Friday, September 13, 2013
Mike Wallace, offense aim for fast start
By James Walker
DAVIE, Fla. -- When was the last time the Miami Dolphins' offense got off to a fast start? You must go all the way back to last season, which had a different cast of skill players for the Dolphins.
Miami’s offense has stalled early through five preseason games and one regular-season game. Last week against the Cleveland Browns, the Dolphins scored six points at intermission before finally warming up in the second half.
Starting quick will be paramount for the Dolphins (1-0) Sunday when they travel to face the Indianapolis Colts (1-0). The dome in Lucas Oil Stadium is one of the loudest facilities in the NFL, which is something Miami has to take into account.
“Our best bet is to hopefully get a fast start and keep the crowd quiet to where we don’t have to go through all that,” Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace said Friday. “It’s always great when you can keep an opponent’s crowd quiet. Hopefully, we can do that on Sunday.”
Getting Wallace involved will be a big key in this game. He caught one pass for 15 yards last week against Cleveland. It will be up to Miami’s coaching staff to find more creative ways to get Wallace the football.
The good news is Wallace is no stranger to having a big performance at Lucas Oil Stadium. As a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wallace caught five passes for 144 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Colts in 2011. Wallace’s speed on the turf in Indianapolis could be a dangerous combination.
“I like it. It’s a fast track,” Wallace said, “I only played there one time. We won the last time I was there. Hopefully, we can keep that trend going and win again this time.”
Much of this rests on the shoulders of Miami starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He was pressured and out of rhythm for much of the first half last week against Cleveland. Tannehill also had slow starts in the preseason.
There will be no time for Tannehill to waste Sunday while matching up with Colts counterpart Andrew Luck. The Dolphins must get some offensive momentum early to have a chance for a road upset.
“It’s important to come out and get started on a good note,” Tannehill said. “If you’re able to move the ball and put points on the board on your first drive, it kind of sets the tone for the day. That’s something that we constantly talk about, something we want to do.”