventual peak as rookies. But hey, this is the era of instant-gratification and instant judgement, so I get the desire to label him as great or a bust immediately. But in this case, I don't think that's something we can know yet. Just don't be surprised if you see a lot more good plays like these in the 2019 season.

 

Digital

Starter
Finheaven VIP
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
9,067
Reaction score
8,077
There is good reason to be skeptical of MG.

I agree that it is a position where rookies making a big impact is rare, and his HC being an a$$hat didn't help. Ironically, throwing him to the wolves with tough blocking assignments may have been the best thing, as it turns out.

He did look slightly better in all phases in the latter parts of the season, but I'm not ready to say he is a complete player, or even a good receiving TE, at this point.

Was he used in a way that best utilized his skillset? Probably not, but if this offense is what I think it's going to be, there aren't going to be many opportunities for a one trick pony.

I am hoping for the best though, just not counting on it.
Fair enough. Now look at the Pro Bowl TE's from the last decade … look at their rookie seasons. Compare those rookie seasons to their Pro Bowl seasons. You'll notice a distinct trend … TE's take a year or two to adapt to the NFL, and none of those guys looked even remotely close to what they became as rookies. It used to be this way for WR's, it used to take a few years for a WR to make an impact, but today those routes etc. are getting much more sophisticated in high school and college. Hell, even QB's used to have the 3 year sit rule … that ended a long time ago. But for TE's, they're usually either glorified OT's or glorified WR's in college, with limited route trees. Few are ready for the Swiss-Army-Knife approach required of them in the NFL, and it takes time to absorb the role, the far more complex offenses, and requirements that dwarf those they were asked to do in college.

Simply put, the position is one of the most different between college and the NFL of any position on the field. One of the few similar learning curves is that of a press-man CB, because they win by physical ability in college but need to refine technique to make that work in the NFL. I was a huge proponent of Xavien Howard before we drafted him, and spent the first 1.5 years telling people to be patient, as they all explained he was a bust and they never supported the dumb move to trade up to get him in the 2nd. Everybody was quick to judge … and they eventually changed their minds.

The learning curve at TE is possibly the steepest of any position, probably even steeper than press-man CB's. That leads to TE's who are thinking rather than instinctively acting. That's what you saw from Gesicki in 2018 … his head was spinning. And as you pointed out, he was being primed to improve his blocking, so he was spending more time on that, and his receiving progress didn't advance as quickly as some had hoped. He was recruited to Penn State as a WR, made a position change in college, came out young and had a huge learning curve.
 

Mach2

Starter
Joined
Jun 10, 2018
Messages
2,547
Reaction score
2,604
Age
55
Location
Boynton Bch, Fl
Fair enough. Now look at the Pro Bowl TE's from the last decade … look at their rookie seasons. Compare those rookie seasons to their Pro Bowl seasons. You'll notice a distinct trend … TE's take a year or two to adapt to the NFL, and none of those guys looked even remotely close to what they became as rookies. It used to be this way for WR's, it used to take a few years for a WR to make an impact, but today those routes etc. are getting much more sophisticated in high school and college. Hell, even QB's used to have the 3 year sit rule … that ended a long time ago. But for TE's, they're usually either glorified OT's or glorified WR's in college, with limited route trees. Few are ready for the Swiss-Army-Knife approach required of them in the NFL, and it takes time to absorb the role, the far more complex offenses, and requirements that dwarf those they were asked to do in college.

Simply put, the position is one of the most different between college and the NFL of any position on the field. One of the few similar learning curves is that of a press-man CB, because they win by physical ability in college but need to refine technique to make that work in the NFL. I was a huge proponent of Xavien Howard before we drafted him, and spent the first 1.5 years telling people to be patient, as they all explained he was a bust and they never supported the dumb move to trade up to get him in the 2nd. Everybody was quick to judge … and they eventually changed their minds.

The learning curve at TE is possibly the steepest of any position, probably even steeper than press-man CB's. That leads to TE's who are thinking rather than instinctively acting. That's what you saw from Gesicki in 2018 … his head was spinning. And as you pointed out, he was being primed to improve his blocking, so he was spending more time on that, and his receiving progress didn't advance as quickly as some had hoped. He was recruited to Penn State as a WR, made a position change in college, came out young and had a huge learning curve.
I agree with everything you said. That's why I still have high hopes for the guy, and the clowns we had as coaches last year, didn't seem like they had any sort of a plan, beyond forcing the blocking issue, which may, actually have been the best thing, in the big picture.
 

Awsi Dooger

Super Duper Club
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
9,394
Reaction score
2,802
Location
Las Vegas
Well, Gesicki set expectations so low based on 2018 there basically isn't any way he won't exceed them.

The guy can't run sideways patterns like a typical tight end. That's where Gase and last year's staff erred. Too often they tried to have Gesicki run parallel to the line of scrimmage and turn upfield. Comical. Simply not going to happen given his stride level, awkwardness, and how long it takes him to change directions. The defender's biggest problem is not to laugh.

Gesicki needs to be a vertical chess piece. He can plant and turn around while boxing out. Also the angled sideline patterns where you hit him in stride, like the play Gronkowski made late against Eric Berry in the AFC title game.

I hope we don't waste another season ignoring his limitations and pretending they don't matter. The limitations are vast. Simply a bizarre body type and skill set for this level.
 
Top Bottom