« Keys to the game: Raven | Main | Dolphins vs. Ravens live blog (and other things) »

The issues with getting the ball deep to Mike Wallace

I shared with you earlier in the week how Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace said he was "definitely worried" about his first four games with the Dolphins.

Well, as Wallace is very important to the success of this team, I decided to explore why it is Wallace on the Dolphins is not quite working like Wallace on the Steelers worked for much of his four years there. Now, please keep perspective. We're only talking four games. Things can get better as soon as today's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

But for that to happen some changes have to be made.

Why?

Because in studying these issues, I've come to the conclusion everyone involved is partially responsible for Wallace so far not being the dynamic deep threat I know he can be.

Basically, I blame everyone.

In my column in today's Miami Herald, I go through the reasons Wallace isn't succeeding consistently so far. You want to know who I blame most?

The coaching staff.

Joe Philbin, you see, has taken an approach he thinks is right with Wallace and as you'll see, once Joe makes a decision, it is apparently written in stone and even if you question him, as I did, he comes back with the ""that's how we do it" response.

My column explains why the Dolphins should re-think that approach in this instance. They should re-think not moving Wallace around. They should re-think always lining him up on the right side. They should re-think how much production they're going to get out of their deep-threat receiver while lining him out right because their quarterback has issues thowing deep to his right.

Darn, gave part of it away.

By the way, would it be the first time Dolphins coaches misuse talent? Remember they kept insisting Reggie Bush is a between the tackle runner? Detroit puts him out in space and away we go. Remember they told us last year Jared Odrick is a defensive end? No, he's a defensive tackle in a 4-3 or a DE in a 3-4 but not a 4-3. Remember they're still insisting Daniel Thomas is every bit as good as any other RB on the roster?

Remember they took a 3-4 defense that was sixth in the NFL in points allowed in 2011 (yielding 19.6 points per game) and turned it into a 4-3 unit that was seventh in points allowed in 2012 (19.8 PPG) and is now 15th in points allowed (22.8 PPG)? We're going in the wrong direction, here. 

Check out the column. Then come back here and leave your comments.

Go

[Update: By the way, one issue I didn't include in my column or in this post earlier is how the Dolphins practices are set up. I had a club source text me, apparently after he read what I wrote, and told me he thinks the Dolphins don't focus enough in practice getting the ball to Wallace deep and so it's no surprise it doesn't happen that often in games. Interesting.]

Comments

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

@ Oscar 10:23...I have a great deal of respect for you on this blog, but I have to disagree with you on your post. Deep routes are out of the question as long as our OL is not giving THill time to get rid of the ball. Short routes are our only hope until we get the OL fixed. I prefer the dink and dunk strategy anyway, it gives our guys a chance to get open and get YAC's while giving the OL a break and giving THill a target in a shorter period of time. It worked with Marino, Duper, and Clayton, but not in this situation, bombs away does not work when the line can't block long enough for the deeper routes to develop.
Lets see if the coaching staff makes an adjustment, otherwise we are in for a very long day.

From Armando's article...I like it...because it has quotes from players and/or coaches (DC).....
------------------------------------------------

Hartline is Tannehill’s go-to guy.

“I would say so,” Wallace said. “Maybe it’s because they played a whole year together. I don’t know. That’s they’re thing. They do what they do. They prepare how they prepare. I prepare how I prepare. I don’t know what they do together. Honestly, that’s their relationship.”

------------------------------------------
3-1 is nice 4-1 will be better....

but like Philbin....the way things are currently being done is ...."unsustanable"...

Not getting the ball to Wallace....while continuing to throw it to 2nd dairy recievers Hartline and Gibson....is unsustainable.....they paid Wallace 60 mil for a reason....you got to fix this JOE....

Give miller 20 touches...minimum....its time to find a RB....and its pretty eveident that Thomas isn't it...so lets find out if Miller is...

Very winnable game...so lets WIN IT....and get some consitency from our play maklers in the process....

@bond 10:42.. LOL ridiculous statement.. Bench ur starter when u are 3-1 .. Much more to being a good NFL QB than throwing the ball as far as you can every time.. All of the throws need to be made.. (There are other ways to make big plays BTW) I can tell you that Devlin CAN NOT throw the outs and comebacks (doesnt have the arm or the zip on the ball).. Tannehill can make ALL the throws.. maybe deep to the right is an issue..He is still a work in progress after all. Not everyball is thrown perfectly... if it hits ur hands CATCH IT. The fact that the WRs aren't being moved around and we can't keep the D out of the backfield for more than 3 seconds is a problem...

One thing I would like to see is our defense score some points. Anyway possible but we could use them and the ST to help out and make some big plays.

@10:46....Having a "great deal of respect" for the Oscar character....on"this blog" or anywhere on GOD's green earth is among the DUMBEST things I have read anywhere.....PERIOD....

Hi Oscar @ 10:46....

seek help.....congratulating yourself on a football blog has to be some type of pychosis....or disorder in some book....

what does your doctor call it....

Run the ball with Miller, short routes in the passing game, control the ball and the clock. Keep the opposing offense off the field. That is the ticket in this game today.

@Truth 10:54.. absolutely, 100% agreed! Teams that score a lot of points often are set up by the D/STs.. need evidence? See Monday ight lol

Mike Wallace is a cancer and underperformer. Big mistake so far.

Tannehill lost his safety valve Reggie Bush.

I have a great idea. How about getting Mike Wallace quickly, instead of just "deep". The guy has elite speed. Run a quick slant. Run a screen pass. Run a reverse hand off. Run a quick hitch. Let him catch the ball and run! I'm dumbfounded that he is barely involved on offense. The kid has rare speed and talent. Let's hope the coaching staff can coach him up and get his confidence and swagger back.

*the ball

I say line up Yeatman and Simms/Clay to help with protection and single back set with Hartline and Wallace, get the protection settled in for a qtr or so and give them.some confidence so they can then start to run other sets sparingly but concentrate on pounding the ball till that protection stands up and they have tose deep options coming open. Millerbshoukd be able to get some open lanes with that protection thus giving Wallace some.open lines downfield for Tanny to take a couple shots and hopefully hit one or two. Either way the are definitely better of going with max pro and start back with the basics.

Clearly the defense is very good, the kicking game is very good, and the offense is vsry bad. I dont see that changing this year.

A sal. You don't know what your taking about

I cannot find 2 passes where Ben Hit Wallace in stride. I find passes where Wallace was wide open and had to adjust to the ball. I find shoe lace catches, but no "hit in stride" passes. Wallace never runs two routes at the same pace. HOW DO YOU HIT HIM IN STRIDE? Pittsburg had running game and Defense. Those long passes were completed when they were ahead. They were against bad teams. We have not had those options.

Wallace is what he is. He takes up space while the tougher guys make the tough plays. If you have time and he gets wide open, throw him the ball.

The pass first and protect against the pass attitude of the first 3 weeks works. USE IT!

WALLACE HAD 63 REC LAST SEASON

1 of them went for 80 yards.
62 of them averaged 11.9 yards

It is very difficult to do it to a good Team like that one but we have to try to get them out of the Game as quick as possible.

So much negativity here. Jeff Ireland has actually put together great players for the offensive line. If they don't play well here, they will shine for their next teams. Look at the Colts, before injuries two of the starters on their fine offensive line were Dolphins rejects.

Big Ben is arguably the best QB at extending the play and allowing Wallace to get open. As athletic as Tannehill was supposed to be, he cant seem to extend the plays at all. I dont know if its poor pocket presence or what, but he has to be quicker on his decisions. If he struggles again put in Matt Moore.

Going into the bye with 2 straight losses will catapult the PHins to another 7_9 season.

Lots of good comments made so far in these posts, and lots of irrational ones as well.

Not making excuse--just an observations as Tanny has been unsuccessful throwing deep to his right-- but I do think it is a more natural and powerful and perhaps even more accurate motion for a right handed QB to throw deep to his left--across his body. That's where he seems to have hit Hartline deep a few times.
And for god's sakes, why aren't they moving Wallace around?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Play him right all the time and teams will and are game-planning for that.
It's not rocket science.

Also, if we win today--and I expect us to at home--we will be going into the bye at 4-1 with several injuries to nurse.
I think any of us would have gladly taken this going into week 1, so, yes, stop talking Armageddon!!

Friggin' Giants fans have more optimism than we do!!

Friggin' Giants fans have more optimism than we do!!

Posted by: Stevie B | October 06, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Fins havent won a SB in 41 years. Giants have won many.

like or not and most here wont admit it but wallace little by little becoming a problem

Phins fans never blame the QB, laughable.

BTW..WTH happened to Thigpen. He has been non existent in his returns lately. He needs to break loose today and make a big play.

Also it's about time for Incognito and Pouncey to grab the next guy that gives up a sack by the scruff of the neck.

OK Kids, I say fins 20 Bal. 16....
Your predictions??????????????

Sherman is senile.

you sensitive people are so funny....

"Wallace is becoming a problem"....lol...

why...because he isn't a robot....anybody that actually expresses an opinion is a problem for you sensitive types....makes me think you never played organized sports....there is a reason THEY WANT THE BALL...ITS CAUSE THEY ARE GOOD....AND TDS HAPPEN WHEN THEY HAVE THE BALL....

The PROBLEM is NOT making a consistent effort to get these types of players the ball....

I'm sorry, I must have stumbled onto the wrong Blog. I thought I was coming to the blog of a team that is 3-1,Beat 3 pretty good teams and lost to a darn good one... my bad!

"Not making excuse--just an observations as Tanny has been unsuccessful throwing deep to his right-- but I do think it is a more natural and powerful and perhaps even more accurate motion for a right handed QB to throw deep to his left--across his body."

Posted by: Stevie B | October 06, 2013 at 11:34 AM
======================================================

Ummm, no. Right hand QBs tend to throw right, lefties throw left. It's unusual for a RH QB to throw more to the left. That's why there's a strong side and weak.

Cocajoe, you are right. It was mentioned on the Fins that Tannehill was having a problem throwing left and he practiced until he got it right.

This is being blown way out of proportion. Fix the pressure, get ahead in the games, and the problem disappears.

Or you can keep whining about the run game and the run defense like you did after the first three wins.

Wallace in my opinion is becoming a problem. He has been targeted several times and has either cut his routes short or doesn't adjust his routes in order to get his body in front of the ball. That deep pass on Monday should have been caught, no excuse what so ever, so he had to slow down a bit to catch it, great receivers don't make excuses, they make plays, so far Wallace has not shown up. Deep threat receivers are great to have when the QB has time to get them the ball, but in our case we don't have the line to block long enough to do that.

I don't exactly blame Wallace for being upset, but he needs to understand this is more about the line play than THill's ability to get him the ball deep. If we move Wallace around a bit and stop with the fly patterns every other play we may be able to use him more effectively. That is on the coaching staff, not on Wallace or THill.

Nice to see FAILbin has dialed up the pretenders game plan!!

As season progress in see Tannehill start going back, don't know if is on him or the Off. Line

Ireland, Lamar Miller can't run between tackles like Bush, is another mistake by you ..how many more before you get fire?.


Are you crazy Wash Phin Fan....60,000,000 to drop every pass that hits him in a bad place...Hands or chest...This guy is lost out there....Haaaaaa, what a joke he is....

Here is a suggestion; if Mr. Ross can get permission from the Patriots ownership to barrow some of the custodians from their locker room to come down to Miami and teach the Dolphins coaching staff and management what to do; when you march with 1:13 left from your own 29 with undrafted rookie receivers( not 60 million dollar busts) and score the winning touchdown with 3 seconds left, against the same Saints defense that played with the Dolphins like a cat plays with a mouse, it’s truly time for Ross to bring in the Patriots janitors to teaching Philbin and Sherman game management .

Here is a suggestion; Mr. Ross should try to get permission from the Patriots ownership to barrow some of the custodians from their locker room to come down to Miami and teach the Dolphins coaching staff and management what to do; when you march with 1:13 left from your own 29 with undrafted rookie receivers( not 60 million dollar busts) and score the winning touchdown with 3 seconds left, against the same Saints defense that played with the Dolphins like a cat plays with a mouse, it’s truly time for Ross to bring in the Patriots janitors to teaching Philbin and Sherman game management .

« 1 2

The comments to this entry are closed.