Randy reaction

Tight end Randy McMichael got some headlines earlier this week with his complaints about his diminished role in the Dolphins offense, and there are few ways you can look at it. But it was simply a case of a big-time competitor letting out some frustration or was it a selfish tirade?

The first thought that comes to mind is that based on Sunday's game alone McMichael was out of line.

Sure, he caught only two passes for a measly 14 yards in the 42-32 loss to the Buffalo Bills, but A.J. Feeley threw for over 300 yards and the offense compiled 403 total yards, which tied for the team's season high.

So it's not as though the offense couldn't move the ball because McMichael wasn't involved.

But in the bigger picture McMichael has a legitimate gripe, especially when he mentions that this year is following the same pattern as his first two seasons in the NFL.

Just look at the numbers, and you'll see McMichael is right.

His receptions fell from 26 to 13 from the first half of his rookie season to the second, and the drop-off was from 29 to 20 last year.

This year, McMichael caught 42 passes in the first eight games. In the last four, he has 11 receptions, which projects to 22 for the second half of the season.

In three of the last four games, McMichael has failed to catch at least three passes. So it's clear he's becoming less and less of a factor for an offense that needs to make use of its best weapons.

So, why is this happening? Again.

Part of the problem is that McMichael sometimes is being kept in the backfield to provide extra protection. To that, we say keep someone else in.

If an extra blocker needs to be kept in based on the defense the Dolphins are facing, make it fullback Rob Konrad or backup tight end Donald Lee and let McMichael get out into the pattern.

Also, it's obvious that opposing defenses are going to pay extra attention to McMichael for a couple of reasons. The first is McMichael's obvious ability. The second is the fact that the wide receivers usually will run longer patterns, patterns that don't always have time to develop with the Dolphins' problems picking up the blitz.

Whatever the reason, McMichael has gone from a strong candidate to make the Pro Bowl to a long shot because of Tony Gonzalez's surge in recent weeks.

But the Pro Bowl isn't the big factor here; it's trying to make the offense work. And it's clear McMichael needs to be more involved for the offense to really work.

About that, there's no question McMichael was right. As for the way he went about it and the timing, well, he might have dropped the ball on that one.


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