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Day 6 Notebook: Tannehill And Wallace Connect On Long Ball; Other Notes

Posted Jul 27, 2013

Quarterback celebrates his birthday with nice deep pass.



Ryan Tannehill connecting with speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace on a 50-yard bomb this morning was a sight for sore eyes – and it just happened to be the second-year quarterback’s birthday.

The play happened exactly one week after the Miami Dolphins reported to training camp and on the day that Tannehill turned 25, drawing cheers from the crowd made up of season ticket members. It was during 1-on-1 drills, but Wallace still made an impressive stop-and-go move on talented cornerback Brent Grimes to get open and Tannehill hit him in stride down the right sideline.

“I’m excited about how things are going with Mike,” said Tannehill, who started working with Wallace back in March shortly after the former Pittsburgh Steeler was signed as a free agent. “A speed receiver is going to take a few reps to get 100 percent comfortable as far as just putting the ball in the right spot down the field. We’re getting better everyday and I’m getting more and more comfortable with him every day, not only on the deep balls but all of his routes coming across the field, outbreakers and anything. I just think we’re getting more and more in tune everyday.”

Wallace is excited about the future with him and Tannehill because now he has a grasp on just how strong an arm the quarterback has and how effective they can be together.

“I think we’re getting closer everyday and we finally got one at least in 1-on-1s so we’re going to continue to progress every single day,” he said. “I think our work after practice is going to get us there and we’ve got a long way to go with a long preseason. We’ve got time to prepare and I think by the time we get to where we need to be at we’ll be fine.”

RULES ADJUSTMENTS BEING ADDRESSED

Each year the National Football League implements rules changes and new points of emphasis and the officials go over them with each of the 32 teams at training camp. Today the officials met with the media to show the 15-minute video and clarify some of the rules, specifically the one impacting running backs and the use of their helmets to initiate contact with a defender.

Starting this season, if a runner outside of the tackle box lines up a defender, lowers his head and delivers a forcible blow with the crown of his helmet to any part of the defender’s body he will penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. The same penalty applies to a defender doing the same in reverse and this will be an adjustment for the more physical running backs.

“It’s going to be tough for any back in this league just to be able to stop like that and not be able to strike,” third-year running back Daniel Thomas said. “So it’s going to be tough in like 3rd-and-1 situations to not be able to lower your head but we’ll adjust.”

In the example Thomas cited, if the contact occurs in the trenches it’s still considered legal but if he’s going outside with a clear path and meets the above criteria he will be flagged.

The other rules changes included the requirement that all players wear thigh pads and knee pads other than kickers and punters; allowing no more than six players on the line of scrimmage on either side of the long snapper before the ball is snapped on field goals and extra points; defensive players being prohibited from pushing down linemen into the offensive formation; defensive players being prohibited from blocking below the waist on punts and field goals; long snappers earning the protections accorded defenseless players until he becomes an active blocker and the elimination of the peel back block on any play inside or outside of the tackle box. Among the points of emphasis was the clarification of the tuck rule and declaring the play a fumble first of the quarterback loses the ball after stopping the forward pass motion instead of declaring it incomplete all the way until he completes the tuck motion.

THIS AND THAT

Mike Pouncey took snaps at right guard today as the Dolphins continue to tinker with the front five in the absence of John Jerry, with Josh Samuda playing center and Lance Louis getting snaps at left guard along with Dallas Thomas. “It felt weird but it’s whatever the team needs right now because we’re short guys and so they want to see guys workout at different spots and we’ll see how it goes,” Pouncey said. “Just getting back in that stance and anticipating the snap count was the biggest adjustment because usually I’m the first one off the ball. But I was an All-American at guard so it’ll be easy.” … Fans were treated to a different looking drill involving the quarterbacks during the individual period as two of the quarterbacks not throwing would roll and bounce medicine balls toward the one throwing. It was designed to mimic pass rushers closing the pocket and diving at the feet or jumping at them. Matt Moore was tripped up by one medicine ball but managed to keep his balance long enough to deliver a shovel pass. … Cornerback Brent Grimes made the defensive play of the day after Wallace got behind him down the right sideline of the far field when he managed to make up lost ground and then lay out to deflect the ball away at the last second. He lost his helmet as he hit the ground but it did not surprise Wallace at all as the two of them have enjoyed the competition. … Defensive tackle Jared Odrick had an active session, recovering a fumble by Thomas after the back was stripped by safety Reshad Jones when Jones put his helmet on the ball. Odrick also exploded into the backfield to throw Thomas for a loss and combined with Kia Misi to throw Lamar Miller for a loss. … The loudest collision happened in the middle of the field on a pass intended for tight end Kyle Miller when he, Keelan Johnson and Don Jones met at the same time and crashed into each other.

RAFFLE WINNER

Today's winning auction number for an autographed Ryan Tannehill helmet was 867052. The helmet was not claimed. If you have a winning raffle ticket, please contact the Miami Dolphins Community Relations Department at (305) 943-7200 to claim your prize.

THE FINAL WORD

“I don’t care how they come, a touchdown is a touchdown and I love them all. It could be one yard, it could be 99 yards, I’ll be just as excited every time. But honestly I think when you catch a slant or a screen and you take it to the house it’s a little bit more fun.” – Wallace on whether he prefers catching long touchdown passes or short ones.