By Nick Shook
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After spending a year wondering if he was worth the third-round pick surrendered in a trade with New Orleans, Kenny Stills gave a peek of a bright future that could be ahead.
Stills opened up Miami’s offensive evening with a 55-yard bomb on which he got behind the entire Dallas defense, and would have scored with ease, if it weren’t for the existence of the sideline. No matter, because even though Miami failed to score on the drive, Stills ended up with two touchdowns on three catches for 71 yards.
“We’re dangerous, pretty much at all times,” Stills said of his team’s offense, via the Miami Herald. “As long as we can protect Ryan [Tannehill], it’s going to be fun.”
The deep completion wasn’t even the most impressive of the three.
Facing third-and-goal, Tannehill received the adequate protection Stills mentioned while the wideout ran a short wheel route toward the back left-corner pylon. Tannehill dropped back and put the pass on the money while rookie corner Jeremiah McKinnon could only sprint after Stills in vain.
“It was pretty good — everything as advertised as far as how tough he is and just battling,” Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said of Tannehill at halftime. “I liked the mentality that he had going into that first half. I liked the fact that the ones wanted to stay in and do another series. That’s what I wanted to see.”
To say Stills’ performance is an encouraging sign would be an understatement for a team that relied far too often on Jarvis Landry in 2015. Add in the contributions of an improved Stills (who caught just 27 passes for 440 yards and three touchdowns in 2015) and the potential for a jump in production from second-year wide receiver DeVante Parker, and Miami’s passing attack might become formidable — maybe even dangerous, as Stills claims.