When wide receiver Mike Wallace was brought in as one of Miami’s marquee free agent signings during the 2013 offseason, eyes immediately turned to quarterback Ryan Tannehill. With Tannehill’s rocket arm and Wallace’s elite speed and dynamic receiving ability, many believed that the two would instantly hit it off. But in the National Football League, it takes time to develop a rapport between quarterbacks and receivers, and the first year of a potentially elite QB-WR tandem had its ups and downs.
At times, the two would look unstoppable, as Wallace’s ability to stretch the field and Tannehill’s arm strength were slicing defenses up at the back. But at other points, the two would just be a little off and slightly miss on some crucial deep throws, showing that they still needed time and practice to develop into what they eventually could be. Now with a full offseason ahead of them and a year of building chemistry behind, Tannehill and Wallace appear poised to deliver on more of the big plays we saw in 2013.
In an interview with Greg Likens of The Finsiders, Wallace talked about his relationship with Tannehill, and what he expects this season from both himself and the third year signal-caller.
Wallace believes that year two between he and Tannehill is going to be miles better than last year.
“I think it’s going to work really well,” Wallace said. “It was a whole new situation for me. He had to get used to me and I had to get used to him. It was just different. But I think after a whole year and another offseason together we’ll be fine.”
The Dolphins’ offseason conditioning program is a start for the potentially explosive duo, but Wallace thinks that the real building of chemistry between the two will come when practices become live later this summer. You can only do so much against air, and Wallace wants to see what happens when the pads come on.
“I honestly feel like the offseason will help, but I think most of our problems are going to come from live bullets,” Wallace said. “We need to get out on the field and do our thing, and we’ll hit it all day. We need to do it when we have a full rush coming and we have guys getting their hands on us. I think that’s going to make it better and make it harder for us. When we get to OTAs and training camp, that’s when I think it’ll really help us.”
Besides Wallace and Tannehill having a year of experience together, they’ll also have a brand new offense to play in under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, one that appears to be more suited to Wallace’s strengths. The big-play wideout feels that this new offense will take both his and Tannehill’s game to new levels, and they are both really excited about it.
“I see Ryan is excited about it,” Wallace said. “He’s called me about it eight or nine times, just texting me about the new offense. I just want to make some plays for my team and go out and do what I can, and have a much better year than last year. We can’t have the kind of year we had last year. We have to be on the same page, and I think Coach Lazor is going to help us get there.”
And about those deep balls? Wallace isn’t the only one confident in regards to the two getting on the same page. Tannehill thinks so, too.
“That’s one thing I’ve really been working on is just being more consistent on my deep throws,” Tannehill said, “and I’ll think it’ll match up with our passing and what we put in going forward.”
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