Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace (17) prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphin Mike Wallace Provides More Than Speed


There is no denying that the Miami Dolphins’ offense lacked weaponry and a big target for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill to throw to. Now, there is no denying that Ryan Tannehill will have an entire arsenal surrounding him come Week 1 of next season.  While GM Jeff Ireland “pulled the trigger” and made huge splashes on both sides of the ball during this year’s Free Agency, no move was more heralded or will be more tracked this season than the addition of speedster WR Mike Wallace. The first move of FA has already sparked debate among analysts and fans all over the NFL community. “The Fins overpaid”, “they should have taken Dwayne Bowe or Greg Jennings”, “Wallace was the perfect and right decision”, the talks and debates go on and on… Regardless of what you believe, you can’t deny that Wallace is fast and fills a much needed hole that Miami has lacked for years. While Wallace was undoubtedly brought in for his blazing speed and ability to produce a “home-run” play at all times, I believe Mike Wallace will provide the Dolphins with more than just his speed and big-play-making ability.

One thing Wallace brings with him on every play is the need of a double team. Defensive coordinators understand that Wallace can take it to the house on any play, and you can bet that Ryan Tannehill will be looking for single coverage on the big wide receiver at all times. Simply put, double teaming means one thing: someone else will be open. I think Wallace’s presence on the field will open up big play opportunities for Miami’s other offensive weapons such as Brian Hartline, Daniel Gibson, and Dustin Keller. Whether or not he reels in 15 catches a game, Wallace will be making the other Dolphin receivers better by just being on the field.

Furthermore, having a player with Wallace’s talents and abilities opens up other facets of the offense, such as the running game. Spreading Wallace out all over the field will free up room to run for Miami’s young running backs. The offensive line is already being questioned, and using Wallace on the outside as a distraction would help a troubled Dolphins offensive line (I think the offensive line will be very good, but I’m including this for the skeptics out there).

Lastly, I think Wallace will surprise a lot of people and be a big part of Miami’s red-zone and goal-line offenses. Yes, he will primarily be a speed wide receiver who can stretch the field. I also see Wallace being a red zone target for Tannehill, a target who can go up and get the lob, or take a quick bubble screen pass and walk into the end zone. Wallace’s athletic ability is often categorized into one category. Can you guess it? That’s right, his speed. However, Wallace has a 40 inch vertical. I realize he is not the size of a Calvin Johnson or Andre Johnson who can easily win the one on one battle at the goal line, but Wallace’s ability to jump will pose a problem for defenses when Miami is trying to punch one in for six, especially those defenses with smaller corner backs.

So far, Miami’s addition of Mike Wallace has been great. Ryan Tannehill loves his ability, and Mike Wallace has only spoken highly of the second year quarterback. So far (knock on wood), there has been zero drama with Wallace (barring a few tweets), and hopefully Wallace will continue to gel with Tannehill and the rest of the offense. I am looking forward to a break out year for Wallace and Miami this season.


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Tags: Miami Dolphins Mike Wallace Ryan Tannehill

  • Kelvin Bailey

    One word: Balance!

    • Eric Roddy

      Well said ! @kelvinbailey:disqus Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Fins4ever

    So far the addition of Wallace has been great??? Wouldn’t you agree it is too early to say how it is going to work out? What do expect Tanny to say? He sucks, I hate him?

    Too early to speculate. BTW, Marshall drew 2X coverage too. IMO, they overpaid for him, but if they were going to overpay for someone, I am glad it was him. Much better than the Brandon Marshall fiasco.

    • gofins60

      If Wallace can catch as many TD passes as Marshall dropped, then his signing will be a success.

      • Eric Roddy

        I agree with both of you guys. @Fins4ever:disqus think about Wallace’s time in Miami so far. He could have complained about Tannehill, and could have had multiple off the field issues. The fact that he loves our quarterback and is being a team player means everything so far. And yes he very well could have said he hated tannehill. BUt I also agree its too early to speculate, we need to see his work on the field. @gofins60:disqus youre absolutely right, no matter what, if Wallace isn’t producing, he will be seen as a bust. Thank you both for reading and commenting!

  • Paulmatthew22

    Hopefully they run some wr screens with him this yr,.That was a play Miami NEVER used last yr,.While every other team in the league ran it at least 2 times a game,.I hope Mike Sherman stops coaching like a girl and lets these guys do alott of stuff!

    • Eric Roddy

      @facebook-100003963704944:disqus I think one reason we never saw screens is that besides Reggie Bush, we really did not have anyone that could produce in the open field! I think we can expect to see at least two a game (hopefully) to Gibson or Wallace. So many options this year, my mouth is drooling! Thanks for the read and for commenting Paul!

  • Pygskyn

    I agree about the goal line offense. One thing his speed and hands brings is a deadly threat with the drag route. Generally the route gets covered by Linebackers and safeties in GL situations, Wallace is such a deadly mismatch that defenses will have to adjust how they defend even “X”-and-goal situations because a LB on Wallace = 6 points every time.

    • Eric Roddy

      @pygskyn:disqus Thank you for commenting, I am glad you agreed with that portion of the article, as I was sure I would get the most heat for it since Wallace is not a “big” bodied wide receiver. He is still a beast down there, feed him!

      • Pygskyn

        Actually, I agreed with the whole thing. I just mentioned that part because it was the most “controversial” :-)