Mike Wallace told the Miami Herald today that he is ready to get on the field this Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The question is whether or not the Miami Dolphins are ready to put on the field. The answer should be a very loud yes.
Wallace needs to get up to speed and that is both a figurative and literal statement. Wallace said that he needs to get in game condition. That conditioning where your body adjusts to route running at full speed, taking a hit, looking the ball into his hands and the in route adjustments. The Dolphins will likely on let their starters play the first quarter and maybe an extra series or two in the second quarter before they turn the team over to the back-ups. That should be plenty of time for Wallace and Tannehill to show what they have developed this season.
Make no mistake, fans want to see this connection.
Last week Ryan Tannehill was 6/6 on his opening game touchdown drive but he didn’t go deeper than 30 yards downfield, give or take. Wallace isn’t going to simply run a curl route or a hook behind linebackers, he is going to stretch the field and you can believe that Bill Lazor wants to know how his quarterback wide-receiver connection is going to work. Fans will too.
Last year was a brutal year for fans who found the only consistency between quarterback and wide-receiver was the fact that they couldn’t connect on the long ball. The chances were there but they simply didn’t have that cohesiveness to make it work. Blame it on Tannehill, blame it on Wallace, blame it on no one, it simply wasn’t there.
This season Bill Lazor’s offense is on the verge of giving the Dolphins the most explosive output the team has had in over ten seasons. Yes, on paper it can be that good. On paper. Miami needs Tannehill and Wallace to be on the same page and they need Tannehill to hit Wallace on those deep routes. Mike Sherman used Wallace as a decoy much of last season but Lazor needs to use him as a threat and while we may not get to see all of what Lazor has in mind for this season on Saturday, we should at least get a little taste of what might be coming.
If Wallace does indeed take the field for this game the Dolphins need to boost their confidence by hitting him and not simply using him to run the out pattern he ran so well last season. The Dolphins need to open it up and by doing so open up the entire offenses capabilities. The season won’t be won or lost on this game and truth be told it’s something more or less a tease but it’s a tease that we all want to see.