Training camps around the NFL will begin later this month. With that in mind, ESPN.com’s Miami Dolphins page takes a look at players this week who will play key roles in 2014.
On Wednesday, we take a look at Miami No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace:
Biggest reason for hope: Bill Lazor’s offense
The Dolphins spent $60 million acquiring Wallace from the Pittsburgh Steelers a year ago. But last season former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman seemed lost with how to use his newfound toy. Miami’s offense with Wallace was too predictable and it impacted everyone’s production. Sherman was fired and Bill Lazor was hired as Miami’s new offensive coordinator. Already players, including Wallace, are raving about the new scheme. Wallace is being moved around -- sent in motion to make things less predictable. Wallace also is showing a strong work ethic this offseason and looks poised to have a better season.
Biggest reason for concern: Executing the deep ball
Wallace, first and foremost, is a big-play receiver. But to make big plays and get behind a defense, it takes good pass protection and a quarterback able to throw deep to take advantage of Wallace’s elite speed. The Dolphins had neither last season. Miami allowed a franchise-record 58 quarterback sacks and starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, in two seasons, has struggled throwing the deep ball. He missed Wallace various times last season in what could have been game-changing plays. Other times, Tannehill didn’t have enough time to allow Wallace to get downfield. The Dolphins believe they’ve fixed both issues, but that remains to be seen. Miami’s offensive line will have five new starters in Week 1 and Tannehill must still prove he can throw a good deep ball.