There have been several standout players on the Miami Dolphins offense this season and when Joe Philbin began talking earlier this week about how the offense has been successful, he singled out two players who have really stepped up their game - both on and off the field. Those players were Dion Sims and Mike Wallace.
Dion Sims, who has caught 17 passes for 216 yards and 1 touchdown, has been coming into his own over the past two weeks with Charles Clay out of action. Count Ryan Tannehill as one of the guys who has been most impressed with him.
“Dion has been playing big for us. Not only Monday, but the week before when we lost Charles (Clay). He’s really stepped up for us and been making plays, not only in the run game, but in the pass game and also in protection. I think he made some big blocks and we got some down field shots this past week, and him getting matched up with the (defensive) end coming across. He did a great job. You saw some of the catches he made. He’s been doing a good job in the run game as well. I’m really, really happy with the way he’s been playing. I expect him to keep playing that way.”
Philbin also had words of praise for Sims, noting that he played a good game against the New York Jets. He talked about the kind of catches that he made on Monday and how it really helped the team be able to move the ball down the field and drive for points.
"We thought his run blocking was good. We thought his pass protection was good. I thought he overall played a good football game. We’re going to need him, we’re going to need him to keep developing. You like to see a guy that certainly has some success as a rookie but continue to get better and better.”
Although there have been mental lapses in play this season from Mike Wallace, including an easy touchdown drop against the Jets, Philbin talked about how hard he's worked behind the scenes - things that we as fans don't get to see.
“I think just the sheer investment that he’s made in this season, I know I’ve talked a lot about the extra time he spent on the JUGS machine, working after practice and those types of things. I think those types of things, whether it is in the weight room, the practice field, the training room, taken care of their bodies, I think that it gives players additional confidence when they go onto the game field that they kind of, for a lack of a better word, earned that right to maybe the ball bounces their way a little bit more frequently. I think it’s all part of the mental approach to the game too. I think he feels better about the level of preparation he’s put in from a physical standpoint.”
Wallace and Sims will be key players for the Dolphins down the home stretch and will really need to step up for the team. If they can, it will take a lot of pressure off Tannehill and the rest of the Dolphins offense.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs