Miami Dolphins Training Camp Profile: Dustin Keller
All young quarterbacks need reliable tight ends, and that’s exactly what the Miami Dolphins had in mind when they signed Dustin Keller. After spending the first five years of his career with the New York Jets, Keller will be looking for a fresh start with the Dolphins in 2013. He wasn’t himself last season, as injuries limited him to only five starts. But the TE is now fully healthy heading into training camp.
At this point, it’s safe to say 2012 was fluke season for Keller. When healthy, he’s one of the better tight ends in the league. In 2009 he started 12 games, and racked up 815 yards through the air. If he’s healthy enough to start every game this year, there’s no reason to think he couldn’t flirt with 1,000 yards.
One thing is for sure, Keller has never had this much talent around him in the receiving game. The Dolphins went out and made some serious upgrades this offseason, and with so many choices for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Keller should find himself open on a regular basis. The nice thing, though, is that Miami doesn’t need a 1,000-yard season from Keller. Sure, that would be nice, but they simply don’t need him to produce that much.
Keller’s role will no doubt be one of a leader on this Dolphins’ offense, and of course, he needs to become the proverbial safety valve for Tannehill. He could stand to improve in the red zone, as his career-high for touchdown receptions in a season is only 5. On top of the benefits he’ll provide for his young QB, Keller also figures to be a mentor to rookie tight end Dion Sims.