TIGHT END TUSSLE

Randy McMichael's tremendous rookie season was overshadowed a little bit by that of fellow Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey, but Sunday provides a great opportunity for McMichael as the two will find themselves on the same field for the first time.

Shockey was simply tremendous last season as he quickly developed into one of the top tight ends in the league, rookie or not.

McMichael was impressive in his own right, but he faded a bit down the stretch (largely because of the Dolphins' quarterback problems) and wasn't quite the difference-maker Shockey was.

Part of the reason is the Dolphins don't go to McMichael as much as the Giants go to Shockey. In terms of ability, there are similarities in that both are outstanding receivers with the ability to make the tough catches.

Where there's a big difference is in terms of power, with Shockey usually much too physical for defenders to handle one-on-one.

But the Dolphins probably could be getting more out of McMichael than they have so far this season.

He started to emerge a little bit in the last game, but he's too good a weapon in the passing game for the Dolphins not to get him the ball about five times a game.

McMichael was asked this week who the best tight end on the field Sunday would be, and he quickly replied: "I will. I hold no punches in saying that."

Well, we're not going to agree with that because Shockey is better than just about every other tight end in the league.

But McMichael is right up there when it comes to guys at the position, and the Dolphins need to make sure they keep utilize him that way.


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