First off, may I suggest a standing ovation (if you are alone at this moment) or a golf clap (if surrounded by folks of curiosity) in honor of our beloved overachieving 2008 undrafted free agent Davone Bess. Bess was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a fourth round pick during the 2013 draft. Davone is a class act football player on and off the field as well as an asset to the community of Miami! May we all wish him a farewell and good luck in his future endeavors beyond week one of the 2013 football season.
"My initial reaction was it was bittersweet, obviously being down here in Miami since my rookie year, having developed a relationship with the organization, the fans and kind of embracing my opportunity was something special here"Bess had become one of the league's premier slot receivers in his five professional years, however as a 27 year old one-dimensional player with minimal size and speed and a 2013 cap number that would have topped all other Miami receivers he became expendable in an offense that revolves around versatility.
Who Is Gone?
27 years old, five years experience in the NFL
Career: 77 games, 321 receptions, 3447 yards, 12 touchdowns
2012: 61 receptions, 778 yards, one touchdown
25 years old, four years
Career: 23 games, 12 receptions, 244 yards, two touchdowns
2012: 6 receptions, 116 yards, one touchdown
In comparing 2012's number one (Hartline), two (Bess), and three (Moore and Matthews) receiving targets to 2013's Wallace, Hartline, and Gibson/Binns/Matthews it is easily deduced that all three receiving threats have been substantially upgraded.
Wallace is an obvious upgrade to Hartline as the primary defensive concern, the versatile Hartline as Tannehill's Mr. Reliable is far more of a threat than Bess, and Gibson has been far more productive than Moore and Matthews combined! The 2013 trio of Mike, Brian, and Brandon are also inner changeable to a large extent, which is another extreme advantage to that of the 2012 wide receiver corps that tallied a grand total of three touchdown receptions!
In another series of Shout positional roundups here are your more than likely Miami Dolphin receivers for the 2013 season.
Who Still Remains?
6'0", 210 pounds, 23 years old, one year
In eight games had 11 receptions, 151 yards, and zero touchdowns
Matthews showed some promise and has nothing but upside in his future.
6'3", 209, 23 years old, one year
In 11 games had 24 receptions, 277 yards, and one touchdown
This kid has some much desired tools with a nice set of first year stats as a backup, and he could very well become a future force.
6'2", 199, 26 years old, four years
Career: 60 games, 183 receptions, 2753 yards, six touchdowns
2012: 74 receptions, 1083 yards, one touchdown
For the 2012 season the Dolphins number one receiving threat (Brian Hartline) was, and is actually a true complementary option to a number one receiver. Hartline had a career year in 2012 with 1083 yards despite facing double and triple coverage on practically every passing play, and due to being straight-jacketed in coverage he was able to cross a distinct white line (end zone) only one time.
In the upcoming 2013 season because of the presence of Mike Wallace the great route running, ball catching, and extremely intelligent Brian Hartline will be facing single coverage for the majority of pass plays. Hartline happens to be a yearly league leader in pass interference penalties forced over the duration of his career. With a single defender (in most instances) responsible for covering him in 2013, that beneficial statistic isn't likely to dwindle. In fact, it is very likely to increase. He sets defenders up with intelligence and precise routes, and without a second defender in the area he'll have a few more angles that the defender will be forced to bump him away from. One could expect Hartline's 2012 touchdown production to be multiplied by eight or so in 2013. Brian has proved that he is more than capable of major production from any receiver position on the field and in 2013 his versatility will be used from all angles!
Who Is New?
6'0", 205, 25 years old, four years
Career: 55 games, 174 receptions, 2090 yards, nine touchdowns
2012: 51 receptions, 691 yards, five touchdowns
Gibson is being slated as the primary replacement to D Bess from the slot. His 2012 yardage stats are comparable to Bess, though most came from an outside receiver position. Gibson also had four more touchdowns. He suggests that he can productively run the entire route tree from any receiver position. He will have his turns at the slot and his outside versatility will allow others to play from inside on occasion. The question that remains is can he become as beloved or reliable as Bess?
“It’s not like he’s only going to line up (at slot), that’s certainly not going to be the case, but the slot, there’s some savvy that goes along with that position and some understanding of coverages,” Philbin said. “You’re in between the linebacker level and safeties dropping down and those types of things. You’re going to have to read things on the run relatively quickly and we think he’s a guy that has that awareness to adjust to different coverages, which I think you have to do inside.”
6'0", 199, 26 years old, four years
Career: 63 games, 235 receptions, 4042 yards, 32 touchdowns
2012: 64 receptions, 836 yards, eight touchdowns
One trick pony? Sure, Mike Wallace as one of the NFL's fastest players is primarily thought of as an over the top touchdown trickster with more scores than all the other receivers combined in this roundup! He has 32 touchdowns in four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Many folks believe that all 32 touchdowns were of the "one trick pony," straight line, long bomb variety. In actuality, 19 of his touchdowns were of 30 yards or more, which might suggest that he simply ran straight down the field for 30 plus yards and caught a ball for 6 points.
On the contrary, he has 13 touchdowns of 29 yards or less, which isn't a large enough tent for this "one trick pony" to perform under! The fact is that he has caught touchdowns from the slot position as well as from the number one and two receiver positions!
Several of his 30-plus yard touchdowns were short passes that he took to the house. Some were even catches in the flat behind the line of scrimmage that he ran with for 30 plus yards for six points. Same goes for the scores from 29 yards or less. For the 2011 season 35.61% of his 1267 yards were after the catch!
On average over his career Wallace crosses the first down yardage marker 50.8% of the time, or basically every other catch on Sundays. He averages a touchdown for every seven or so catches (235 receptions, 32 touchdowns).
The only real trick to this pony (on average) is to get him the ball eight times a game for at least four Dolphin first downs and six points! This horse can take a one yard pass or a 70 yard pass 99 yards on any given play!
There are other potential prospects too, but we'll let them weed themselves out before going into detail.
Brian Tyms 6'3", 210 pounds, 24 years old, one year of NFL experience
Marvin McNutt 6'2", 216, 23, one year
Jeff Fuller 6'4", 223, 23, one year
Courtney Gardner 6'4", 215, 22, rookie
Chad Bumphis 5'10", 196, 23, rookie
Jasper Collins 5'10", 180, 21, rookie