The Miami Dolphins signed Mike Wallace, the top free agent wide receiver this year, to add a dynamic weapon to an offense desperately in need of playmakers to surround second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Critics of the Dolphins' move say they over-spent on a "one trick pony" of a receiver - someone who can only run a fly pattern and is not a reliable pass catcher.
Yesterday, Wallace's former quarterback, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, appeared on the Dolphins' radio show, "The Finsiders" to discuss Wallace.
"Mike's the best," Roethlisberger stated when asked by show host Jesse Agler to describe Wallace. "Love Mike; was sad to see him go. He's a great teammate, obviously a great player, but I thought he was even better off the field. Just a great guy, great teammate. Miami is very lucky to have him because he's a great player."
"He forces a defense to focus two guys on him, at least" Roethlisberger continued. "And, what it does, is it opens up other guys. What happens with Mike is, other receivers benefit because corners and safeties are watching Mike because, to me, he's the fastest guy in the NFL."
That could be great news for the Dolphins' passing game, which will also feature the team's leading receiver from last year, Brian Hartline, slot receiver Davone Bess, and the newly signed Brandon Gibson. The team also has Armon Binns, Jeff Filler, Rishard Matthews, and Brian Tyms on the roster.
Agler then asked "Big Ben" about the "one-trick pony" moniker given to Wallace by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
"Coach Tomlin likes to give guys nicknames, and he gave him that one trick pony nick name, but Mike is way more," Rothelisberger explained. "Mike has really focused on becoming a better receiver. So he's focused on running out route, and curl routes, and in routes, and doing all of the little things that it requires to become a great wide receiver.
"That's why he, to me, is one of the best in the league, because he not only has that speed and he can run by anybody, be he can run routes and he can get open. That's why we are going to miss him, and why the Dolphins are luck to have him."
You can check out the entire six minute Finsiders conversation with Roethlisberger on the show's website.