Dolphins want Christian Wilkins to do more in his third NFL season

Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins
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He arrived in the NFL with a flying shoulder bump of the Commissioner. His team is hoping for some memorable moments like that on the field in 2021.

“I think he can definitely do a lot more,” defensive line coach Austin Clark recently told reporters regarding defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Per Salguero, Clark separately has communicated that to Wilkins directly.

Wilkins believes he made a jump in 2020, his second season. He believes, per Salguero, that it showed up in his overall physical shape and technique. He believes his conditioning will be significantly improved for 2021.

“I’m my biggest critic and so it’s working on everything, but definitely I feel like I can play at any time, as many snaps as I needed, run to the ball, those things I pride myself on,” Wilkins said, via Salguero. “That’s where it starts for me.”

A stint in November on COVID-19 reserve for two weeks likely affected him. This year, that shouldn’t be an issue. This year, Wilkins also wants to become more of a leader through giving teammates a boost of energy when it’s needed most.

“That really matters on those days where it’s the twelfth practice of camp and everybody’s dead and tired and you got a little bit more of a spark,” Wilkins said. “And you’re like, ‘All right, I’ll be the spark today.’ Like I’ll get those guys going. I’ll try to make a play or bring a little energy.”

The Dolphins have generated plenty of energy excitement as they inch toward becoming a playoff team, but there’s some hesitation and skepticism, especially given the strides made by the Bills and the fact that the Patriots, by all appearances, are ready to be the Patriots again, after last season’s 7-9 finish. If the Dolphins are going to bust through, a breakout season from Wilkins becomes a key ingredient.