In a quest to surround quarterback Ryan Tannehill with as many weapons as possible Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland clearly made it a point to upgrade his team’s wide receiver corps during the offseason.

A year after calling his receivers a bunch of “fours fives and sixes” on HBO’s Hard Knocks Ireland landed speedster Mike Wallace from the Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed Brian Hartline off a 1000-yard season and snatched tight end Dustin Keller from the New York Jets.

While those moves grabbed most of the headlines it could be the switch at slot receiver that makes the biggest difference in Miami’s offense. Former inside man Davone Bess was made expendable after the Dolphins picked up Brandon Gibson.

“He’s smart instinctive” coach Joe Philbin said of Gibson. “He understands coverages and understands leverage of the defense very well. He’s a smart player; I like him.”

Gibson caught 51 passes for 691 yards and five touchdowns last season and 43 of his 51 receptions went for first downs good for the third-highest percentage in the league. He’s expected to line up in the slot this season after playing on the outside for the majority of his career.

Gibson replaces Bess who was a security blanket for Miami quarterbacks for years. In the past five seasons Bess had 130 catches on third down second-most in the league in that time period.

Third-down improvement will be key for Miami in 2013. Last season Tannehill completed only 59 percent of his passes on third down throwing seven interceptions compared with only three touchdowns adding up to a subpar 65.3 passer rating.