CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Wallace’s speediest route may have been the one from Miami’s locker room to the bus. Following the Dolphins’ 23-10 win Sunday over the Browns, an upset Wallace didn’t want to discuss his forgettable debut with his new team.
The lightning-fast wide receiver, who signed a five-year $30-million free-agent contract with Miami in March after spending four seasons as Pittsburgh’s over-the-top threat, was visibly upset after catching just one pass for 15 yards.
“Ask coach,” was all Wallace offered when poked for comment. Wallace was only targeted on three passes – none in the first half – by second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who completed 16 passes to Brian Hartline (9) and Brandon Gibson (7) in the win.
Wallace was signed to help Tannehill and he’ll have 15 more games to live up to his contract, assuming, that is, the Dolphins make him a bigger part of the game plan than they did against the Browns.
The Dolphins won despite gaining just 20 yards rushing. Coach Joe Philbin acknowledged that formula won’t work often.
`”That’s not a good way to live in the NFL; you’ve gotta have balance,” Philbin said. Wallace seemed to put his personal interests ahead of the team but Tannehill said the speedster helped as decoy.
“They were clouding up on Mike, which was singling up Hartline on the back side, so it’s kind of one of those things,” said Tannehill, who played wide receiver at Texas A&M before switching to quarterback. “It’s frustrating for Mike but then it opens up the other side for Hartline.”
Wallace’s situation is worth monitoring and so will the days ahead for the Browns, who dropped to 1-14 in season openers since 1999 and disappointed a crowd brimming with optimism.