Mike Wallace ready to up Tannehill's stock
March, 13, 2013
By James Walker | ESPN.com
DAVIE, Fla. -- Mike Wallace did his homework.
Before the start of free agency, the coveted wide receiver studied film of offenses and quarterbacks who were potentially interested in his services. Wallace came away thinking the Miami Dolphins and second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill were a good fit.
"Definitely, I watched a lot of film," Wallace said Wednesday during his introductory news conference. "[Tannehill] has a lot of upside for sure over a lot of guys in the league, and I think we can build."
The Dolphins are hoping Wallace and Tannehill will be a dynamic combination for years to come. Wallace wasted no time developing a rapport with his new quarterback. Tannehill and Wallace went out to dinner Tuesday night, just hours after Wallace signed a reported five-year, $60 million contract.
Both players have yet to reach their prime and are expected to make each other better. Tannehill, 24, showed a lot of potential in his rookie year and can make all the throws. Wallace, 26, made one Pro Bowl already with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was a protégé of veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Wallace was able to simply blend in with Pittsburgh. But Wallace knows he has to take on more of a leadership role in Miami.
“It’s going to be different playing with a guy who’s going to be younger than me,” Wallace said. “Ben always treated me like his little brother. Actually being a big brother is going to be a little different. But I’m excited.”
There is a sense of excitement in Miami pertaining to the Dolphins. The team facility was abuzz Wednesday after Miami signed Wallace, linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, and re-signed starting safety Chris Clemons and receiver Brian Hartline.
The bar will be raised to new heights in Miami. The New England Patriots are the longtime favorites in the division, but the Dolphins are looking dangerous.
“I definitely believe we are a playoff team,” Clemons said confidently on Wednesday.
Wallace said he had a "couple" of other options but believed Miami was the best fit. Wallace has 32 career touchdowns and is arguably the best deep threat in the NFL. He is the missing link to making Miami a more explosive offense and a contending team in the AFC East.
“I love everything that’s going on here,” Wallace said. “I think they’re very competitive and going in the right direction. It’s a young team -- the second youngest team in the league actually last year. I think we can do some good things.”
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