It's no secret that the Miami Dolphins' offense was not nearly as explosive last year as everyone - fans, coaches, and players - had expected. The team added wide receiver Mike Wallace to the roster specifically to bring speed to the wide receiver corps, add someone to take the top off the defense and open up the middle of the field, and add a deep option for second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Two of those three happened, but Tannehill and Wallace looked just slightly off all year, with deep passes landing a little short or a little long of the streaking Wallace.
The failure of the team to connect on those passes, as well as a the lack of a running game and questionable play calling, led to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman being fired and Mike Lazor, the quarterback coach for the dynamic Philadelphia Eagles' offense, replacing him.
Wallace finished the season with a caeer-low 12.7 yards per reception average, nearly 3.5 yards per catch under his career average. He did have a career high in receptions (73), but he only had five touchdowns, a career low, and just 11 receptions of more than 20 yards, the second lowest of his career. Now, Wallace is looking to bring those number back up for the 2014 season, starting with an improved deep ball next season.
"We have to," Wallace stold the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson this week. "Definitely have got to get the deep ball going. That's the difference between winning and losing a couple games. I should have had 15 or 20 more touchdowns. And that's being modest. If you press me, you have no shot to cover me. Once I get you to stop your feet, it's over."
The Dolphins will be looking for a lot of answers this season, including solving the deep ball chemistry problem between Tannehill and Wallace. Lazor, who worked with Pro Bowl Offensive MVP Nick Foles last year, turning him into the league's highest rated passer, will be expected to work the same magic with Tannehill. The team will also need to find the running game that completely eluded them last season as well a completely repair an inept offensive line that allowed a team-record 58 sacks in 2013. But, adding a few more long passes from Tannehill to Wallace could be a big step in getting the offense working like everyone expected when the team added the wide receiver last offseason.