Today is the 27th birthday for Miami Dolphins wide-receiver Davone Bess so it is a great day for a player profile about him. This guy has been an iron-man as he has appeared in all 16 games every season of his career.
Hard to believe that coming out of the University of Hawai’i Bess entered the NFL undrafted in 2008. As a Warrior he was a pass-catching machine for the pass-happy offense run by (then) Hawai’i head coach June Jones. So far he is putting together one of the best careers ever for an undrafted WR.
Bess is very consistent. Check his yearly yard-per-catch averages…10.3, 10, 10.4, and then 10.5…He has been targeted by Dolphins QBs 100+ times 2 of the past 3 seasons. He is good as a WR, and great as a slot-WR. He has very good (soft) hands and is adept at plucking footballs out of the air. He is not fast, but surely quick. Bess is excellent at setting up defenders so he can make a move on a route. He is not a deep threat, but he is a good possession receiver. His strong body control allows for acrobatic and physical catches, and makes him shifty/elusive after the catch for extra yards.
The WR group this season has been in flux. Chad Johnson, Roberto Wallace, and Legedu Naanee started out training camp, and game 1 of the preseason (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers) as the top guys, with Bess in the slot (Brian Hartline was sidelined all preseason with injury). Fast forward to now and Johnson/Wallace (and even Clyde Gates) are no longer with the ‘Phins, while Naanee has all but disappeared. This has forced Bess to play out wide instead of in the slot. Bess is good outside, but great in the slot (I significantly prefer Bess in the slot. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill is having issues finding passing windows and Bess is so good in the slot that I think he can help manually create passing lanes for Tannehill)
My favorite formation I saw vs the Houston Texans was with Hartline (now back from injury) on the outside, and on the same side Bess in the slot. These 2 are good, and can work off of each other to raise the level of the Dolphins (currently) sputtering passing game which of course is what the doctor ordered to help out Tannehill.
Bess is under contract through 2013, and the Dolphins surely expect/require a lot of production from him now + going forward.
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