Mike Gesicki has 71 yards, but TE coach says Dolphins aren't chasing ‘fantasy league title'

MIAMI GARDENS — Mike Gesicki’s receiving production is down 61 percent this season.

Dolphins tight ends coach Jon Embree isn’t sweating it.

“We’re trying to win a Super Bowl,” Embree said Thursday. “We’re not trying to win the fantasy league title.”

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Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki has eight catches for 71 yards and one touchdown through four games this season.
Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki has eight catches for 71 yards and one touchdown through four games this season.

Ever since coach Mike McDaniel arrived, the question has been how —  and if — a receiving tight end such as Gesicki would fit into his system. Four games in, Gesicki has eight catches for 71 yards and one touchdown.

That’s less than Gesicki had against Jacksonville alone last year.

And, yes, Gesicki is still making $10.9 million this season as the Dolphins’ franchise player.

“I feel like we’re getting what we need out of him,” Embree said.

Against the Bengals, Durham Smythe got the bulk of the work at tight end, playing 40 snaps, compared to 28 for Gesicki.

“Durham has given us an opportunity to get the ball in the perimeter,” Embree said. “I think he’s doing a good job with the run game. And he’s showing up in the pass game as well when he’s getting his opps.”

Although Embree said Gesicki “continues to improve as a run blocker,” he added, “I don’t think it’s a secret: We’re not going to ask Mike to block power.”

Bottom line: “Durham gives us a little more in the run game. And you know we want to be a run-first team.”

Embree pointed to his phone coming alive at 3 a.m. Tuesday. Tight end George Kittle, whom he coached with the San Francisco 49ers, texted him a video in which he knocked a defensive back on his backside.

“That’s what we want, that mentality here,” Embree said. “It’s not about how many passes that I catch. At the end of the day, this is a team sport. You’re judged on what did you do as a team.”

Speaking about tight ends in general, Embree added, “Especially in my room, if you can’t do both, you’re going to limit how much you can play. That’s just how it is.”

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater relieved an injured Tua Tagovailoa against the Bengals but threw an interception on a pass intended for Gesicki.

“Teddy just missed,” Embree said. “It’s just a little high and behind and he’s trying to fit it in a tight window.”

Gesicki has not made waves all season over his usage. His media availability Monday was no exception.

“I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, make the most of my opportunities when they present themselves and control the controllables,” he said. “It’s really all I can do. I’ve been doing this for five years now. I’ve had big games. I’ve had games where (there’s) not a lot of impact on the stat sheet — it is what it is. I’ve just got to continue to do what I do and be ready when my number is called.”

Gesicki is averaging 17.8 yards per game this season, his lowest since his rookie year. Last year, the figure was 45.9 per game as he made 73 catches for 780 yards.

“We're not trying to lift one guy up over another person,” Embree said. “We're going to take what the defense gives us. And we're going to do it within the concept of our scheme.”

Hal Habib covers the Dolphins for The Post. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Miami Dolphins TE coach OK with Mike Gesicki's eight catches, 71 yards