Dolphins, Mike Wallace wisely move on
September, 9, 2013
By James Walker | ESPN.com
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins could have had a public-relations issue on their hands Monday.
Their star player -- No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace -- caused national headlines by reportedly being upset after catching one pass in a 23-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. That didn't sit well with some Dolphins fans after their team won its first season opener since 2010.
But Miami and Wallace did the right thing to quickly take the high road and move on. It was a "Victory Monday" for the Dolphins -- and we all know there haven't been many for this team in the past four seasons.
Miami needed to savor this win and put an end to distractions. The Dolphins did that when the coaching staff publicly backed Wallace and communicated with him in private. Wallace, in turn, showed up to address the media and clear the air.
"I'm mad at myself just because I didn't have a good game," Wallace said Monday. "That's all to it."
On Sunday, when a reporter asked Wallace by about the game plan, the receiver reportedly said, "I don't feel like talking about it. Ask Coach."
"I was upset with myself. It wasn't really anything else to do with anything," Wallace explained Monday. "I would've told you the same thing regardless. If you ask me about the plays, I don’t really have the answer. That's all I meant by that."
Wallace spoke with Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman behind closed doors on Monday.
"Mike's a competitor. He wants to feel a part of the game, as I hope that he would," Sherman said. "He came here to be a factor in our season and our success. The fact that he's disappointed he only caught one ball, that's expected. I have no problem with that."
In the grand scheme of the 16-game season, this could turn out to be a blip on the radar. It's easier to move on after a victory.
The Dolphins (1-0) will have a marquee AFC matchup on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts (1-0). Expect Wallace to be motivated after his Week 1 performance. He did get open deep at least twice against Cleveland, but Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill wasn't accurate on his deep throws.
Making big plays next week against Indianapolis and improving to 2-0 would be the best way for the Dolphins and Wallace to put this issue to bed.