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NOTEBOOK: Wallace Wins Media Good Guy Award; Other Notes

Posted Dec 26, 2013

Wide receiver’s first season with Dolphins went well in interviews.



Going back to his high school days, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace has been no stranger to accolades. But today after practice he received an award that was a first for him – the Pro Football Writers of America Good Guy Award – for how affable he has been with the media in his first season in Miami.

Wallace stepped to the podium after Head Coach Joe Philbin and quarterback Ryan Tannehill spoke to the media and was surprised to be handed the glass memento with his name engraved on it from the Miami chapter of the PFWA. This is his fifth season in the league and the first time he was recognized for how he conducts himself during interviews both on camera and with the print reporters.

“That’s what I’m talking about,” said Wallace with a laugh. “It’s not the biggest award I’ve ever received but it’s in the running. I really appreciate it and I’m going to put in my house in my trophy case. Everybody has a job to do so I try to take that into consideration and respect that. Nobody wants to make their job harder than it has to be so I try not to be the guy to give you all a hard time.”

After his press conference, Wallace walked proudly into the locker room with his new hardware and carefully placed it back in the box.

FIEDLER RELIVES MIAMI’S LAST PLAYOFF WIN

It’s been 13 years since Jay Fiedler quarterbacked the Miami Dolphins to their last playoff victory, a 23-17 overtime win at Sun Life Stadium over the Indianapolis Colts. Only one Dolphins quarterback has been to the postseason since then and that was Chad Pennington in 2008, which still amazes Fiedler to this day.

Five of his eight seasons in the NFL were spent with the Dolphins and he led them to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons at the helm as Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino’s successor. He recalled what that game was like against the Colts and what the vibe was like in the locker room at the end of the season leading up to the playoffs.

“It was tremendous. That was my first year down here and my first year as a starting quarterback,” said Fiedler, who passed for 11,040 yards and 66 touchdowns in his time with the Dolphins. “There were a lot of question marks about me throughout that season and we just put together a great year. Our defense was tremendous as we had some great defenses in the early 2000s and we were able to put together kind of a rag tag offense.

“Lamar Smith came over from Seattle and Thurman Thomas came down from Buffalo after they sent him packing. We had O.J. McDuffie coming off a toe injury and Tony Martin and Leslie Sheppard were part of that receiving corps. We were able to grind it out and win a lot of games and that game was no different, running our workhorse Lamar Smith with about 40 carries that game and he had the big one in overtime to win that game. It was a great feeling going against a young Peyton Manning and he’s done some wonderful things since then.”

As for what the team was feeling at the end of the season and the confidence level going into the playoffs, it was fresh in Fiedler’ mind as though it was just yesterday.

“We were confident,” he said. “We put together a good year and ended up winning the division that year. We didn’t get the bye but we were able to get ourselves a home playoff game, which was big for us. It helped us with the momentum that we needed in that game in order to pull out a victory.”

Now Fiedler is running an innovative summer camp in the Catskills Mountains of upstate New York with his brother Scott that combines the demand for top quality sports instruction with the enticing aspects of traditional sleep away camps. It’s called The Sports Academy at Brookwood Camps and it’s an extension of the business first started by the Fiedlers’ father. For more information call (516)-764-2112 or (631)-321-1703, visit the website at www.brookwoodcamps.com or email info@brrokwoodcamps.com.

THIS AND THAT

Dolphins owner Steve Ross visited the Doctor’s Hospital Training Facility today and addressed the team in anticipation of Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Jets. He shared with them the faith and confidence he has in the team, knowing where their focus is this week with the playoffs still a possibility. … Inclement weather pushed the players back inside today and everyone was present and energized after having a Wednesday off for the first time because of Christmas. “I thought it was a very good practice and the speed, tempo and concentration all were good,” Philbin said. … Prior to Sunday’s game, the newest members of the Walk of Fame will officially be inducted at the Joe Robbie Alumni Plaza at Gate C at 11 a.m. Linebacker/defensive end Kim Bokamper will be joined by wide receiver O.J. McDuffie, running back Eugene “Mercury” Morris and guard Keith Sims.

TRIPLE PLAY THURSDAY

Three songs made the cut this afternoon inside the practice bubble while the players warmed up stretched before practice and Jay Z was featured on two of them. “Safe And Sound,” by Capital Cities kicked things off, followed by Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love,” featuring Jay Z. The last song played was “Know Bout Me,” by Timbaland featuring Drake, Jay Z and James Fauntleroy.

THE LAST WORD

“As a Dolphin, the minute you get here you kind of realize that’s a game that a lot of guys circle on their calendar. Obviously, it’s a storied history with our rivals in the division, but at this time of the year it’s another must-win and it’s our biggest game of the year. They just happen to be the Jets as well.” – defensive end Cameron Wake on the Jets being the opponent in the season finale
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