FOXBORO — As Mike Gesicki prepares to face his former staff for the primary time, there’s little query the tight finish have to be having fun with the match along with his new one.
Gesicki was drafted by the Dolphins in 2018 and spent the primary 5 seasons of his profession in Miami earlier than signing with the Patriots previous to this season. And it’s clear that New England is fascinated by using the tight finish’s strengths, that of an athletic weapon within the passing sport.
“He’s a three-level route runner. I mean, he can go over the top,” Patriots security Adrian Phillips stated. “He’s wiggly, like when he runs his route, it’s kind of hard to figure out what he’s running because he kind of has this like unorthodox run. He’s able to break off at like any stride, so that makes it tough, and I would just say his catch radius is what makes it so tough to guard him because even if you have good coverage, he has long arms, he can jump. He can just go pluck the ball.”
Those skills have been on show throughout a profession season for Gesicki in 2021, when he set profession highs in receptions (73), targets (112) and receiving yards (780). But that was head coach Brian Flores’ ultimate season earlier than the Dolphins introduced in Mike McDaniel final season. Under the brand new teaching regime, Gesicki’s function in Miami’s passing sport dipped. He was used extra in-line and move blocked greater than twice as a lot beneath McDaniel. His numbers mirrored that, as he completed the season with simply 32 catches on 52 targets for 362 yards.
Put merely, McDaniels’ system match wasn’t perfect for a participant of Gesicki’s expertise and ability set, which Phillips discovered troublesome to match to different tight ends he’s defended all through his profession.
“I think it’s tough to compare him to anybody, just because the way that he runs and the way that he’s able to go up and attack the ball, it just makes it a lot different,” Phillips stated. “Most of your tight ends, you’re either going to have a guy that’s good at getting open or he’s good at making contested catches, and he’s like one of the few that are able to do both.”
Those ball abilities have been on show this summer time, when he made top-of-the-line performs of coaching camp when he hauled in a one-handed reception within the nook of the tip zone. Gesicki produced simply three catches for 36 yards in his Patriots debut final Sunday, however he was closely utilized throughout passing conditions together with the ultimate drive, when Mac Jones discovered him for a 17-yard catch-and-run that put New England in place to drag off an upset victory that fell simply brief.
Gesicki performed 28 snaps within the slot, 4 exterior and one in-line on Sunday, and was featured in three-receiver units throughout passing conditions. He rotated with Hunter Henry and the 2 even shared the sector collectively on some performs.
Gesicki has actually been a welcome addition to the tight finish room.
“Mike brings a lot of energy,” Henry stated. “He’s fun to be around, he competes, he sees things in a good way and a guy that’s played a lot of football as well, so it was fun to get out there and I’m excited (to continue).”
And not simply on the offensive facet, he’s made the Patriots protection higher by giving them matches in apply.
“Playing against Mike has definitely been a task for us,” Patriots linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley stated. “For one, definitely a new face and new body type that we kind of have to account for when it comes to going against our offense and things like that, as well as what he brings athletically as far as stretching the field and him being almost 6-6, so that gives you a step, too. But he’s definitely been a huge asset for us. He’s doing nothing but getting better each and every week, so I’m sure we’ll have something for him on offense.”
Gesicki will obtain a number of the highlight on Sunday night time, because the Patriots welcome the Dolphins to Foxboro in a nationwide primetime matchup. It’s unclear how a lot of a bonus the tight finish’s familiarity with the opponent will assist the Patriots – the Dolphins actually know him nicely, too – but it surely received’t harm, both.
“He’s gone against a lot of the personnel for a long time, obviously it’s a different defense in a lot of ways,” Henry stated. “But at least personnel-wise, he’s had a lot more reps than we have over the years, especially in practice. So, we’ll bounce some things off him.”