FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — One day, Mike Gesicki will look back on this season he played with Ryan Fitzpatrick and the winning pass he caught in the last game. But before all that, he’d like to make one thing clear.
“I’ll start the ‘one more year’ chant right now,” Gesicki said of Fitzpatrick in the locker room after Miami’s upset win at New England. “Where’s he at? I love playing with him. And I appreciate all the opportunities he’s given me this year. It’s been fun.”
Fitzpatrick did not say if he plans to return for 2020, and, of course, the club also will have a say in that. But no matter what, Gesicki will have the memory of a 5-yard touchdown catch with 24 seconds left to beat the Patriots 27-24.
“That’s kind of been our go-to two-point play all year that we’ve been running in practice,” Gesicki said. “We were kind of in that area, that zone where we could have went to it. We didn’t run it all year. Honestly, I think they doubled me outside, and it’s a read where I can break out or in. They were both outside, so I broke in. Fitz gave a great ball.”
Gesicki caught three touchdowns in the last two games of his second season, both wins. And he had five this season, after posting none as a rookie.
Gesicki has learned a lot about himself this season. Most especially, he should have learned he has a future in the league and it was too soon to write him off or label the second-rounder a disappointment.
“Making the most of the opportunities,” Gesicki said. “You don’t know when they’re going to come. It’s not like there were a ton of opportunities in today’s game. But in the most crucial moment, whether it’s four yards or 40 yards or whatever it is, if the ball comes to you with a chance to win the game, go up and make the play. I was happy to do that.”
Fitzpatrick has said repeatedly he believes in Gesicki’s ability.
“I thought it was a great call,” Fitzpatrick said. “I went over to the sideline and Chad O’Shea dialed that one up. ‘I thought, ‘This is going to score.’ I love the play that he put in. Mike Gesicki kind of had an option to go right or left in the back of the end zone and did a nice job beating his man and there was a lot of space in there.”
Gesicki finished the season with 51 receptions for 570 yards, each ranking second only to DeVante Parker. Gesicki believes positive momentum was created in the final nine games of the season.
“Everybody was writing us off,” Gesicki said. “Everybody had stuff to say, articles. It is what it is. All we did was go to work every day. Coach Flo did a great job keeping our heads on straight and just going to work every single day and not taking anything for granted. Came up here and got a big win.”