Receiver Mike Wallace said his Dolphins experience has been “exciting” so far partly because “every day, you don’t know what’s coming.”
Here’s one change that he knows is coming: The Dolphins plan to use him in more ways than the Pittsburgh Steelers did.
“I will be inside a little more,” he said Wednesday, adding that offensive coordinator Mike Sherman “wants to switch us around a lot more where people can’t key on you. I had primary things to do in Pittsburgh. Here I’m switching a little bit more and doing a little bit more of everything.”
He said in Pittsburgh, first under offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and last season under Todd Haley, “I wasn’t in the slot as much.”
Through four days of camp, most of Wallace’s receptions have been on out patterns and slants. Wallace generally hasn’t been targeted on deep routes, though that assuredly will be a part of the Dolphins’ offense.
“I’m not worried about it,” Wallace said. “It will come in due time. We have days we do different things.”
He said his chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill is getting “better every day. We have a lot of days before our first preseason game. As long as we’re good by Game 1 [of the regular season], I think we’ll be fine. It’s not going to happen overnight.”
On a conference call with season-ticket holders Wednesday, former Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington predicted that Tannehill “is going to make considerable strides this year.”
“What he learned last year is there are more games lost than won. What he has to understand is he doesn’t have to look really pretty, but he has to be efficient and consistent,” said Pennington, who served as a guest coach for several days during training camp and hosted Tannehill for a day on his Kentucky farm.
Asked if he would be interested in the Dolphins’ quarterback job, he said “maybe down the road” but isn’t sure if he wants to coach in the NFL and called the Dolphins’ Zac Taylor “a great young quarterback coach.”
Pennington, who will coach middle school football in Kentucky this year, was joined on the call by O.J. McDuffie, Larry Little, James McKnight and Lousaka Polite.
Asked about the new logo, Little said “It’s growing on me. I’m not there yet. I’m a traditionalist. I love the old logo.”
Former University of Miami and NFL star Warren Sapp, who was at Dolphins camp for NFL Network, said he loves Miami’s team, especially the defensive line, and expects the Dolphins to challenge the Patriots in the AFC East.
“They’ve got enough pieces,” he said. “You look at those big hogs inside, those tackles, and then you’ve got two speed ends. Jeff Ireland tells me [ Olivier Vernon] is their starting right end right now. I say he’ll be your starting right end in Week 1. I like him. Then Brent Grimes and the boys on the back end, and [ Dannell] Ellerbe in the middle.”
• Wallace and Brian Hartline have kidded, through the media, about racing each other.
Joked Wallace: “Hartline doesn’t want that. Brian’s pretty fast. I’m not going to disrespect him. But I know he can’t beat me.”
Hartline didn’t dispute that. “Mike is smoking me” in a hypothetical race, Hartline said. “The dude is on a different level.”
• Dan Carpenter is leading the kicking competition against Caleb Sturgis through four days. On Wednesday, Sturgis made a 40-yard field goal but missed from 49 and 50. That’s as many misses as Carpenter had in 14 attempts through the first three days of camp. Carpenter didn’t attempt a field goal Wednesday.
During practice, Sturgis sometimes stands alone while Carpenter stands with his longtime friends and teammates, punter/holder Brandon Fields and long-snapper John Denney.
Asked about the possibility of breaking up that close-knit trio, Philbin said: “We told the players on the first day of the meetings that our job and my job with the staff’s is to play the best players and there’s not going to be any favoritism. I think every player deserves that.”
• Among the pranks during the early stages of Dolphins’ training camp: Richie Incognito reportedly took Josh Samuda’s car for a ride and parked it by a lake at the team hotel.