Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker has been working hard all of the 2017 offseason. Head coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen have talked about the improvements the former 2015 1st-round Draft pick has made so far during OTA’s and minicamp, and the struggles he faced the first 2 seasons of his career—not hydrating, not pushing through pain, not running crisp routes.
But now, it looks like the Dolphins are finally getting the highly-talented playmaker they selected in the draft 2 years ago. Parker is making strides and it’s all on his own. When Parker met with the media on Tuesday, he explained.
“Just talking to myself, really,” he said. “I just know I wanted to play better than I did last year. I was really big on this. I got better route running. Being a lot more physical and go out there and playing fast.”
And Parker has been playing fast. In OTA’s, Parker beat cornerback Byron Maxwell for a touchdown and got in his face with some smack-talk. Yesterday, he beat offseason-standout CB Xavien Howard for another score down the left sideline, and was probably about to talk smack again before a swarm of bees attacked him and temporarily disrupted the team’s practice—forcing them to move to the opposite end of the field.
The trash-talking is new, but that’s because Devante Parker is, at last, fully healthy.
“It’s something newer now,” Parker said of trash-talking on Tuesday. “I just feel like 100 percent and I just express myself, let it all out now.”
Why does he feel 100%?
Because Devante has made adjustments to his routine. He’s been hydrating more, stretching before and after practice, eating the correct nutrition, and getting 8 hours of sleep a night. These all seem like common sense, but it may be difficult for a 24 year-old who spent most of his life in Louisville, Kentucky and is now subjected to the party-life of Miami and it’s beautiful wo… scenery.
Yesterday after the 2nd day of Minicamp, Gase gave his thoughts on Parker’s progress, the guidance he received from many willing to help him, along with the preparation he put in on his own.
“It was a lot of people trying to help point him in the right direction. But at the end of the day, he has to do it,” said Gase. “Day-in, day-out when he’s outside the building. And I think he just gravitated to it and stuck with it. Stuck with his plan that was made for him during the season. And once the season ended, he really just carried it on on his own. And to me, it’s evident that he started working on things a lot earlier than probably he’s ever done or has been able to do. It’s really paid off for him.”
According to Gase, the wide-receiver has also upped his competitive mentality.
“You see a different guy out there everyday. I should say ‘not a different guy everyday’, but the consistency of compared to what we saw last spring. He is constantly moving as fast as you see him on game day. He really treats everyday like it’s a game.”
“Consistency” is the key word. It has been what the Miami Dolphins have been wanting out of DeVante Parker for the past 2 years. So far in the off season, It looks like they might have it.