When the Miami Dolphins added Brandon Gibson through free agency, I thought it was a move that had potential to be a solid pick-up. I was surprised to see many Dolfans aggressively upset with the move. Some were upset because it likely meant the end of the line for fan-favorite Davone Bess, but the truth is he was in the Joe Philbin doghouse and was on the outside already. That ship was about to sail regardless so I agreed with the idea of being aggressive in bringing in a potential replacement for Bess. Others were upset because Gibson’s four-year career has been pretty pedestrian, and he is not a guy that can make a big play by racking up yards after the catch. ‘Phins phans were clamoring all offseason for the team to add playmaker-type additions to surround second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and Gibson is not that guy. Despite that, I still see a guy that can bring value and production to the 2013 Dolphins (and going forward).
In his rookie season, we saw Tanny connect for some nice plays on second down with Bess, and I look for that to go to the next level with Gibson who does the majority of his damage on second down. When first down plays don’t yield much we will see Gibson make catches as a possession-type of WR. Again, we won’t expect much after the catch, but the 6-footer can be effective making possession-type catches on 2nd down. The hope is that translate to him being a legit red-zone threat as well.
2012 was Gibson’s best season, and he played very well vs. AFC East teams. He had his first ever 100-yard game last season (against the Buffalo Bills … six catches), plus he had three catches for 46 yards vs. the New England Patriots. Although he only had three catches for nine yards vs. the New York Jets, two of those catches were touchdowns. Against the ‘Phins, Gibson had seven catches on nine targets for 91 yards.
The rival Jets heavily pursued Gibson, but he chose Miami. It is worth noting that he has increased his average yard per catch in every season. Is he a difference maker like I feel Mike Wallace is? No (unless he can develop into a legit red-zone threat) … but … I do feel he is a guy who can help the team move the chains (2012 Dolphins were a putrid no.26 overall for earning 1st downs) and a guy who can and will contribute. I can’t see a lot of Gibson jerseys being sold, but the haters will come around when Gibson contributes.
I recently interviewed O.J. McDuffie for my show @RantingBenCraig and that interview will air on the Saturday May 25 show. OJ had some good things to say about Gibson, and OJ was clearly excited about what Gibson can do in this offense … when OJ talks WR play — I listen!