« Vernon likely starting DE, Lane demoted | Main | John Jerry back on the field today for some work »

Tannehill, Wallace need to connect more in practice

MIke Wallace caught slant pass from Ryan Tannehill midway through practice Monday and about 40 minutes later caught a deep pass from the starting quarterback over the top of the defense for a touchdown.

That was good.

That was also it.

Tannehill targeted Wallace three times in practice and the duo connected twice. And that's fine except when you consider that Tannehill actually attempted more passes to reserve receiver Brian Tyms. And tight end Dustin Keller. And Brian Hartline. And just as many to Jeff Fuller, another reserve receiver who may or may not be on the team in three weeks.

So if you ask me are the Dolphins feeding the Tannehill-to-Wallace connection a good diet in practice, I would say absolutely not. The fact is Monday's work was pretty much typical of what has happened in all the practices I've witnessed this training camp when counting Tannehill-to-Wallace connections.

Sometimes they hook up twice in a practice. Sometimes three times. Rarely more than that. Sometimes they go an entire practice and don't connect at all. Meanwhile, Tannehill connects with Keller all the time. He has a definite chemistry with Hartline. And he seems pretty comfortable throwing to Brandon Gibson as well.

All that is good -- except that none of those other guys are the caliber of playmaker that Mike Wallace is. None are being paid what the Dolphins are paying Wallace. None are feared around the NFL as Wallace is feared.

So why is Wallace catching fewer passes in practice than his peers? And, incredibly, why on this day was he targeted fewer times than a receiver who is fighting for a No. 4 or No. 5 WR job?

Perhaps I'm making too much of this. But it has happened on a number of days that I've watched practice. And, if you believe like coach Joe Philbin does, that practice is important and eventually will reflect what we see in games, then this trend is potentially alarming.

Tannehill doesn't seem to throw nearly enough to Wallace in practice to suggest this is going to be an elite combination in the NFL this season.

(Return of the peanut gallery here: But Mando, you're just a dumb columnist who never played the game and you're making a big deal out of nothing and, after all, Allen Iverson said this is just practice.)

Fine. So I asked Wallace the simple question: Is he getting enough passes thrown to him in practice from Ryan Tannehill?

"Ahhhh, I think it's going to come," he said seemingly surprised by the question. "Obviously I didn't practice for like a week and a half so that kind of takes away shots I would have had. But I think I get enough balls. Well, I wouldn't say ... We have a lot of periods in practice so you're going to catch a lot of passes. At the same time we have so many guys and there's so much going on so fast that you're not always going to ge the ball."

Stop right there. Wallace is a professional. He's not a troublemaker. But neither is he a liar. So he's clearly hedging his answer. He obviously doesn't want to say something that could potentially make folks look bad. But neither does he want to suggest something that is so clear is not true. He also doesn't want to sound like he's complaining.

So he just talked in circles a little bit.

"You know, there are certain plays that my coach wants to see me in and for those plays I make sure I get the rep and I get extra plays as well," Wallace said. "But there are certain plays he wants to see me run a certain route and I might not get the ball but this is the look we'll look for. I understand what's going on so you're not going to see too much frustration out of me just like I need to do this or that. I feel like I'm doing a great job at doing the things I plan to work on -- just getting in my spots and learning the offense. I feel like I'm a playmaker on the field. That's what I do. I'm not really worried about that. As long as I know where I'm going and I'm able to play fast, I think I'll be fine."

So to recap, does Mike Wallace think he's seeing enough passes from Tannehill in practice?

Ahhhh, at some point that will happen. I was injured for a while. I get enough passes. Well, maybe. We've got a lot of guys on the team and they have to get there's so I'm not always going to get the ball. There are plays I'm just running to see what the defense is doing. I'm not going to get too frustrated about this. I'm not complaining. I'll be fine.

Gotcha.

The only reason this is even a minor issue is because Wallace made his preseason debut last Friday and didn't catch a pass. Indeed, Tannehill never looked at him.

Was he open?

"I had a couple of shots out there we could have took," Wallace said. "But there's a lot of things that go into that. Obviously, it's not just me getting open. We have a lot going into that so everything has to flow together and I think we'll take care of it and I think we'll hit those shots I think we have."

Yes, getting the ball to Wallace deep means the offensive line has to block well and give Tannehill time. And then the QB has to feel confident about throwing it to Wallace.

Neither of those happened against Jacksonville.

"There was one where we came out and started a drive with a play," Tannehill said. "I ended up moving around and hitting Gibson over the middle, but going back and looking at it, I could have stayed in the pocked a little bit, just pushed up and kept my eyes downfield. Mike ended up winning on the outside. Other than that, that’s kind of the way the game fell."

The Dolphins studied the tape of the Jacksonville game and say they are committed to improving their ability to getting the ball downfield to Wallace.

"That’s one thing we are working on this week is using the pocket, getting a little bit better protection, but using what I have to do better, stepping up and finding a way to get the ball downfield," Tannehill said.

The irony here is that in a practice where that's a focus, Wallace only caught two passes. In a practice where the idea is to get the ball deep, Tannehill is throwing to Tyms more often. Really?

Obviously, it is still early. The Dolphins have the chance to multiply many times what we're seeing so far. But how that's going to happen in games, particularly ones that count in the regular season, if it doesn't happen in practice stumps me.

That has to change. Soon.

Because if Mike Wallace continues to catch only a couple of passes from Tannehill in practice, he's not catching two or three times that many in real games.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This is the new format Fraud

Game 1: Philbin plays whoever the FK he wants
Game 2: Philbin plays whoever the FK he wants
Game 3: Philbin plays whoever the FK he wants
Game 4: Philbin plays whoever the FK he wants

Learn it...Like it...Live it....

MIT,
I know what you mean about the risk of injuries to key players.
We have depth on defensive front 7, RBs, TEs, WRs.

I believe we are very thin at CB, OL & QB.

I've been saying for 4 months, "...if Grimes breaks camp with the team..." and "...if we can have Grimes for the first 5 games...".

I imagine 1 and a half quarters to a full half for the starters against Houston.

Jack!,
I have learned the new format.
I like the new format.
I will live the new format from this day forward.

Yeatman is now working exclusively as a lineman.

You are correct on that format but Sparano in that year was so upset with his offense that he made them work extra in game four and Long got totalled.

And this game is the 3rd preseason game for Miami in form but it is actually the 2nd in substance because Houston is playing their 2nd. Miami has 5 this year as opposed to the standard four.

So if the old format is being used by Houston than we should expect JJ Watt and Schaub and Foster and Johnson and Cushing etc for the first half.

Mando, i really wish you were the coaches aid, or something to that effect, why does it seem that you, and a great deal of fans see things that to us look so rediculously obvious, and yet the staff on the field who are responsible for preparing this team are so oblivious to it that it actually takes someone with a microphone during an interview to bring light things of such importance...sure the position coaches are busy doing there things, but is anyone sitting back to see the whole picture? and just as this sounds an alarm with you, so does tannehill's penchant for NOT keeping his eyes down field, and where is his peripheral vision...he seems to worried with the pass rush and has a bad case of happy feet..i believe he needs to focus downdield on his speedy targets as they are the ones who will get open the quickest...maybe we can put blinders on him during practice...and guess who we play this weekend??? no other then JJ WATT!

budtki,
These is somebody sitting back and assessing the whole picture: Jeff Ireland

TIME AND SPACE

If it takes a WR 5 seconds to run 40 yards and it takes the ball 2 seconds to travel 4 yards then how much time does the QB need to hold the ball before he throws it?
Answer 3 seconds if the CB is playing off.

The first big roster reductions should be after this game not after preseason week 3.
All of these extra idiots are taking scarce coaching resources away from the players that need it most.

THE BIGGEST CATASTROPHE

What would be more devastating: a season ending injury to Grimes or Martin?

The average number of snaps in an NFL game is between 60 and 70.

No coach with an I.Q. above "grapefruit" would expose their most talented and important players (in this case a guy like J.J. Watt) to "at least 40 snaps" in a PRACTICE game.

Yes, you want to see how Martin acquits himself against a top pass rusher but to expect the Texans coaching staff to play along with your desire that Watt be on the field that long in a meaningless game is quite frankly ludicrous.

Will not happen. Nor should it.

That's what I was going to say Mark. Irving Fryar? Are you kidding me? How about in the last decade? With that said, I don't totally agree with Kris. Marshall was fine, he just didn't have a QB. I mean, is Larry Fitzgerald now horrible because his QB last year sucked b*lls? And he was good in Chi-Town too. Someone else mentioned Reggie Bush. Asking a FA to get us to the Playoffs without fixing the QB situation (or playing a rookie) is asking too much.

Exposing,

I think you can safely turn your phone off without fear you'll be missing a call from an NFL team to be hired as a GM.

Are you just on "mindless babble mode" today? Jesus.

Earth,
I just spoke to Gary Kubiak.
His starters are playing the whole first half this week and the frist 3 quarters next week.

Kubiak says he using the new format which means he can play he players for however phuccing long he wants to.
He wants to play them for the first half this week.

And 1 more thing: QBs that go 3 and out often average 60 snaps a game. QBs that move the ball like Sherman through Atlanta get 90 snaps a game.

DC,
Larry Fitzgerald had the same QBs last season as the 2 seasons before that.

What he didn't have last season was a LT so the QB never had the time to throw it deep so they stuck with shhty slants that were frequently knocked down at the line and picked off.

Tannehill is not elite. <-- Its time we embrace that notion.

Tannehill is just good enough for an 8-8 season. I do not see him being a 10+ season QB.

Mando, why is that every year its the same old, same old... an offensive line with more holes than the Mexican border. What I saw so far is Tannehill is scared he's going to get hit and he has every right to be cuz it happens way to often.

ETF, either way, he's still one of the best (just being brought down by the talent around him). But also they benched Kolb and started Skelton (and then that other kid when he went down). Then traded Kolb (so he was more of the problem than the solution).

Jack, too early to say that. It's not where you start, it's where you finish!

I hope you are right about Will Yeatman being able to handle LT if Martin is hurt.

At this point our talent level is deep at all areas except OL. That is scary. We need louis and Jerry healthy and we need Thomas to step up.

And NOBODY is going to trade us a good tackle. No team is stupid enough to let a good tackle go. (and, no, our coaches did not let a good tackle go) We have to develop our own. Our coaches are good enough to do that, I just don't know if they have time.

DC,
I was not saying kolb was good.
I was saying that the Kolb-Skelton-whoever QB carousel has been going on in AZ since Kolb got there.

John Jerry has been demoted multiple times on this team; now we're depending on him to bail out the OL?

I see there is rampant lesbian frivolity here again today.

I'm in the minority in thsi but I remember Jerry playing a pretty good left tackle two years back. better than Martin played last year..


I thought Yeatman was a TE?

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | August 13, 2013 at 02:57 PM

He hasn't been a TE in 1.5 years. It's obvious the fraud here is you.

I love lesbians...

Jerry is at least strong enough that he doesn't get knocked back into the QB before he sets his feet.

He can also run block. And we will have to run if we are going to the playoffs. I like Tannehill but he is not good enough yet to take this team to the playoffs on his back. Brady, Eli, Brees, Flacco and a bunch of others could not do it either in their second year so he is in good company.

John Jerry is fat blubber. Addicted to pancakes. He has no business on any decent team.

Mark are you on crack? Fat sloth Jerry played a decent LT, Ive seen it all on this board now. BWHAHAHAH.

Mark makes me embarrassed to be a Canadian.

Lesbians rule. One of the wealthiest and most educated segments of American society.

I wish a lesbian ownership group would buy the Dolphins.

A good QB wouldnt need a great OL. They can hide weaknesses and overcome inefficiencies. Tannehill is not good.

I wish a lesbian ownership group would buy the Dolphins.
Posted by: Dennis Mitchell | August 13, 2013 at 04:22 PM

Me too but I'd settle for ANYONE but Ross!

AS LONG AS WALLACE OR TANNEHILL IS NOT HURT THERE IS NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. . IT'S MANDO'S JOB TO WRITE SOMETHING TO GET US ALL CONCERN ABOUT NOTHING. "REMEMBER THE DAMN "HAT ISSUE"? ANYONE STILL WORRYING ABOUT THAT ?? HELL NO !! WALLACE HAS TO LEARN THIS OFFENSE AS FAR AS WHAT IS EXPECTED OF HIM ON CERTAIN PLAYS. I THINK THAT'S WHAT WALLACE SAID. DO YOU THINK THIS MAN IS JUST GOING TO SIT BACK AND NOT MAKE PLAYS WHEN THEY COUNT ?? HELL NO AND NEITHER IS TANNEHILL!! RIGHT NOW BOTH KNOWS WHICH PLAYS THEY BOTH WORK WELL DOING AND ARE NOT WORRIED. THE FINS CANNOT AFFORD FOR WALLACE TO PULL SOMETHING OR BE OUT FOR THE 1ST GAME OR ANY GAMES. IT'S F...KING PRESEASON!! PRESEASON!! AND TO MAKE MATTERS WORST MANDO IS WORRIED ABOUT PRACTICE!! PRACTICE!!C'MON MAN!! WITH ALL THE INJURIES TO KEY PERSONAL AROUND THE LEAGUE WE AS FIN FANS SHOULD BE GLAD AND CONSIDER OURSELVES LUCKY!! OH YEAH AND BY THE WAY I SEE 3-2/4-1 START IF WE BEAT CLEVELAND 1ST!! IF NOT 1-4 MAYBE!! BUT REMEMBER WE HAVE ONE THING IN OUR FAVOR "OUR DEFENSE" GO FINS!!

Mike Jones, told you I was in the minority. Now stop putting down minorities.

That's racism!!!

Da'Rick Rogers tearing up Bills camp. I pegged this guy as the #1 WR in this class. Stole one with an UDFA as long as he doesn't implode. Wish the Dolphins took a chance with him as the #4 instead of McNutt

Blog,
I'll leave the career of Will yeatman for you to follow.

Mark, I wanted Honey Badger who you constantly bashed because of his pre draft measureables now it looks like this guy will be a star in the league. Word around Cardinals camp is he's the most impressive player on either side of the ball.

I have zero ounce of belief in the honey badger. Nobody as slow or small or weak as him has ever been anyone in the NFL that didn't use his foot to make a living.

I will bash him to my last day ...

and that spells DOOM for the Cardinals if that's the case ...

Yeatman is this staffs personal project...and he is by all reports not only transitioning well but pushing for a serious role...

Mark, I know there are many influential and wealthy lesbians in Toronto who practice good hygiene and share a passion for sports.

I ask that you contact these lesbians to see about forming an ownership group to purchase the Miami Dolphins.

I just want a liberal like Joe Robbie or Robert Kraft or Dan Rooney to own the Dolphins.

These Republican creeps like Ross and Huizenga ran the franchise into the ground.

I SAW OSCAR CANOSA AT AVENTURA MALL TODAY. HE WAS WEARING A MU MU AND A MAGENTA SCARF AND SANDALS. WE GOT A PEDICURE TOGETHER!

Mark, I agree with that comment you made on Saturday. Good point.

go finsssssssssssssss we be rollingggggggggg

Mark, thats dumb, he played in the SEC the best conference in college football and was a HESIMAN TROPHY candidate as a PR/DB. SMH, if it was all about measurables that LB the Jets drafed who was Hulk strong woulda made it in the NFL. Instead he was a BUST!!!

I agree Mando it should be double that at a minimum for T-hill passes to Wallace. 10 a day until they get caught up!

Wanna see a real protection disaster, make Yeatman the backup LT. We're talking a year and half away from being a TE.

He probably makes Mark Columbo look like Ft Knox.....

I hope Dashi and Odin are enjoying their honeymoon in Costa Rica.

Enjoy those banana daiquiris, boys. "Bottom's Up!"

Yeatman is the Lex Hilliard of offensive lineman. Good enough to endure a useless existence on the Miami Dolphins.

I agree with Truth....

Measurables don't necessarily make you a football player, just as not having them, doesn't mean you are not necessarily a football player.

Football is an extremely physical and exerting game. Still, you cant rule out the great importance of heart, smarts and determination.

This is what separates "football players" from just mere "physical specimens".

Sam Madison never met an excuse to avoid a tackle that he didn't like.......

Why the phuc are we discussing Will Wheaton?

Jeff Ireland,
Please call the Walmart manager trainee progrm director and request a leave of absence for Pat McQuistan.
We will need McQuistan to start at every position on the OL this year just like he did in 2010.
Then we will find out what a quality QB Tanne is.

Anybody can win games for Bal, NE, GB, SF. It takes a real man to win games on the shhtyist teams like Miami and Jville.


Why the phuc are we discussing Will Wheaton?

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | August 13, 2013 at 05:36 PM


Earlier today someone here says he's the backup LT. F-cking insanity...............

17,
Pat McQuistan is our backup LT.
He is currently unloading a truck on the WalMart loading doc. The guys he is supervising keep vanishing so he is doing the labor himself. When he done he will request a leave of absence so he can come back and be immediately moved to the top of the OL deptchart.

Dear 'Better Days'


Being Creeps and also being bad Owners are mutually exclusive.

The current Owner is just much better at ripping off the city and it's fans.


Think about it.

Joe Robbie built a stadium with with his own money.

Stephan Ross wants to charge taxpayers AND then make them pay again when they want to see a game. !
.
.
.
.

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 »

The comments to this entry are closed.