Saturday night after a very pleasant day in Philly where I tried to eat everything at the Reading Terminal, I was pleased to see that rookies selected their numbers. Wouldn’t you know it, Miami’s second round pick, a guy I’ve written about a little bit here on DolphinsTalk Mike Gesicki chose the number 86. As you know based on the headline, this blog isn’t about Mike Gesicki, but I wouldn’t be doing my duty if I didn’t let you know that Mike is getting primed up to completely shred the league. Just look at this guys form

Even though no one is around him and that its a photoshoot, Mike is about to break all the ankles. But like I said, this blog isn’t about Mike Gesicki. But, if you could let him know about this, that be cool. This blog is about the guy whose number Gesicki is wearing and that is Oronde “Big Catch” Gadsden. Yes, his name is Big Catch due to my brother-in-law and myself deciding years ago that he deserves to be called Big Catch due to all the big catches he makes. I started thinking about Oronde and how he was one of my favorite players when he was on Miami in the lat 90s early 2000s. His stat line was a modest one. He only had 3,252 yards on 227 “big” catches with 22 TDs. Not exactly stats of a guy who should be one of your favorite players but there was something about Gadsden that just appealed to me. Maybe it was because I thought he was a lot taller than he was(6’2) because he always seemed to be able jump out of the stadium or that I thought I could beat him in a race(probably not). He always felt like a grinder to me and I respect the hell out of guys who go to work who don’t get that pub that others get and just keep going out and making plays. That’s what Gadsden always felt like to me. Oh and I probably enjoyed his work because of these plays

I can watch that “big” catch against the Jets all day long. Oronde out there making crazy one handed catches before it was cool. When Beckham made that great one hander a few years ago, it was in fact awesome and he did score a TD on it. Can’t be taken away but I’ve contended that Gadsden’s catch against the Jets was more difficult. It was in the middle of the field with traffic and by traffic I mean the opportunity of getting his head knocked off and that he caught a bullet pass(I know, I know, I called a Fiedler pass a bullet) not a lightly falling ball back to Earth jump ball and he caught it by the fat part of the ball not the point because his hands were and probably still enormous. Here’s a reference

Of course his finger is broken like that because Orande played with so much grit that not all his appendages could contain it all. Trust me, that make sense. The point here is that “Big Catch” made some plays that if he did them today he would of been all over the place at least for a short while. I wrestle with the thought of if Gadsden was playing today, with today’s rules, emphasis on passing and if he didn’t get hurt and started his pro career at 22 how would he do? Would he be the same guy or would his skill set of fine route running, separation, jump ball ability and flare for the dramatics make him a near top 20 receiver? We’ll never know but it’s fair to say that Mike Gesicki has some enormous gloves to fill. I’m sure he’ll wear the number proud and deliver some fantastic plays that we can watch on YouTube for years to come. Till then, it’ll just be Orande “Big Catch” Gadsden’s two beautiful catches over and over again.