Big NFL names like Chad Ochocinco/Johnson and Reggie Bush, plus local big names like Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are sure to get a chance to shine in the new west-coast offense that the 2012 Miami Dolphins will run. A guy with the skill-set of Legedu Naanee needs to get his chance too.
Naanee enters his sixth NFL season, first in Miami. He spent 4 years with the San Diego Chargers, and the 2011 season with the Carolina Panthers. Improvements were made each season, including career highs in 2011 with 44 catches for 467 yards. At 6’2″ 220 he provides a tall target. Naanee has legit speed and athleticism. He runs a 4.4/40-yard dash. His dream was to be NFL QB, but during his days at Boise State University he was converted from QB to wide receiver.
His career has been slowed by nagging injuries (hamstring, tons of foot problems) but this fellow Virgo surely recognizes the opportunity for him in Miami. Naanee has learned from past teammates like Vincent Jackson and Steve Smith, and should get some tips these days from Chad (insert whatever last name you want). Brian Hartline is currently sidelined with nagging injuries so the time is now for Legedu Naanee.
Sharper/crisper routes, and being effective down the field are areas of improvement for Naanee. Quick passes, often with traffic surrounding the WR, are fast and furious in the west-coast offense. Naanee will have to improve his footwork/technique, but he already has a great ability to make any catch. Only 4 career TD’s, so becoming better in the red-zone is going to earn him more playing time too. He can be an option for an end-around, and also any option plays where you give the ball carrier an option to throw a pass. Naanee has not played against an AFC East opponent since 2008, so he could prove to be a nice element of surprise in 2012. Naanee is also above-average at run-blocking so he is a guy you can have on the field for several snaps.
Naanee is on just a one year contract, so he will feel the need to fit in/produce right away. Hartline is currently down. Chad (insert whatever last name you want here) is 34, and coming off his worst season ever. Roberto Wallace, Clyde Gates, Marlon Gates, Julius Pruitt, and Jeff Fuller will all get looks in Training Camp, but all have significantly less NFL experience than Naanee. A guy like Davone Bess will be legit in 2012, but another WR spot could well be Naanee’s if he shows he is healthy in Training Camp.
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