There were many rumblings and whispers after the 2013 season about the chemistry between Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill. That season, only caught five touchdown passes – the lowest in his career – despite having 930 receiving yards.
Coming into 2014, lots of people wanted to see the pair do better and they’ve done just that. That’s because Wallace has 10 touchdowns, tied for the most in a single season in his career and 862 receiving yards.
“Yeah it’s been great. Mike’s been playing well. He’s making plays on the ball, Tannehill said. “The first touchdown he caught on Sunday was huge. (He) fought through some contact right at the top of the route, made a play on the ball, then it got tipped, stayed with it, made the catch, kept his feet in bounds and finished it inside the pylon. When receivers are making plays like that, it gives the quarterback a lot of comfort in throwing the ball their way.”
Wallace said that a lot of Tannehill’s improvement can be credited to his work ethic. He noted that he goes about his work the same way every day and with another year of experience, things are slowing down for him and he’s seeing the field better.
Bill Lazor, offensive coordinator, said that Wallace has improved a lot and has really turned the corner as a complete receiver instead of someone just running vertical routes the vast majority of the game.
“I’ve heard people who were here with Mike in the past talk about the improvements he’s made. I’ve seen him do a lot of things. I can think of the very first game of the year against the Patriots he caught a couple of shallow crosses. Caught the ball and ran with it -- including our very first play of the year. So to me I see him do a lot of those things. Our first face-to-face conversation, Mike told me he wanted to be able to do everything that a receiver does. And all I know is I see the guy work every single day on the practice field. He runs. He’s out there. He’s on the jugs machine extra. I’m impressed with how he’s worked at it. So if he’s made progress in all those areas, which it’s hard for me to say without being here in the past, but what I can see is I know why because how he works.”
With the Jets coming into town on Sunday, Wallace is excited, especially because he’s had a lot of success against them in the past.
“I just get excited playing against them. I know coach (Rex) Ryan is going to fire those guys up. I just have fun playing against a team like that. Most of the time, they’re aggressive and there is a one-on-one challenge. It’s fun to play a one-on-one game for the most part, but like I said, they’re playing a little bit more zone nowadays, so we’ll see. It’s just fun playing against those guys, I get excited.”
Despite the high cap number that Wallace holds for 2015, he is expected to be back in 2015 and is happy that Joe Philbin will be the man leading the charge at the top of the organization.
“Just knowing that we will be able to continue what we started when I first got here, build off of what we were working on for the last two years since I’ve been here, but the last three years since Coach Philbin got here. It’s good.”
This article was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs