Disappointing holdover players frequently feel the squeeze when new regimes take over organizations. Dolphins wide receiver Clyde Gates was drafted by returning G.M. Jeff Ireland, but he struggled as a fourth-round rookie out of Abilene Christian last year, and Miami underwent a coaching staff makeover this offseason.
In May, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post wrote that Gates was “certainly no lock to make the roster.”
In June, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that Gates was not learning new coach Joe Philbin’s offense “as fast as some of the other receivers,” and this was just before the Dolphins added Chad Ochocinco.
On Thursday morning, Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post wrote a blog post suggesting Ocho’s arrival could leave Gates as the “odd man out.”
Gates held his own as a rookie kickoff returner, but fourth-round pick Lamar Miller is also capable of handling those duties. Biggane indicated that Gates will have to make great strides as a wide receiver in order to make the final 53.
And if you can’t crack the Dolphins’ receiver corps, it probably doesn’t bode well for your NFL future.