By now, people know that one of the biggest issues we faced last year was figuring out how to get Mike Wallace more involved in our offense. His limited route tree, inability to go for jump balls, and simply ineffectiveness in our passing attack was frustrating at best. Another issue it seems was getting running backs involved as well in the passing game. Well here folks I think I have a way to fix both issues without simply telling Ryan Tannehill to work on his timing.
Enter Mike Wallace
Do not get me wrong, I am not advocating moving Mike Wallace to Running Back. Mike Wallace can and possibly will be a dangerous option in the receiving game for years to come. But I am advocating for our new Offensive Coordinator to create a package of plays designed to help Wallace become more of a threat in motion, utilizing what he does best in order to get the ball rolling.
The plan in layman's terms
There are two plays that stick out for me in last years season, and both were featuring Mike Wallace in the run game. Both plays averaged 11 yards, and it appeared that they were quite possibly the most creative and dangerous plays in our playbook. It utilized motion, it took away the double teams that hindered Mike all season, and it looked as if it was an opening for Wallace to have a big game that week. Those weeks, Wallace was our Shady McCoy, and those weeks the offense excited us.
Motions that turn a single back set into a dual back set. Utilizing Clay in the same capacity can turn a no back set with two Tight Ends into another two back set. Miller and Thomas not able to catch passes out of the back field? This guarantees that Tannehill has options for a screen pass. It gets our play making Wide Receiver looks, and also builds his confidence as the game goes on. A confident and happy Wide Receiver is a more productive one, just as a confident and happy QB is more productive as well.
With 0 Running backs on the field, 99.9% of the time opposing Defenses will set up to defend the pass. Utilizing Wallace in this capacity confuses them so they really do not gain the personnel advantage over us. Run him on one play, run Clay on another, run Tannehill on yet another, turn to the screen pass on yet another, the possibilities are endless. Neither Miller or Daniel Thomas has the speed to break runs off to the outside? Wallace does. Neither Miller nor Thomas has the power to break tackles on inside runs? Clay does. Thing is, even Hartline can be thrust in this role from time to time. Watch his highlight video before he was drafted. One special teams play he lays a hit to Marcus Thigpen that leaves MT hobbling off the field after the play.
This is not a new play design, but it is one that Wallace had success in when he played in Pittsburgh. It is also one that I feel will revitalize his play here in Miami as well.