At the end of the day, regardless how the coaching staff utilizes him, Mike Wallace has been dropping pass after pass. A lot of those drops being in critical situations. He doesn't fight for the ball, he doesn't come back to the ball on back shoulder throws or comeback routes, he makes mental mistakes consistently...He's just flat out been a bad football player so far. Legitimately bad.
With that said, on the rare occasions when this coaching staff has given him the ball in favorable positions to make plays, Wallace has gained some nice chunk yardage. At the end of the day, that's what we need. With Brandon Gibson now lost for the season, you're probably looking for a few more catches out of Wallace, but he doesn't need to be catching 10 passes a game; you didn't pay him 60 million to be a possession receiver. You paid him 60 million to create big plays on a consistent basis and open up the offense for everyone else.
But the fact that he's lined up in the same spot all game, running the same route tree every game, is ridiculous and embarrassing.
How many screen passes do/did the Pats throw to Edleman, Welker, Hernandez, their running backs, etc.? A ton. We've thrown, what, 3 legitimate ones this season? Stupid.
Why hasn't Wallace caught a single pass working across the field on a drag route...NOT ONE. Stupid.
Most of Wallace's big plays in Pittsburgh came off plays where Ben rolled outside the pocket. Why do everything possible to keep Tannehill in the pocket? Stupid.
Why can Tannehill hit every receiver deep on a consistent basis, but he doesn't even come close to giving the ball enough air when throwing to Wallace? Apparently because they don't practice it, if you believe Armando Salguero, who I do. Stupid.
Why has he only ran 2 reverses all season, both only coming in the last 2 weeks after coaches got blasted for it? Stupid.
Why does Sherman's idea of "taking advantage of soft coverage on Wallace" mean throwing 7 yard out patterns where Wallace's 1st step after catching is out of bounds, not allowing him to get any YAC or head upfield at all? Stupid.
How come the only deep pattern they ever run with Wallace is a straight 9 route? Where are double moves, post patterns, flag routes? Stupid.
Why does Wallace never come in motion, or line up anywhere other than the right boundary to try and get a favorable coverage matchup? Stupid.
Why do we use him in bunches and then purposely go away from him for stretches of 2-3 full quarters, or longer? Stupid.
He's the fastest player in the league and a proven big play guy. Manufacture ways to get the ball in his hands in space, with his head facing north. Stop shoving a square peg in a round hole.
Something I don't understand is not taking more shots down the field to Wallace. Tannehill's deep ball is good to everyone not named Mike. Why? Again, according to Armando it's because they don't practice it. On game day though, Mike Sherman has to realize that teams are no longer afraid of the deep ball to Wallace. He's being used as a decoy consistently, (he runs a straight go route on almost every play it seems), and teams know it. The problem is the Dolphins don't take advantage.
Against the Patriots, before it became a two score game at the end of the 4th quarter and excluding redzone plays, I counted 15 pass plays where the Patriots played with a single high safety, neither leaning towards Wallace nor Hartline on the outside; on these 15 plays he was taking away the middle of the field, and Wallace had a one on one opportunity on the sideline (which he won a few times without the throw going that way). On two plays the Patriots played with no safety deep at all, playing man coverage across the board completely. On three plays they had a safety over the top on only Hartline, and twice only on Wallace. Yes, not only did they only have a safety over the top on one receiver a handful of times, but out of those 5 plays the Patriots had a safety over the top specifically for Hartline MORE times than for Wallace.
They then had 8 plays where they were in a shell, with each safety taking over the top responsibilities on their respective side. In other words, the Patriots only had a safety over the top on Wallace 10 out of 30 pass plays that I charted. Two out of every three plays the opportunity is there to take advantage of a one on one matchup.
Miami needs to start being more aggressive with how they use their "star" receiver. Let Tannehill escape the pocket more, use Wallace in creative ways, challenge one on one coverage deep...Use the speed that you paid 60 million for.
Right now, the coaches have done a disservice to Tannehill, Wallace and the offense.
At the same time, Mike, catch the damn football.
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