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.
FINS UP! ^