The Miami Dolphins have a wide receiver group that is underwhelming at the moment. The return from injury of Brian Hartline is a sure improvement, and word is Anthony Armstrong is going to get a legit shot at playing time for the 2012 ‘Phins.
Armstrong was plucked off waivers after the Washington Redskins cut him a few days ago. He was expendable in the nation’s capital as they brought in free agents to beef up their WR group. The ‘Skins like him, but he was low man on the totem-pole because his 2011 was filled with injury issues. Armstrong was once on the Dolphins practice squad, and the 29 year old has spent time in the Intense Football League, and the Arena Football League.
His best NFL season was 2010 where he used his 4.3/40 speed to break out for 871 yards on 44 catches. He was a big-play machine that season. The 2012 Dolphins pass attack has been all short/medium routes so far. Too predictable so far. Armstrong averaged 20 yards per catch in 2010. Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman, and QB Ryan Tannehill, will be looking to utilize Armstrong to stretch the field.
A great scenario is Armstrong comes in and picks up the new west-coast offense quickly, and climbs over the likes of Legedu Naanee on the depth chart. That will allow Davone Bess to move back into the slot-WR poistion (Bess is an excellent slot-WR).
Armstrong is a former track star who can flat-out fly, but the ‘Phins just released a pair of speed burners in Roberto Wallace and Clyde Gates. Those 2 had speed, just speed, and their weaknesses were exposed on a regular basis. One major issue for those guys was their inability to create separation from their defenders. This is also an issue for Armstrong. Despite 5’11″ and speed he often has problems running crisp routes. WR coach Ken O’Keefe will have work to do to get Armstrong up to speed with the offense, and his technique.
In addition to being a deep-threat I can see Armstrong as a WR-screen option, and even an end-around option to try to put his speed on display. Word is he will see playing time right away so he will have a chance to show that now that he is back healthy he is a legit NFL WR.
A lot of ‘Phins phans are upset that GM Jeff Ireland had to re-acquire a player the Dolphins once had already. For me I see the addition as a positive one. The evaluation of the team when the ‘Phins waived Armstrong in 2009 was that he was not good enough for that squad. 2012 is new regime and new roster, hence new evaluations. Welcome back Anthony Armstrong.
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