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Truth about a couple of Mike Wallace myths

Getting my feet back under me after returning from the AFC Championship game, I will be very busy today. Let's start with a little free agency chatter.

In talking to various NFL people the last few days, including some Pittsburgh Steelers folks, I obviously asked about players the Dolphins might be interested in going forward in free agency. This is what I learned about likely free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace and how that lines up with myths we've all heard about him and some of you have posted on this blog:

Myth No. 1 -- Mike Wallace was so disappointing this past season he was benched by coach Mike Tomlin: False. During the week prior to the Dec. 12 game against Baltimore, Tomlin was clearly unhappy with his team's course and the production of some players. And so that week he announced that Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders would be listed as "co-starters" on the depth chart rather than Wallace being the guy. Wallace was coming off a disappointing game against Cleveland and Sanders was in the midst of good season so much was written about the changing of the guard, so to speak. Well on game day, do you know what happened? Wallace started against Baltimore. He was not benched. Wallace actually missed one start during the year -- that in the final week when he played only sparingly against Cleveland. The reason? He was troubled throughout the week with a hip injury and it prevented him from practicing and starting.

[Update: Looked at it further and Wallace actually missed the season-finale because of the injury. But, again, he was not benched.]

Myth No. 2 -- Mike Wallace runs only go-routes: False. While Wallace is primarily a deep threat and has not been used very often in routes across the field, his routes repertoire was expanded this season to allow him to use his world-class speed in other ways. He ran in-cuts and outs. Is he an expert at those routes? No, he probably needs improvement. But is that the best use of one of the NFL's best deep threat receivers? Fair question. Look, Mark Duper didn't run crossing routes. He was a deep threat, down the sideline guy. He averaged a whopping 17.4 yards per catch and 7.7 touchdowns per season over his career. Pretty good right? Wallace has averaged 17.2 yards per catch and 8 touchdowns per season so far. Any questions?

Myth No. 3 -- Mike Wallace drops passes: True. The guy dropped more passes this year than in past years. He dropped four passes in a game against Cincinnati. He blamed the issue on losing focus because the new offense instituted by offensive coordinator Todd Haley didn't always find him early on in games. Wallace said it was tough to play sometimes two or three quarters without a target and suddenly have the ball come to him. Excuse? I think so. On the other hand, name me a receiver that doesn't drop the ball sometimes.

Myth No. 4 -- Mike Wallace only cares about money and will disappear once he gets paid: Hard to be unequivocal here because this involves predicting the future. But I was told the guy is a hard-worker. I was told he is a good guy in the locker room. I was told he "cares about winning." I was told he is "a pleasure to work with." Does that guarantee he won't cruise once he gets paid? No. But he doesn't sound like someone who would be inclined to do that.

BLOG NOTE: Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland is talking to the media at the Senior Bowl today. I will get you an update on what he says later. So make sure to refresh often or come back for the update.

Comments

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If Im Wallace I go to Denver

Sign Wallace!! The guy has had 32 TD in his 4 year career. Please tell me what Dolphin WR is even close to that production? None! Bring in Wallace and draft a TE and another WR.

I stopped reading after 8 TDs per year... Sign the guy!

Why does the Herald allow these out of town freeloaders on this blog when they supply ZERO REVENUE to the Miami Herald or to ANY of its advertisers?

We have one HUGE obstacle when it comes to getting Wallace in for a visit....or even signing him....that obstacle is JEFF IRELAND....

I'm sure Wallace has had a conversation or two with Ryan Clark....Ryan Clark was the PITT SS who was noe to impressed with Ireland...and high-tailed it back to PITT ASAP...

No doubt he has scholled Wallace in the ways of a Jeff Ireland negotion....and Wallace having fore-knowledge...may just pass altogether....

Ireland most likey will have to OVER-PAY in FA to get ome of the best FAs here...

So your judging his production when he had a 2 time SB winner, a guy tough as nails to bring down. You all expect Wallace to do the same thing here with Tannehill throwing the ball! Hmmmm! when he doesn't have the same numbers whose fault will it be? Love these guys who compare recievers who have big time QB's throwing to them and expect the same thing here. What happened to Larry Fitzgerald when he didn't have Warner throwing to him.

The only issue I have with wallace is $$. Is he worth the 10m/year that he's going to demand.

Wallace sounds so Mark Duper-like, which isnt new news.

Armando, are you aware that Duper was our #2 wr? Where's Mark Clayton in this free agency?

Clayton still thrived several years without Duper. I seriously doubt Duper would have thrived several years without Clayton. Seriously Armando, $8-$10 million a year for Wallace, I no see why Pittsburgh is balking.

He does run crossing routes. AGAIN, look at the NYG game this year. Took a short crossing route and took it to the house long - outran everyone - 50,60 yards. I was there in NY the week after Sandy.

Kris, money talks BS walks, Clark was low balled by the Dolphins. If Ireland gives a respectable contract to Wallace why wouldnt he leave Pitt for Miami, its Miami for goodness sake

Paying big money to a WR in his prime really concerns me. Wallace comes off to me as someone that has seen his best and will finish his career struggling to match his early numbers.

It's to easy for a WR to shy from contact once he's paid. Not even purposely in some cases. It is what it is so if you pay one you better be sure the dude is a little crazy in terms of continuing to risk himself for a team he's never played for before.

At this point I'm lowballing Hartline, Jennings, Bowe, Wallace and even Welker. From a numbers standpoint there's enough quality out there that the deal(s) can come to you.

I have the same concern with TEs like Cook and the other receiving TEs.

I'd rather see them spend the money up front on the lines in free agency since those guys are constantly engaged in serious contact, there's no avoiding it.

Spend the cash on the lines and use the picks to fill in the rest. If a WR/RB/TE/DB is willing to sign below market then do it but I'd avoid big money long term with them. Below market or even short term contract should be what's sought out.

Home, nice to know you're still with us @ 11:48. Don't let a banning stop u.

Why would Wallace want to join the lowly Fins?

The team that would probaly be the best landing spot for Moke Wallace are the Cincinatti Bengals.

Lets face it, Wallace is a great #2 wr, paireing him with a great #1 wr(AJ Green) would be awesome on th Bengals behalf.

If Im the Bengals gm and know that I have an awesome youmg qb, te, and all Im missing is the awesome #2 wr. Mike Wallace would top my offseason fa shoppimg list.

So, dlfan daydreamers, do not be surprised if Mike Wallace is a Bengal this year. He would cement their place as a bonafide perrenial playoff offense. AJ Green and Mike Wallace woul be nearlt an unstoppable dynamic duo.

Chris Johnson Part II. no thanks.

No one wants to come to Miami, especially from a team that actually competes every year.

I didn't hear any of this! If Mike Wallace came to Miami that would be huge for the dolphins! I am coming to a couple games this year when I have my Miami Beach Rental in line. Lets go Dolphins!!!

Armando,

In you article itself, its apparent if not targeted early and often, Wallace has a penchant to "loose focus". It also suiggests his "other" route rnning skills could use "much improvement" too.

Does this sound like a "true #1 wr" to you?

Also, if Hartline's resigned, whom dolfans dont see has a true #1 wr either. Dolphans will look upon Wallace to be the "true savior" for this offense which he alone is not.

Then there's the issue if you draft a "young #1 wr" will Wallace be happy to deferr? According to this he wont:

"Wallace said it was tough to play sometimes two or three quarters without a target and suddenly have the ball come to him".

ENUFF SAID!

lose

So, if Wallace doesnt get targeted for 2-3qtrs, he at least "inwardly pouts" so strongly it affects his focus and increases his drops. No comment.

If I'm Wallace, I go to Indy.

If Im Wallace I go to Cincy and play along side og AJ Green. That if Im not thinking Me-Me-Me.

YG, you cant argue against 32 TD in 4 years. Can Jennings take a slant for 60 yards?? No, Bowe not at all. Im not sure if Wallace is a number 1 or not but he is a playmaker we desperatley need. Sign him and draft another big fast kid in the draft maybe Cordelle Patterson. Point is we need guys who score TD's!

As time passes the more I want Wallace the less I want Jennings. I'll take both but I doubt we'll get both. Wallace has height and speed; Jennings is all-around, average in most good in others. No2Bowe!

Wouldnt mind Wallace but would rather have Jennings and Bowe. Here's why - Jennings runs great routes, knows the system and is in his prime. Bowe is a beast - look at what Boldin does for the Ravens. Neither of those 2 have world class speed but both make defenses account for them. I am totally okay getting Wallace but you have to get another WR like Jennings. You can't just get an over the top guy to consistently move the chains. My preference would be Jennings, Bowe, Wallace in that order. Would love to get 2 but don't see Miami paying that much money and too many other teams will be willing to spend. Bowe's size is needed. Hartline is a great example of a WR where a physical secondary can take a guy out of the game - he is too weak.

Clue....hope you're right....

I'm in the Wallace camp...lets see what we get....

IMO, the best offseason approach is 2 olinemen in fa, and draft 2 wr's and a Te with the 1st 3 picks. Its the no brainer approach.

Of course there are many many other options. Its just a question of will those be the best options.

Fixing the oline with already battle tested and proven olinemen seems the most common sense approach. Neither is it taking star college wr's as long to develop not that colleges now use the U.S Air Force approach, over their former U.S. Ground forces approach.

Thanks to an Armando tweet here is a interview with Jeff Ireland at the sr. bowl.

https://twitter.com/AdamHBeasley

Vince,

Exactly why I say draft 2 young wr's. Your Bowe could be "Cordarrelle Patterson". Patterson is in the mode of your Bowe and Boldin type nfl wr's.

I would consider it a draft day coupe if we got both Cordarrelle Patterson and DeAndre Hopkins. Or even Keenan Allen and Patterson. Then one of the top 3 TeE's.

Bowe takes plays off and has pretty bad hands and never steps up when you need him to. No thanks. He'll cost a lot and won't do too much for us, isn't fast enough. If we didn't want Marshall why would we want Bowe

Wallace is a complimentary WR. He always has been. He played opposite Ward and Holmes as a rookie then played opposite Ward for the next two years. This year, he was "the man" in the passing game and was 3rd on his team in receptions and 2nd among WRs. And people want to pay him $8M/year?

Now, the bigger thing to me are the routes and the drops.

I never believed the "Wallace only runs deep routes" argument, but I have to say that those routes seem to be a significant percentage of the routes he does run not mention that they are the only ones he seems to run well.

The drops are another issue entirely. Drops are wasted passes because they destroy the rhythm of an offense. In Wallace's case, I see the drops being the result of him being a guy who body catches passes, not a guy who catches them with his hands. This is the dripping in its own blood red flag for me about Wallace. If he caught the ball like McDuffie or Gadsden, I'd be all over him. But he doesn't and I'm not interested in guys like that.

Adam Beasley‏@AdamHBeasley

I asked Ireland if he considers Jake Long elite. His response: "I think Jake can play in this league."

Ireland with a ringing endorsement of Long...

Clue,

Not arguing against 32 tds in 4yrs. The production is as a #2 wr. Can you say Mark Duper! Duper was great too, just not a #1 wr. Mark Clayton was our #1.

Clayton was still very effective several seasons after Duper was done. Once the speed began to diminish so did Duper. Remember, Duper occassionally ran routes other than 9's. However, it didnt make Duper a true #1 wr either.

Wallace is Duper, but we still need Clayton too. Even drafting a "young Clayton" upon signing Wallace. There's still issue of will Wallace coexist? Again this says thats "highly questionable":

"Wallace said it was tough to play sometimes two or three quarters without a target and suddenly have the ball come to him".

Armando, what is your opinion in "doubling down" on a QB early in he draft, like the SS suggested? It might be a good idea in light of Tannys 29th ranking.

Ireland on Egnew: Certainly wish he would have been out there more. Players develop in different stages.


More Ireland on Egnew: I've got a high regard for him. He's going to have a good season this year.


I think these two Ireland quotes may shed some light on who really liked Egnew in the draft.

I would take Patterson and any of those as well YG but I doubt that can happen where we pick. Patterson at 12 is possible but IMO the other 2 guys will be long gone before pick 42.

There are so many WR's I want if we just get 2 of them I would be happy. And if Patterson was one of them even more happy.

I know Ertz and EIfert are top 2 but who do you have at 3 for TE? My 3rd would be between Fauria and Kelce.

Yo Irescum,


Is your momma a hooka?

Texas,
Just to show how deep the wr class is, this guy is ranked #14(3rd-4th rd) amongst wr's coming out by Walter Camp. He's huge and has great speed for a wr:

Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-4. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2013): 3-4.

1/12/13: Davis is a big wide out who has some speed and explosiveness. He was the Hokies No. 1 receiver in 2012 and would have even more production if quarterback Logan Thomas wasn't struggling with his accuracy all season. Davis had 51 receptions for 953 yards and five touchdowns.

This is a very good wr class. Just no real Calvin Johnsons. But there are many nfl wr coprps very successful without Calvin Johnsons on their roster.

Kris, imo here is the biggest obstacle in signing Wallace.

"I was told he "cares about winning."

Someone made the point the other day and had the post not been filled with name calling and ridicule I would have commended them for the thought. Why are any of these players going to come to a perennial .500 team when there will be other suitors out there who are already considered playoff teams?

This means the team would have to overspend and we know that goes against Jeffs principles and Philbin prefers to draft his guys anyhow.

Therefore I don't see them getting Wallace. Jennings is the most likely target because of familiarity and his ties with Philbin. He's already won a Super Bowl so he may not be looking for that already built team, a slight raise may be enough for him.

Texas,

Yup, my #3 TE in this draft is Fauria.

signal @ 1:02. I wouldn't say a guy was elite if i was trying to talk down his price either. He could be telling the truth but he may not just to help his own bargaining power

WHen Ireland mentions disrupters on D I have no doubt that Mingo and Jordan can fit that very easily. BUT a great 2nd round choice would be a guy like Datone Jones. If he doesn't race up boards into the late first.

YG, the problem with your plan of drafting a couple of WR's is it genrally takes a couple of years before a college WR gets accustomed to the NFL unlike there a Megatron, Andre Johnson type. Patterson and Hopkins were good in college but not dominant, it will take time for them to adjust to the NFL. When was the last time Miami had a deep threat at WR. Ginn?? Marshall wasnt a deep threat. Jeez why you guys complaining about paying Wallace 8 million is it your money??

myth #-5.
wallace will not be a miami dolphin this off season.
lol

The only FA WR I would pay 8.000.000+ for is Larry Fitzgerald.

YG, are you tring to make the Dolphins a playoff team next year or 4 years from now. Thats whats wrong with your plan

YG - Yes Davis is a guy that might be available with our early 3rd round pick too and I like his talent. As I watched the East West shrine game this past weekend I was hating the QB's for not throwing his way.

myth #-5.
wallace will not be a miami dolphin this off season.
lol
Posted by: 2 watt | January 22, 2013 at 01:19 PM

So you're saying he will be a dolphin...

"Why does the Herald allow these out of town freeloaders on this blog when they supply ZERO REVENUE to the Miami Herald or to ANY of its advertisers?"

How can you be so utterly retarded? Do you act like a f^%&ing moron on purpose, is this an act? I can't imagine anyone could be this stupid.

Do you see the Petco add? Do you see the i-phone add? Do you see all of the adds for Dolphins gear? Do you realize that I buy from Petco for my Dogs on a weekly basis? Do you realize I own an i-phone? Do you know I have actually clicked the link to the right and bought a Dolphins hat and Jersey?

Stop being a moron on purpose, go back to being a moron by mistake.

Again, the perfect landing spot for Wallace(Duper) would be alongside AJ Green(Clayton) in Cincy.

Cincy plays in the same division, they have Green, I hope you simpletons dont think that Wallace isnt a HUGE bullseye target on their offseason shopping list.

The Bengals have a greater reason to go after Wallace than even us. They already have AJ Green, and they get an "up close and personal" look at Wallace "twice a season". LOL..

We all know Ireland a cheap SOB, so I dont expect any FA WR to sign here. We'll be drafting a couple.

Armando,
If Wallace is so dynamic why would the Steelers be willing to part with him? He reminds me of Alvin Harper the old Cowboys receiver. He was great as long as Aikman was the QB and Irving was playing along side him. When Harper went to Tampa after a BIG free agent signing he stunk up the place and lasted two years.
Wallace has NEVER been a #1 receiver. That was Hines Ward. And this year Wallace was mediocre at best. Be careful giving this guy a big contract and expecting him to be the #1 guy.

YG and I do agree that this draft is pretty deep when it comes to WR. IMO they are 3 rounds deep.

Phins @ 1:17. This is the dilemna not aonly facing the Miami Dolphins but any team in any sport that does not ahve a well mapped out recent history of success. You have to overspend in free agency to the point where it become counter productive.

Good news that in my opinion you don't need to sign Mike Wallace for it to be asuccessful free agency campaign. There will be many players available who are very good and can fill an immediate need for us that won't break the bank (i.e. WR, TE, CB, FS, OT) We are armed with $40M and three high picks. We should be able to transform the identity of this team a bit - there's a lot of flexibility and go for productivity and not the name on the back of the jersey.

Armando,

Wallace would be a great addition to drafting another speed receiver. There are a number of speed receivers in the draft who could be drafted by the Dolphins with their 12th pick. Having a speed tandem would work great in creating separation for Tannehill or Moore. Perhaps getting FA Dustin Keller would also work for the Dolphins. This would represent some playmaking abiltiy along with Bush or Miller.

Three words - Dwayne Bowe's better.

You guys are dumber that I thought if you think rookie WR's will be better than a 4 year pro. Rookie WRs have a lot of learning to do in the NFL. I suppose you guys want to field a team with a bunch of rookies and be good in 4 years. SMH

Clue, I think if we could get Wallace for $8M, that would be a bargain. Not happening, the last very good WR to change teams and go to an iffy team was Sidney Rice. His cap hit for this year was $8.2M and that was signed a few years a go and he doesn't have the cache MW does.

$8M a year doesn't even put Wallace in the top 10 for WRs and I don't think he's coming here for less than that - especially when he turned down more from the Steelers from what I hear.

I am not into Wallace anymore. Not a good fit.

Don't know why experts think this is a weak WR class. True, there are no megatrons this year, but at the same Time, Jerry Rice, others HOF WRs were never those either. With these great superAthletes coming out, there are a couple WRs in this Draft that can also play RB at times with ease. Outtasite.

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