An eye on 2014: Michael Egnew Now that the Wells report is out and we’ve beaten the Dolphins to death for bullygate it’s time to focus on what Miami will bring to the table in 2014. It’s well known that Miami is going to need to snag a couple free agent offensive lineman and focus early and often on O-line in the draft. That being the case don’t expect too many new weapons for Miami’s passing game. That probably means passing on Eric Ebron, ASJ and Jace Amaro for immediate tight end help.
With that said lets focus on who Miami already has in house. One bright spot(and possibly the only) for the Dolphins coaching staff was the work by Dan Campbell on the Dolphins tight-end group. With the early loss of Dustin Keller during preseason, the season looked pretty bleak for a security blanket/seam threat TE for Tannehill to rely on. Then came the emergence of Charles “Big-play” Clay. Some chalk up Clay’s breakout season to the work Dan Campbell put in with the tight end group. It was countlessly reported that the tight ends were the first to practice and last to leave. That being said the Dolphins could be on the verge of another in-house tight end to have a big season in 2014.
That brings us to Michael Egnew. A basketball and track standout in high school, Egnew didn’t immediately make an impact at Missouri. But he left Mizzou as one of the most accomplished tight ends in program history. He caught 50 passes as a redshirt senior, and a 90-catch, five-touchdown season in 2010 as a junior. Egnew was criticized early and often his rookie season as a Dolphin for poor blocking technique/execution on HBO’s nationally televised series “Hard Knocks”. Lack of blocking prowess kept him off the field almost all of his rookie season. As a sophomore he was drilled to improve his blocking before he was going to get opportunities as pass catcher. As the season progressed his blocking improved as he was used in run/pass blocking and even lined up as a fullback from time to time. As year 3 rolls around it’s time to see if Egnew more of an overall finished product and play a more critical role in the Dolphins offense. Egnew can catch passes in traffic, over the seam and go up and get jump balls on the sideline as seen by this video for 2012 Patriots draft prospects –
A track star at 6-5 makes him an ideal weapon in new Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor’s system. Lazor is known to attack the seam with multiple tight end sets. Skip to minute 44 and you’ll see a TD drive where UVA OC and QB coach Bill Lazor adjusts his offense mid-game and utilizes 3 different tight ends.
Here’s a play that Philly ran 3 straight times and gained 8+ yards each time.
Bill will focus on molding Tannehill for a quicker passing game with an emphasis on reducing the franchise record 58 sacks set last season. Execution and production have yet to be seen, but 2014 could be the “Year of Egnew” as we all lay our eyes on the #EgnewInferno.