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Preseason G1 player to watch: Roberto Wallace

The Dolphins open their preseason Saturday with a home game versus the Tampa Bay Bucs. During the next four weeks, I'll preview the game one day out by shining the spotlight on one player you must keep your eye on because, well, he's impressed me and has a chance to, as Jimmy Johnson once said, be special.

Today we shine that spotlight on wide receiver Roberto Wallace.

Wallace is an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State. So he is, by definition, a long shot on a Miami team that already seems to have roster spots reserved for Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, and Greg Camarillo.

Wallace is locked in a battle for a spot with guys such as Patrick Turner, Julius Pruitt, Marlon Moore, and Ryan Grice-Mullen.

But he has caught my eye because he brings a combination of size and deep-play ability that isn't common among receivers. Wallace is listed at 6-1 and 195 pounds on page 266 of the Miami Dolphins media guide.

That is simply not correct.

He is every bit as big as Marshall and Turner, at 6-4 and 225 pounds. But unlike Turner, I've seen Wallace flash deep-play ability. He showed it in a practice the first week when he caught a 40-plus-yard TD pass versus Sean Smith. And I saw it during a recent evening practice in the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble (NSMB) when he beat Jason Allen deep down the left sideline.

I spoke to a Dolphins personnel man about Wallace and asked how it was that he wasn't drafted? I wanted to know what the problem was with him that no one spent even a seventh-round pick on a receiver with such impressive size and ability to flash (at least occassionally).

"His production was his main issue," the personnel man told me.

Seems throughout Wallace's senior season, the team's scouts simply weren't too impressed because the kids simply wasn't catching passes.

"Everyone had undrafted free agent grades on him early in the year but as the year went on the grades on him started to climb," the personnel man told me.

Wallace caught only 36 passes for 463 yards in 11 games for the Aztecs his senior year. That was third on the team in receptions. So he clearly wasn't the quarterback's favorite target. But the personnel man told me the San Diego State QB last year, Ryan Lindley, struggled early on and really didn't in tune with Wallace until later in the season.

Sure enough, Wallace averaged only 2.4 catches per game the first five outings of the year. He averaged 3.4 catches per game the final seven games of the year, and his outing in the season-finale against UNLV opened eyes. 

In that game the Aztecs actually made an attempt to get Wallace the ball and he caught eight passes for 108 yards. I'm also told the fact that Vincent Brown did not play the final five games of the year was another reason Wallace was given the opportunity to step up and perform.

And he did.

Wallace started playing football later in life. He was born in Panama City, Panama and didn't play football until his junior year in high school after moving to Oceanside, Calif. So he's still learning the game, especially route running techniques.

I cannot predict Wallace will make the Dolphins. Yes, he has prototypical size. Yes, he moves well enough. But he has much to learn and the inconsistencies still exist. But he bears watching. Like I said, he flashes.

If he does it often enough starting with Saturday's game against Tampa Bay, he could earn himself a practice squad spot. And maybe I'm being conservative.  

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I GOT THE FEELING BASED ON YOUR WRITING HE'S GOING TO MAKE IT .

I think we are long overdue for an undrafted star.

NSMB..change the name Mando!!

Long overdue for an undrafted star? How about Devone Bess?

...and Taurus Johnson was cut yesterday.

Go Phins!

Nick Saban MEMORIAL Bubble?

If it wasn't so disgusting, it would be hilarious. I hate to make fun of Miami and/or the Dolphins.....but......this is truly ludicrous.

A memorial named for a money grubbing, turncoat, liar? This is a blight upon the legacy of my beloved Dolphins and should be rectified immediately!

How this atrocity even came to be amazes me. The history of this franchise has been blessed with names like Robbie, Shula and Marino, yet we have a Nick Saban MEMORIAL Bubble...????

C'mon Man!!!!

Odinseye is out of jail .

he is going to move up the depth chart quickly.

I thought Taurus Johnson was cut?

It is not really called that - or at least I don't think it is.. I think it is Armando trying to be cute. Maybe Nick is the one to have ordered it?

Odinseye would you please have a sense of humor.

Getting out of jail aint all it's cracked up to be.

What with all the court costs, fines, restitution and "donations" to the victims rights funds.

....and don't even get me started on my probation officer. She's totally HOT, but man does she get offended easy! I'll be doing community service until I'm 60.

ODINSEYE, there's a bubble in jail ?

IT'S WINNING TIME!

GO FINS ,DESTROY EVERY TEAM IN YOUR WAKE .

Mike,

Sorry, when it comes to slime bags like Saban, I'm all out of humor.

PS: I'm sure his father, the Great Lou Saban, agrees with me. Nick is a douche bag :)

Ok you guys dont get it. It is the Nick Saban Memorial Bubble because it was the only good thing Nick brought to Miami. The only good thing to remember about Saban was he came in and wanted a practice bubble. We still have it thanks to Saban. Everything else he did here was garbage.

NICK SABAN IS KNOWN DOUCH BAG AS THE GREAT ODINSEYE JUST STATED .

HIS DAD THE GREAT DOUCH BAG LOU SABAN .

JASON,


HOW CAN YOU THANK HIM FOR THE BUBBLE THAT CAUSED 8 KNEE INJURES THIS YEAR .

CALL IT (( KNEE DESTROYER BUBBLE )).
GO FINS .

Bubbles?

In Jail?

I'm sure there were some soap bubbles.....but....I avoided the showers as often as possible!

ODINSEYE, FOR REAL..DID YOU GO TO JAIL OR IT'S A JOKE ?????

All- righty then, thanks for the heads-up

Jason,

If they can change the name of Joe Robbie stadium, a studium Joe Robbie had built out of his own pocket, then they can change the name of the bubble!

Nuff said!

....but, one more time for the record, Nick Saban is, was and always will be Captain Douche Bag!

ODINSEYE REMINDS ME OF JIM CARRY THE KARATE INSTRUCTOR .

Aloco,

I was in Detroit. I played a Blues Festival and an Old Time Blues Club.

Visited with realatives and Family. No casualties, no jail....at least not this time:)

Armando, does Roberto Wallace speak spanish? Seems to me you wrote that at some point but I'm not sure. Please post or tweet if so.

Go info on Wallace. But Mando the Nick Saban joke has gone on too far already. Please stop.

Odinseye:I've been to Detroit....I"d rather be in jail.Just kidding.It's good to have you back.

So are we having a live blog during the game tomorrow or what?

Does he speak Spanish?

I don't care if he speaks Portuguese, all I want to know is that he can beat out Patrick Turner.

YES,WE ARE GOING TO HAVE LIVE BLOG TOMORROW ...ARMANDO IS NOT DOING HIS RADIO TOMORROW .

It should be renamed "The Wayne Heizenga Bubble" since it was his money that bought it. Saban just ordered it!!!

Beerdrums,

Thanks. I did a lot of growing up in Detroit, learned alot of lifes lessons there. I prefer jail as well-LOL.

I THINK THERE IS GOOD CHANCES HE STARTS OVER BRANDEN MARSHALL. WE CAN TRADE BRANDON FOR 4TH ROUND PICKS AND START ROBERTO. THERE WILL BE NONE OF DROPOFFS IN THE PRODUCTION.

He size caught my eye when the undrafted FA's were announced in the spring. I think he lands on the practice squad with Patrick Turner getting one more year on the 53 man roster.

Maybe naming it after Heizenga is a good idea.

I always thought naming it after Shula would be the right thing to do. After remembering Shula and the "air-conditioners at halftime" story I've reconsidered.

I guess this sums up the difference between a man like Don Shula and a Douche called Saban.

Saban came to Miami and ordered a bubble.

Had the bubble been here when Shula arrived he would have had it torn down.

Oh well......Men will be Men and boys will be boys.

Next thing you know, we'll only be scheduling 4 O'clock games so our fans and opponents will be more comfortable.............

ALoco, press your caps key please. It's not cute or clever to write in all caps. It's just annoying and you could just as easily write in lower case and ignore caps all together. I don't read your posts most specifically because the lettering gives me a headache and I know I'm not the only one. Please rectify this situation.

We need a Braylon Edwards type of WR ( with better hands) to strech the field, a big tall, physical reciever, Im hoping this is the guy.

Can Roberto Wallace stretch the field?

Anybody know his 40 time?

Hmmm...........

Armando, one piece I wish you would have covered was Roberto Wallace's reason for choosing the Dolphins over any other NFL team. Who else did he have offers from?

FAKE ALOCO @ 3.47 .YOU GUYS KNOW ME ,

FAKE BLUE ALOCO , I LIKE YOU AS LONG AS YOU KEEP IT CLEAN

NICK SABAN BUBBLE.....THIS IS MY LAST TIME WRITING IN CAPS .THANKS FOR THE WAY YOU ASKED FOR IT.

Wow.

I just discovered this really cool thing called Google. According to Google At SanDiego States Pro Day Wallace ran a best time in the 40 at 4.41.

That's smoking for a 6-4 225 lb'er

Odin, that is pretty dang fast if he replicate it on a football field in game action. Physically, he tends to remind me of Malcolm Floyd of Sand Diego. Big guy who can get open deep that flew under the radar of a lot of teams.

Off topic - but don't you think it is a bad idea to get rid of two preseason games?

While I agree they are not what fans want to pay full price for, but doesn't the 4 games give people on the outside looking in a chance to make the team? Doesn't that give the coaches more info to field the best team?

I mean, everyone know that Henne is on the team - so he can get his timing down in practice and a bit of game play.. but what about the 5 receivers fighting for a roster spot.. They need a platform don't they?

Its not really called the NSMB. Its a joke!!! And Armando isnt the only writer to call it that. Anyone going on a rant about the NSMB makes themselves look like an idiot and exposes themselves as half as Phin followers. Get a grip!

...sorry half assed Phin followers

Thanks ALoco! You rock! Can't wait to read the new posts without having to take tylenol.

Lips, on the flip side, isn't 4 games a little bit of overkill? I mean, it's equivalent to a quarter of the season. That seems excessive especially since nobody really plays in that 4th game. I would be upset as a guy who writes the cheques too because these games cost money to run and probably lose money.

The Owners make too much money on the Preseason Games to just dump two of them.....The only senario for shortening the Preseason would be if the League adopts an 18 game regular season.
.
.

I don't care WHAT they call the freaking Bubble as long as they Put REAL GRASS in it!.
.
.

aint it funny how FLPD and finheavenblows post within minutes of each other.

he is not going to make the team!

we dont need another receiver who cant catch! doestn matter if your 7'3 245 and run a 4.4

Mark in Toronto,

A few of the old scouting reports on Wallace say he's in the mold of and/or has the body type of a Keyshawn Johnson.

For what it's worth I'm getting on the Dark Horse train with Mando.

I love watching underdogs fighting for their life in pre-season games

Odin, he definitely is big. Let's see what happens when the lights come on. He and Turner will have plenty of opportunities to impress especially with QBs like Thigpen and Pennington throwing against 2nd teamers. When Pat White is in there ... uhm ... well... they better have their blocking pads on.

Can someone please tell me, have I missed something. I have not heard one thing about Travis Ivey except that he can carry shoulder pads. Is he still on the team and if he is, how is he doing. The NT position is so thin we should have heard something about him.

Lips,

I agree with you totally on the number of pre season games.

I believe 4 pre season games as opposed to two puts a better product on the field for us the fans.

I mean the owners make millions as do the players. The GM's and Coaches live like Kings and yet they still want to "cut corners"?

These A-holes need to remember we fans care about the on field product and after all, we're their bread and butter.

Anybody know how I can get an avatar?? Seems to me like you need one to go over at the Sentinel. NJ wants people to get one before you go there. He was pretty pissed about it to someone.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Everytime you say Nick Saban Memorial bubble (NSMB) Bill Parcells nostrols flare and he pops a vain in his brain.

Why do I get the feeling your that kid that pokes a bear with a stick at the Zoo.

Its all fun and games till someone gets eaten by a bear.

Soiled :)

Of the practices I have been to, Roberto Wallace has stood out to me just like Brandon Marshall, he's as tall as Marshall, and he's got the moves and the hands. I haven't seen him drop a pass, and he can out-muscle our corners at least for the ball.

It will be good to see him in the game tomorrow night to see how he does against real competition. Personally I think this is Patrick Turner's swan song, I have a feeling that not only will Wallace make the team, he's going to see playing time during the year.

You cannot cut a talent like this kid, he deserves a chance to show what he can do.

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