|Tight end Charles Clay has improved after a horrid first few weeks of training camp. (US Presswire)|
The Miami Dolphins tight end position meetings likely haven't been a very happy place the past few weeks.
Starting tight end Anthony Fasano, who is in the final year of his contract, is by far the team’s best option at the position. However, he has had a mediocre preseason that included a dropped pass early in an exhibition loss to Carolina.
Charles Clay, who had 16 catches for 233 yards with three touchdowns last year, is a poor blocker and had possibly the worst two weeks of any player on the roster in training camp. He is becoming more consistent but first-year coach Joe Philbin expects more.
"Early on there were some things that we weren’t totally fired up about, but I think he has really developed the last couple of weeks,” Philbin told the Miami Herald. “The last two or three weeks he has really stepped his game up. We’re going to need him to do that obviously through the course of the year."
Michael Egnew, who was taken in the third round of April’s draft, has been awful through the exhibition season. He rarely blocked in his college offense at Missouri and his physical tools are slow in developing at the pro level. Les Brown is in the same boat with mediocre blocking ability and likely will be among the first round of cuts on Monday.
Meantime, Jeron Mastrud does have a chance to make the roster with his blocking ability. He has worked on multiple goal-line sets with the first team.
Taking charge: Leaders are emerging in the Miami locker room.
Players such as linebacker Karlos Dansby, running back Reggie Bush and tackle Jake Long approached Philbin last week about his decision to cut receiver Chad Johnson. The veterans said they wanted to take an active role in being team leaders and handle situations like that internally.
“I respect somebody that wants to come and talk face to face and express an opinion,” Philbin told the Palm Beach Post. “I’d rather know what they’re thinking than not.”
Safety Tyrone Culver, a special teams ace and seven-year veteran, said players know how to police themselves and hold each other accountable.
“You can relate to the guys in the locker room cause they’re going through the same things you are,” he told the newspaper. “When a player comes up to you and says, ‘Hey we can’t have that,’ it’s just someone on the same level letting you know that you’re messing up.”