The most competitive position currently on the Miami Dolphins roster is at wide receiver. There are twelve WRs on the team and Miami will only keep six on the active roster, at most. In my opinion, it would be safe to assume Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Clyde Gates, and recently signed Legedu Naanee will have their spots reserved on the team. However, since the Dolphins drafted B.J. Cunningham (6th) and Rishard Matthews (7th) in this year’s draft, have we seen the last of Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace?
In 2010, both Moore and Wallace were signed by the Dolphins as undrafted free agents. For the last two years, they have essentially been “projects.” Statistically, they had their best receiving year during their rookie season in 2010. Moore was able to play in nine games, and had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. That one touchdown reception will always be remembered, when he ran up the right sideline for 57 yards to pay dirt against the Oakland Raiders. Miami would go on to win that game 33 to 17.
At 6’4” and 225 pounds, Wallace is almost identical in size to former Dolphin, Brandon Marshall. His ideal size is the main reason why Miami has kept him on the active roster for the past two years. Just like Moore, Wallace had his best performance in 2010. He played in twelve games, catching six balls for 62 yards.
Even though they showed signs of promise as rookies, last year was a huge disappointment. To say they had a sophomore slump would be an understatement. Neither player had a single catch in 2011. Their role in the offense was practically nonexistent. They had to earn their keep by becoming major contributors on special teams. To their credit, they did play well on special teams until they got bit by the injury bug.
Unfortunately, they were both placed on the team’s dreaded injured reserve (IR) only half way through the season. Wallace was the first to be placed on IR in the middle of October because of a nagging quadriceps injury. Two weeks later, Moore would join him after hurting his foot against the New York Giants.
Since they both took a big step backwards in production last year, they will need to have an impressive training camp and prove they are valuable assets on special teams. But since the Dolphins will be implementing a West Coast Offense with a new coaching staff, excelling on just special teams may not be enough. Especially since the Dolphins have invested three draft picks on WRs in the last two years alone. Any receiver who makes this team will be expected to line up and run routes in this offense.
In my opinion, I believe we have seen the last of Moore and Wallace. There is a lot of competition at this position and they have failed to establish prominent roles in the offense. This year, the odds are highly stacked against them. Like a game of musical chairs, when the preseason ends and the Dolphins need to cut down to 53 players, there will just be six chairs for twelve receivers. Well, that’s assuming they don’t try to sign any diva receivers as Plaxico Burress or Braylon Edwards….