The Dolphins turned Ernest Wilford into a tight end.
``Obviously, you would like them a little bit bigger, but some of the tight ends that came out in the draft this year, that were picked pretty high, were 235-pound guys,'' coach Tony Sparano said about Wilford's transition. ``Ernest weighed 232 pounds [earlier this month] at the weigh-in.''
The reason for the attempt was pretty clear even if it also looked like a stretch: Miami wanted to find a way to utilize Wilford's large frame without suffering from the lack of speed that keeps him from excelling as a receiver. By using him at tight end, it has the potential to create clear mismatches.
``They can play me against a safety or a CB or a LB,'' Wilford said. ``So it definitely presents an opportunity mismatch, and in the running game, I can still block linebackers and I can still block ends. Everything is working to my favor now.''
Wilford has yet to excel with the blocking role required of a TE, which remains the most obvious (and critical) challenge remaining in this experiment. But Wilford said ``it's coming,'' noting that he's ``not where I want to be right now, but that's what training camp is for.''