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Big targets struggle for attention in Miami passing game

By Michael Casagrande, Sun Sentinel Published: October 11, 2012

At the midway point, Miami tight ends are catching just 2 passes a game. Behind Walford, Asante Cleveland and Dyron Dye each have two catches apiece. Cleveland, the first-team tight end through most of August, caught both of his passes in the opener at Boston College. He also dropped a touchdown pass against NC State.

Sometimes, it's a matter of getting open. Spending extra time after practice running routes with the quarterbacks wouldn't hurt.

“Yeah, I have to put forth more effort toward that,” Walford said. “I've kinda been slacking on that so I need to get back to that.”

And it's not a matter of quarterback Stephen Morris disliking his tight end targets.

“Oh yeah, our tight ends on linebackers are such a mismatch,” Morris said.”We look for those one-on-one opportunities where we have Clive and Asante one on one with linebackers.”

But pass catching is just part of the role. Tight ends coach Brennan Carroll said his group looks good when opening holes for running backs on the edge. Still, it's the catches, or lack thereof, that gets the most attention.

His assessment of the tight ends as a whole sounded a lot like Walford's personal evaluation.

“They've been OK,” Carroll said. “They haven't been as effective as we want in the passing game. It's a constant battle to get those guys touches.”

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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