The regular season is almost here.
The Dolphins have had a pretty busy week with offseason conditioning beginning at the team’s practice facility and the unveiling of the 2014 regular season schedule. The Draft is two weeks away and the re-signed free agents and newly signed players from other teams are getting acclimated to the surroundings in sunny Miami.
I swear, it is a hard knock life for all of them.
But while the newness of the team and staff head coach Joe Philbin and new team general manager Dennis Hickey have created inside the confines of the franchise, there is a belief this is a team that should have been better than it was last season and therefore 2014 is the season this team will make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
One of the ways this team can get farther than last year is the play of not only quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but the combination of the signal caller and the team’s key free agent signee last season, Mike Wallace.
Brian Coyle of thefinsiders.com summed up the relationship between the quarterback and receiver in a recent piece he did for the website.
“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.”
At times, they did. At times, they did not and it showed on the field and in the media. Both had respectable seasons, but there was no playoff berth for their efforts.
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.
While Tannehill and Wallace are not Dan Marino and Mark Clayton, the two can still move the ball down the field – especially the deep ball.
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.”
That page is on that must be read not only by the duo but other members of the Dolphins offense. If it works, the balls could be flying at a record pace this season in south beach.