Through the first four games of the season, the return on the $60 million investment the Miami Dolphins made on WR Mike Wallace last summer is far from encouraging. Wallace is on pace to set career lows in receiving yards, yards per catch, and touchdowns, and on Wednesday Wallace expressed his frustration.
"I'm definitely worried about it because it's game four," Wallace told the Miami Herald. "It's not the way I imagined my first four weeks going."
Wallace was brought in to be a deep threat that stretches opposing defenses and creates opportunities for his teammates underneath. While he has done the latter to a certain extent (WRs Brandon Gibson and Brian Hartline and TE Charles Clay each have at least 20 receptions and 200 yards receiving), the former has not.
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill has attempted deep throws to Wallace (most recently in the second quarter of Monday night's loss at New Orleans), but only one has been completed (in Week 2 against Indianapolis). Wallace has just one catch of 20 or more yards on the season on six targets.
"I know one thing, we not going to be able to go through a whole year like that," said Wallace. "We have to make big plays. We have to back defenses up. That's what we have to do. Extra film work, different plays, whatever it is, whatever it's going to take, we have to get it done. We have to make big plays."
During Monday's loss to the Saints, ESPN analyst Jon Gruden suggested that Wallace and Tannehill still need to become more comfortable with each other, saying their timing is not in sync. Wallace did not suggest any easy solutions, however.
"We're already four games in," he said. "We don't have too much longer to figure it out. We got to make it happen. I don't know what we have to do. Hard work, I guess, by everybody."
This is a different kind of concern coming from Wallace than his outburst after Week 1. While that episode ended with Wallace explaining he was mad at himself, Wallace is not pointing any fingers now. He said the onus is on the entire offense to fix the deep passing attack.
"Starting with myself, Ryan and coaches, we all got to do a better job and find a way to make it work," Wallace said.