Monday, July 21, 2014

Tannehill-Wallace out to fix more than just deep ball


We've written plenty about last year's deep-ball struggles between Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receiver Mike Wallace.

Both players have acknowledged that improving the downfield connection is a must moving forward, though Tannehill is just as concerned with getting on the same page with Wallace on all the other parts of the field.

“Well, it’s big,” Tannehill recently said of the long ball, via “It’s big time. I think that’s one thing you looked at from last year is just connecting more. Not only on deep balls but just connecting more on every run and he’s been here working in the offseason and putting forth a lot of effort, and that’s exciting from a veteran guy like that who’s been in other organizations that maybe haven’t had the same offseason type program that we have.”

Despite signing a big-money deal to step in as the Dolphins' No. 1 target, Wallace trailed Bryan Hartline in both yards (930 to 1,016) and receptions (73 to 76) last year under then-offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.

Wallace caught 53.3 percent of passes thrown his way and dropped 11, according to ProFootballFocus. Interestingly, PFF had Tannehill targeting Wallace left of the hash marks just three times all season, with only one reception for seven yards coming out of it. The two were most efficient on short-to-mid-range passes to the right.

Wallace said earlier this year that new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor's up-tempo offense bodes well for him because it allows him to move around more and create mismatches, but that doesn't mean he blames the system last year for his underwhelming play.

“(Last year) had nothing to do with the offense, it was just myself, not playing up to my personal standards for myself," Wallace said. "It was a new situation. But I feel a lot more comfortable. I’m ready to go.”

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