Miami Dolphins: Davone Bess

QBs Tannehill, Weeden under spotlight

September, 5, 2013
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill played against Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden several times in college. However, Tannehill only views his record as 0-1 against Weeden.

“The other times I was playing receiver,” Tannehill said this week. “It was a good game. We lost by two points, I think.”

Tannehill (Texas A&M) and Weeden (Oklahoma State) played in the Big 12 conference for four years together from 2008-11. But as Tannehill mentioned, he started his college career as a wide receiver and transitioned to quarterback for his final year and a half. Weeden’s Cowboys beat Tannehill’s Aggies, 30-29, in their only meeting in 2011 -- Tannehill was off by one point -- and both quarterbacks were drafted in the first round one year later.

Tannehill and Weeden are the forgotten quarterbacks of the famed 2012 draft class. They didn’t put up the same numbers as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson as rookies. But Miami and Cleveland’s quarterbacks both showed flashes.

They will face off for the first time in the NFL when the Dolphins travel to play the Browns on Sunday. If both players develop into franchise quarterbacks, this could be the first of several meetings in the pros.

“Brandon is a great guy, got to know him a little bit after we were done playing,” Tannehill said. “I think it was in New York and at the Manning Camp. He’s a great guy, a lot like me, and I know he wants to be good.”

A lot will be on the shoulders of both quarterbacks. The front seven on defense is a strength for Cleveland and Miami, which means Tannehill and Weeden must make plays with their arms at some point to be successful.

Former Dolphin and current Browns slot receiver Davone Bess caught passes from Tannehill and Weeden in the past year and sees potential in both players.

“They are two different players, and a big part of that is they’re in two different systems,” Bess said this week in a conference call. “I would say from a mental standpoint they are both sharp players, very poised and don’t get too high and too low. Those are great attributes to win in this league. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other in any particular category.”

Tannehill and Weeden will both be under the spotlight on Sunday. The Dolphins and Browns hope they have the right quarterbacks, and a good performance right away in Week 1 would be a step in the right direction.

Bess holds no grudge with the Dolphins

September, 4, 2013
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Dolphins' most productive wide receiver over the past five years will be wearing an opposing uniform Sunday when Miami faces the Cleveland Browns.

Veteran slot receiver Davone Bess is making his Browns debut against the Dolphins, his former team. Bess caught 321 receptions for Miami since 2008. That included five consecutive seasons of 50 receptions or more, and a career-high 79 receptions in 2010.

Bess had another productive year in 2012 where he caught 61 passes for 778 yards and one touchdown. Despite Bess’ consistency, there was always a sense Miami’s new coaching staff preferred bigger, more athletic playmakers at receiver. That partially explains Miami’s trade of Bess last April and signing of a bigger, faster slot receiver in Brandon Gibson.

Bess said he wasn't surprised that he didn’t return to Miami this year, but he’s not out for revenge in Week 1.

“From my perspective, I don’t hold any grudges,” Bess said on the conference call with the Miami media Wednesday. “I’m forever thankful of the Dolphins organization to give me this opportunity to play in this league. We’re nothing without the opportunity. So I’m forever grateful for that. All good things must come to an end.”

The draft-day trade between Cleveland and Miami was a bit complicated. Miami traded Bess and its fourth-round pick (No. 111) and seventh-round picks for Cleveland’s fourth- and fifth-round picks. The Dolphins selected linebacker Jelani Jenkins and tailback Mike Gillislee with those selections. Both rookies made Miami's 53-man roster.

Bess said he’s moved on from the Dolphins. He sold his home in South Florida and now settled in Cleveland. Bess, 27, is a six-year veteran who is asked to bring leadership to an otherwise young team.

“He’s been great for us,” Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said. “We have a really young team and at that position, as well. He’s a consummate pro. He approaches everything the way you want him to as a coach.”

Although Bess doesn't hold a grudge with the Dolphins, he should have a chance to impact this game. Miami is thin in Week 1 at cornerback after recently cutting veteran Richard Marshall and with rookie cornerbacks Will Davis and Jamar Taylor ailing.

Both teams share various strengths and weakness. It could be a close game where someone has to step up in the fourth quarter. Could Bess do it against his former team?

"It’s going to be different obviously," Bess said. “Me knowing them and then knowing me, it would to be easy to get rattled and let the emotions get the best me. But my approach is just like every week: I want to compete to win the ballgame.”