Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tannehill, Wallace trying best to avoid repeat of 2013


The Miami Dolphins may be just a couple days into their 2014 offseason training program, but everyone already wants to know the answers to next season's most pertinent questions.

Like, can Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace improve their chemistry and generate more than one deep touchdown reception this year, for example.

In 2013, Miami's blossoming franchise quarterback and $60 million receiver connected for just five touchdowns, only one of which came on a pass thrown more than 20 yards. A capable deep passer such as Tannehill missing an elite deep threat such as Wallace so frequently is an issue that both must work to fix.

"One thing I’ve really been working on is just being more consistent on my deep throws,” said Tannehill, via the team's website. “We have a guy in Mike Wallace who can really stretch the field vertically, as well as some other guys too. But when you think deep ball, you think Mike Wallace.”

Wallace is just as intent on improving the duo's deep connection but understands they won't get many worthwhile reps in during the team's current strength and conditioning program.

“[It's] always good to get chemistry going with your quarterback,” Wallace said. “But I don’t think [this week] is going to really make a difference. It’s going to make a difference when we get guys in front of us and start lining up.”

"We won't have many incompletions [against the] air. We need to do it when we have a full rush coming, guys getting their hands on us."

Hopefully when that time comes, the duo can begin to realize the great potential envisioned when Wallace signed a big free agent contract last offseason. Tannehill held just a 26.9 passer rating on throws to Wallace that traveled 20 yards in air, compared to a 100.1 rating to all other receivers.

Those live practices will also help each get acclimated to the new offensive scheme under first-year coordinator Bill Lazor. The changes have both buzzing early on and excited to get back on the playing field.

“I see Ryan is excited about it,” Wallace said. “He’s called me about it eight or nine times, just texting me about the new offense. I just want to make some plays for my team and go out and do what I can, and have a much better year than last year.

"We can’t have the kind of year we had last year. We have to be on the same page, and I think Coach Lazor is going to help us get there.”

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