Wallace Thrilled To Be With Warm-Weather Dolphins

Posted Mar 13, 2013

Speedy wide receiver is looking forward to working with Tannehill.

One way to get to know your quarterback when you’ve arrived onto a new team is to have dinner with him, and that’s exactly what new Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace did with Ryan Tannehill.

Less than 24 hours after signing his lucrative free agent contract with Miami, Wallace got the official tour of the Doctor’s Hospital Training Facility in Davie. He then held court for the first time with the South Florida media and shared his excitement about moving to a warmer climate and joining a young and ascending team in the AFC East.

“It felt like forever and it took forever just for this last week to pass but I’m very excited to be here and very excited to start this next chapter of my life down in South Florida,” said Wallace, who was joined by his father, Mike Wallace, Jr., and his agent, Bus Cook. “I think this organization just stood out to me. I love being down South, I love everything that’s going on here and I think they’re very competitive and going in the right direction. I think we can do some good things, I like Coach (Joe) Philbin, he’s a good guy and I like the offense here first and foremost.”

Wallace spent his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers playing for a veteran quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, so he has a fresh perspective now with a player in Tannehill who is coming off of his rookie season. Tannehill started all 16 games and passed for 3,294 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and also rushed for 211 yards and a touchdown on younger legs than Roethlisberger’s.

The two got together last night for dinner “where they had boats, big boats,” and got to know each other a little better. Wallace already had watched film of the Dolphins and of Tannehill and drew some positive conclusions about the potential of this offense in the upcoming season.

“It’s going to be different playing with a guy who’s actually younger than me,” Wallace said. “Ben always treated me like his little brother so being a big brother is going to be a little different, but I’m excited. I feel like we made a great splash yesterday and I feel like they’re competitive. I don’t feel like this is a team that was 7-9 in a bad way.

“I feel like they were in a lot of games and some don’t go your way. We were 8-8 this year so I know that every game is not going to go the way you want and I think this is a competitive team and I think we’re going to do some good things.”

Wallace also spoke to wide receiver Brian Hartline last night by phone to get acquainted with the player that was re-signed last week along with veteran quarterback Matt Moore. He also got to meet some of the coaching staff today and is eager to get started.

Safety Chris Clemons, who was re-signed yesterday, knows what it’s like to cover Wallace and how quickly he can get behind the defense. He was on the field for one of Wallace’s two long touchdown receptions against the Dolphins.

“I was in the middle of the field, our corner played off, he went to the house,” Clemons said with a laugh. “He can definitely take the top off of the defense.”

Wallace’s father had almost as a big a smile on his face as his son during the entire morning, especially as he looked at his surroundings.

“I’m real excited and happy for him and everyone,” Wallace, Jr. said. “I was thinking about the beautiful weather, compared to Pittsburgh. I didn’t want to go out there anymore and I’m glad he chose to come to Miami. That was his dream.”

Having been a focal point of the Pittsburgh offense, Wallace has no hesitations about being the No. 1 target for the Dolphins. He saw this as a perfect fit for his family and for him and his career and got a good vibe form General Manager Jeff Ireland and the staff.

“I feel like they were really aggressive and really wanted to show me that they wanted me here,” said Wallace, who averages 17.2 yards per catch and eight touchdowns over his career. “Since Saturday when we were able to talk they were really aggressive and told me they wanted me in their plans and I was real excited.

“I don’t feel too much pressure. I just feel like I’m ready to go. I’m good and there is a lot of relieved stress and excitement going on. Now a lot more of my family can come down and watch me play because there won’t be any snow on the ground.”

That hasn’t happened in South Florida in more than three decades.

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