The Palm Beach Post, Fla.
Mike Gesicki is hungry. He’s hungry for more catches. He’s hungry for his first career touchdown.
The 2014 Southern Regional High School graduate from Stafford Township is coming off the best game of his career, with six catches for 95 yards in a victory against the Jets. But this week, as the Dolphins prepare for the Colts, he’s been taking some scout team reps as Eric Ebron.
It’s something tight ends coach George Godsey highlighted this week. Gesicki also took scout team reps the week against Washington, emulating Vernon Davis.
“The more I can go against our first-team defense and the more running I can do to get in my peak shape,” Gesicki said Wednesday. “And I think there are some tight ends that have some cool routes that I want to go out and show that I can run as well.”
Gesicki is running crisper routes. He’s in better cardiovascular shape. And he’s starting to emerge as a trusted target for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
“I think Mike continues to get better,” Fitzpatrick said Wednesday. “I think in terms of a guy that in the past he hasn’t produced or he hasn’t lived up to what he was supposed to be or is. He’s just put his head down and worked hard.
“He’s done a nice job and become a really reliable target. He’s got a skill set in terms of his speed and his length and his size that is something you can’t really coach. And now getting him coached up and running things a certain way and really gaining more confidence he’s going to continue to get better and better.”
Godsey said bluntly that Gesicki has been working harder in practice. As a starter, asking to take some repetitions alongside backups and practice squad players, against starting linebackers like Jerome Baker and Sam Eguavoen, who are strong in coverage, is an astute move.
“I want to continue to develop,” Gesicki said. “Because I think there is still a ton of room to grow in my game. Everybody wants to talk about all the positive stuff now. But there were some plays on Sunday I wish I could have back in the run game. A couple better routes. You’re never going to have a perfect game. But Coach Godsey holds me to a higher standard. I hold myself to a higher standard.”
Miami offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea said Gesicki’s work ethic is intersecting nicely with Fitzpatrick increasing his opportunities due to increased confidence in the player.
Head coach Brian Flores said Gesicki played his best game Sunday. Flores liked that Gesicki played with “attitude” and “energy.”
Said Flores: “He was fired up. I love that about him.”
Flores warned he wants to make sure Gesicki knows he hasn’t arrived yet. And that he hasn’t turned any corner because it’s more of a continuous climb.
Gesicki believes when he’s playing his best, he’s having fun.
“I’m going to make sure that I can come off the sideline and bump coach Flo and talk to him a little bit,” Gesicki, a the second-year player from Penn State, said.
Gesicki knows he’s trending up. But he also knows he’s still seeking his first regular-season NFL touchdown.
“When it happens, it happens,” Gesicki said. “I expect to play this game for a long time. So I mean, hopefully I’ll get one at one point. And I make that play when I have the opportunity.”