Some thoughts on the addition of Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki:
1) The Patriots have always been a fan of having two dangerous tight ends in their offense, and the signing of Gesicki on Friday certainly provides that dynamic.
The 6’6″ standout out of Penn State adds another weapon opposite Hunter Henry and comes into New England on a one-year deal with plenty to prove.
He’s been a productive player since being picked by the Dolphins in the second round (42nd overall) in 2018. After catching just 22 passes for 202 yards in his rookie year, he then caught 50+ balls for the next three seasons, including finishing 2020 and 2021 with over 700 yards receiving.
He’s now also playing for the same guy who recruited him in college, although the two never got to play together. However, judging by his history, Bill O’Brien should be able to get the most out of him at the pro level.
2) Gesicki had a stark drop-off last year after not being a fit in Mike McDaniel’s offense, which probably has him with a little extra motivation after signing with a division rival.
Under McDaniel, they tried to move him from being more of a receiver to a traditional blocking tight end, which didn’t seem to fit his skillset.
He seemed to struggle in his new role, which affected his playing time and it explains the drop off in his totals. He was also the source of trade rumors last August, although none ever materialized.
Gesicki said the transition into the role Miami had for him was tough, although he seemed to stay positive about it while it was going on.
“Oh yeah, it’s definitely a whole different offense and a whole different scheme,” Gesicki said via SI.com in August. “I’m learning a new position basically, so it’s been good. It’s been exciting, and I think there has been a lot of progress, but obviously a lot more to go, so it’s been something that I look forward to continuing to attack.”
In New England, they’ll likely cater to his strengths, which should hopefully allow him to get back on track this season.
3) One thing that stands out about Gesicki is he’s a solid fourth-quarter receiver, which has been a trend that’s been the case over the last two seasons.
For a team that had a difficult time finishing at various times throughout last season, his addition should certainly give them a boost.
Aside from the first quarter, the fourth quarter was New England’s lowest-scoring quarter in 2022, so if Gesicki can help them in that area, that should help them flip some of the games they couldn’t quite get last season.
Gesicki did show up in the postseason last year, catching two passes for 15 yards including hauling in Miami’s lone receiving touchdown in their 34-31 loss to Buffalo back in January.
He seems to be a dynamic player who should be fun to watch, and for now, it at least feels like the Patriots have solidified their tight end position for at least 2023.
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