« Analyzing future of UM defense, with views from evaluators; Dolphins, Heat, Marlins | Main | Media column: Major local radio changes brewing; NFL notes; N-word stirs debate »

Dozen Dolphins, UM, Heat notes: Tannehill, Wallace, Wade, UM QBs

Some late Wednesday night items: 

### Showing good leadership and accountability, Ryan Tannehill today essentially took total responsibility for his difficulty connecting on deep balls with Mike Wallace. Several times, he indicated the onus was on him not to underthrow Wallace, as he has done several times.

“It’s tough on those long throws, whenever they’re having to wait on it, and the guy is catching back up, that’s really tough on them,” he said. “That’s all on the quarterback.”

Wallace said he and Tannehill get enough work together on deep balls during practice. Still, it’s curious that whereas Tannehill throws to Brian Hartline before games, he doesn’t do the same with Wallace. Why is that?

“I think it’s just something where that’s not what he does,” Tannehill said.  “When we kind of started the preseason games and started getting into routines, that’s just not what he does.  Everyone has their own way of getting into it.  I don’t think the deep ball is affected by that.  He’s open, I just have to throw it out there for him. It's two games in a row where he’s been behind the defense.…I’ve just have to trust it and let it rip. We talked to coach Philbin yesterday and that’s one of the things he told me. Just go out there and let it rip.”

### Joe Philbin, on Wallace’s play this season: “I’m not disappointed in his performance one single bit.”

### Philbin, asked by Charlotte media today to assess Tannehill’s second season: “If you picked up a stats sheet from this time a year a year ago and where we are today, his completion percentage is up. His quarterback rating is up. His touchdowns are up considerably. He is making good progress. Certainly there’s still a lot of things we want to do better as an entire offensive unit, he is part of that. We have got to score more points. That is just the bottom line. You can’t always live at 20-16, 22-20, we lost the game to TampaBay 22-19. We have been in a bunch of three, four point games and we haven’t been able to get over 30 points in a game yet, so we got to do a better job scoring points. He is part of that, but it’s really a unit-wide thing that we need to get better at.”

### Dolphins players haven’t only met with investigator Ted Wells this week. According to Bryant McKinnie, Wells has been accompanied by three others. Wells and one of the others have asked questions. No Dolphins officials have sat in during the player sessions.

### There will be two familiar faces on the Carolina sideline Sunday: offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterback coach Ken Dorsey (the former Hurricanes great).

“I think [Shula] is doing a heck of a job,” Philbin said. “I saw Coach (Don) Shula before the game last week and asked him who he was rooting for next week. So I'm in a little bit of trouble with him this week.”

### Fox decided to make Dolphins-Panthers its primary 1 p.m. game on Sunday --- ahead of Tampa-Detroit, Minnesota-Green Bay and Chicago-St. Louis --- and will air the Dolphins in 72 percent of the country, far more than it originally expected. On the call: Chris Myers and Tim Ryan, who coincidentally have handled most of Fox’s two annual Dolphins assignments in the past few years.  

### Listening to Al Golden, you’re left with the feeling that Ryan Williams will be the favorite to start at quarterback entering next season. But Golden made clear that Kevin Olsen will have a chance to win the job.

Offensive coordinator James Coley said Williams is “throwing the ball really well” and has performed very well in practice. He also said Olsen’s throwing has improved.

Stephen Morris, who makes his final home start on Saturday against Virginia, reminded reporters this week that "I'm 0-3 against Virginia. That's the only thing I ever think about when you talk about Virginia. That's something I'm not proud of, something I want to fix." But Morris was very efficient against the Cavaliers last year (three TDs, no picks) before UM's defense squandered a late lead.

### Four-star quarterback Brad Kaaya remains orally committed to UM --- his mother reiterated that in a tweet last month ---- but one of his teammates at Chaminade High in West Hills, Cal., said recently he’s going to try hard to flip Kaaya to UCLA, which has offered him.

"I'm trying," Joseph McIntosh told Rivals.com. "He was really excited when he got the UCLA offer. When I saw him, I congratulated him. He just smiled and was really excited."

UM badly needs to hold on to Kaaya. And though Kaaya has said nothing to give UM reason for concern, it would be understandable for UM to remain a tad nervous until signing day, because both of the major hometown schools (USC and UCLA) have offered him.


### The Heat’s impressive depth was again on display tonight, with James Jones scoring 17 points in 20 minutes – after playing a total of 20 minutes in the Heat’s first 11 games.

“At times, it’s tough not to have the opportunity to produce,” Jones said.

Said Erik Spoelstra: “There’s no hesitation to his game. I wish I could play him more. He deserves more.”

### LeBron James summed up the Heat’s roster this way: “It’s getting kind of scary, the depth that we have. JJ is one of the best three-point shooters in the world.”

During the game, James gave a pointed message to Magic players: “I told them, 'Stop doubling me. I’m going to find the open shooter.'” 

### Chris Bosh is now 18 for his last 23 from the field after shooting 7 for 10 tonight on an 18-point night. “His motor has been much more consistent,” Spoelstra said. “He’s running the floor. The ball will find him in open areas.” 

### The Heat, publicly, insists Dwyane Wade is ahead of schedule after offseason knee treatment, even though he has missed the past two games.

But Chris Webber said late Tuesday night on NBA TV that he is “very” concerned about Wade: “When you have to take off a back-to-back for maintenance, that means there’s a problem if you play two games in a row. I’m glad he’s doing it because it's self-preservation; he’s making sure he’s OK. But, at the same time, it lets me know there’s a bigger problem.”

Comments