When the Boston Globe recently asked me to give the name of a Dolphins player the Beantown fans didn't know but might have to learn by the end of tonight's game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, I had to think for a while.
Reggie Bush is new but he's also known.
Marc Colombo is known and if he becomes too well known tonight , I'm thinking that would not be for good reasons.
Mike Pouncey? He's a first round pick. He's not exactly under the radar, either.
I gave them Clyde Gates.
You will see him tonight as will the Patriots. He'll be the wide receiver on the outside, typically streaking over the top of the New England secondary.
That's significant. In a game where Brandon Marshall will be moved all around -- slot, X, Y, perhaps even in the backfield if somebody gets really innovative -- in order to get him away from double-coverage, the easiest way to actually get that done is give the defense another receiver to worry about.
If Gates can get behind the new New England deep secondary even once, that will pretty much do the trick. Suddenly, the safety over the top of Gates will have to respect his speed. If Marshall is inside of Gates on the same side, his chances of facing single corner coverage will then improve.
Obviously, a lot has to do with whether Chad Henne can connect on a deep pass with Gates. That didn't happen in the preseason. It was not that frequent in practices open to the media, either. But they have been practicing for several weeks in closed sessions, so maybe the timing has improved.
Gates was open deep this preseason. I will say that.
It would make sense to give the Patriots something to think about so that they cannot focus on just Marshall or Bush.
Gates and his speed is that something.
"My game is speed, but I don't want to just be known as a speedster," Gates recently told me. "I want to be an every-down player. It's technique and knowing what you're doing and just effort."
By the way, and to explain this once and for all, Clyde is not really Gates' name. It is Edmond.
"My dad name was Clyde so everyone just called me Clyde," he said. "It's cooler. Way cooler. It makes me feel cooler as well."
Perhaps by the end of this evening, everyone will know Clyde Gates a little better.