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Dolphins waiting for Tannehill-Wallace connection

The SportsXchange

DAVIE, Fla. -- The big offseason story with the Miami Dolphins was that they assembled a weapon of mass destruction by acquiring deep-threat receiver Mike Wallace to go with young quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

After one game, the Dolphins still haven't managed to light the fuse to that potential bomb. Despite Wallace getting one-on-one coverage a few times in Friday's 27-3 victory at Jacksonville, Tannehill never tested temptation. It seems he didn't even look that way.

"I saw the same things on the pictures," coach Joe Philbin said. "But I feel the protection early in the game wasn't very good. So I think sometimes when that happens a quarterback can get off his primary read. There were times he certainly didn't have time to set his feet and throw the ball properly."

The coaches seem ready to blame the lack of deep passes to Wallace on poor protection from the offensive line. But they admit Tannehill (5-for-9 passing, 75 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions) had opportunities.

"There were some times that we called some passes, probably either eight or nine times, where we had opportunities possibly," offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said. "Protection wasn't the greatest, as you well know, and we were scrambling around but those will come with time. Mike is going to catch his ball. I think Mike had a great game. He blocked well, he ran good routes; I'm very excited about what he brings to the table.

"We had a backup center (Nate Garner) playing right guard for us who hurt his hand in the game so we had some protection issues. But Mike's going to catch his share of balls. I'm not overly concerned with that. That's going to happen."

Miami's offense was 27th in scoring at 18.0 points per game and 27th in total offense at 311.5 yards per game. They need help, and Wallace, the $60 million man, has the skill set to offer such help. But he needs to get the ball.

Wallace took up for his quarterback, saying things aren't always as they appear in coverage looks.

"I always get excited about that, start licking my chops," Wallace said in reference to getting a one-on-one look. "But a lot of things aren't exactly how they'd seem. They come out and it might look single-high, but it is not going to look like that as soon as the ball is snapped. They are going to bail out for the most part."

So the Dolphins are still waiting to explode that new bomb -- tick, tick, tick.

--Team correspondents for The Sports Xchange contributed material for this story.
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