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Dolphins WR Parker concedes – I’ve been playing badly

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Allen Eyestone/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

As the Dolphins began preparing for their Monday night game against the Patriots this past Wednesday, wide receiver DeVante Parker stated what can only be described as the painfully obvious.

 “I’ve been playing badly,” Parker bluntly told the Miami Herald. “I haven’t been playing how I should be the past few games. I’ve got to pick it up.’’

Oh, Parker needs to pick it up alright. In his last three games Parker has caught just six passes for 36 yards, including just two for 10 yards in the last two games.

But those paltry numbers are not even the biggest part of the problem. The greater issue is that over the same span of time, the defenders guarding Parker have caught five passes.

That’s just one less than Parker has caught, and when you consider those five picks have come on 16 targets it’s easy to conclude that throwing to Parker has suddenly become detrimental to the Dolphins’ health.

Further compounding the problem is the fact Parker has “no clue’’ what’s gone so terribly wrong, though that may not actually be the case. It seems Parker does know, at least in part, where the problem lies.

A couple of the picks have occurred on plays in which the pass thrown to Parker was underthrown or off target, but not so much that Parker could not have adjusted and made a play on the ball.

“I could have done something on all of them,” Parker admits. “Just try to come back and break it up or bat it out of the defender’s hand. If I can’t get it, (I can’t) let someone else get it.’’

 That’s what his coaches have been encouraging him to do. Teammates, meanwhile, have tried “challenging him’’ to be better and “encouraging him’’ that the slump will soon end as long as he works at it.

“We’ve got to get him believing in himself and using his talents because he’s an immensely talented dude,’’ quarterback Jay Cutler said. “And he’s a good kid. He wants to do it right.

 “It’s a matter of just finding ways to keep him confident. He’s very approachable. He’s not a confrontational dude. No real big ego there. He just wants to do it right and be a good to great player.’’

 Greatness is what was predicted for Parker this year. After he caught 56 passes for 744 yards and four touchdowns last year, Dolphins receivers coach Shawn Jefferson famously referred to Parker as a “monster’’ talent.

“He’s going to the Monster’s Ball,’’ Jefferson effused prior to the start of the season. Funny, but Jeffers has been proven right on that matter. Only problem is, the Monter’s Ball has become a nightmare.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Samuel Reid

    December 9, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    It time to cut ties. I am tired of excuses.

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