2004 Season Review: TE

With the Dolphins' dismal 2004 season now over, we take a look back with a position-by-position evaluation as well as a look forward to what the offseason might bring. Today we examine the tight ends.


The tight end position was one of the few that was fairly stable in 2004, and a big reason for that was the presence of Randy McMichael. The Dolphins didn't have any turnover at this position because McMichael and Donald Lee were the two guys all year, if you're not counting long-snapper Ed Perry.

Randy McMichael: McMichael started off like he was headed to a Pro Bowl appearance, but his numbers fell off considerably in the second half of the season. That followed a pattern that has occurred in all three of McMichael's seasons with the Dolphins. McMichael continued to emerge as a leader, but he got negative publicity twice, once when he lashed out at his offensive teammates on the sideline in the nationally televised game at Cincinnati and also after complaining in December about not getting the ball often enough. We have no major problem with the Cincinnati incident because he was just trying to fire up the team, but he might have better served in the other instance by just staying quiet. Still, the guy is a major talent who continued to develop in 2004.

In his second season, Lee continued to flash nice athletic ability, but he simply made too many mistakes, whether it was dropped passes or penalties (usually false start). The way it turned out, he probably was more counterproductive than productive this past season.

Looking ahead

In McMichael, the Dolphins have a big-time talent at tight end, and they would be wise to sign him to a long-term deal before his contract expires at the end of 2005. As for Lee, we're anticipating he'll return, but his mistakes of 2004 make that less than a sure thing. This actually is one of few areas on the team where there really isn't much work to be done in terms of personnel.

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