THE DAILY TAKE

The Daily Take will be posted every weekday at 3 p.m. and will offer our opinion on a pertinent topic involving the Dolphins. Today we discuss tight end Randy McMichael.

All things considered, tight end Randy McMichael had a tremendous rookie season for the Dolphins.

But he will be under a microscope when he begins his second season.

For one thing, McMichael clearly is the man now that backups Jed Weaver and Desmond Clark have left as free agents.

Sure, veteran Marco Battaglia is a good receiver who provides a solid backup presence, but the Dolphins clearly need McMichael to be a major factor on offense.

Which brings us back to his rookie season. McMichael was simply sensational in the first half of the season, but he slowed down considerably in the second half.

His numbers went down dramatically and he also took some bad penalties down the stretch.

For McMichael to become the Dolphins and everyone else think he will become, he needs to figure out exactly what happened late last year.

Certainly, opposing defenses began paying more attention to him, but that's something he's going to have to get used to. Was it a case of McMichael hitting the proverbial rookie wall?

Let's hope so because that would mean McMichael should be better prepared to excel throughout the entire season from now on.

Regardless, McMichael clearly is a key figure for the Dolphins in 2003 and the team has to hope he will be up to the challenge.


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