Joe Philbin has a message for his young quarterback: “Just go out there and let it rip.”
Philbin delivered that advice to Ryan Tannehill on Tuesday, an indication that the team's inability to get Mike Wallace the ball deep is indeed an issue.
Tannehill has completed just 3 of 17 passes thrown to Wallace 20 yards or longer. That includes an underthrown pass down the left sideline Sunday against San Diego that would likely have gone for a touchdown.
Four of Tannehill's 11 interceptions this season have been on deep passes to Wallace.
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“He's open,” Tannehill said Wednesday. “I've just got to throw it out there for him. That's two games in a row where he's been behind [the defense]. I've just got to trust it and let it rip.”
Part of the issue, Tannehill said, has been that Wallace has gotten too wide open, as counterintuitive as that seems.
“You sometimes tense up,” Tannehill said. “You don't want to overthrow him, so you end up underthrowing him.”
Wallace was open deep other times than that missed connection Sunday, Tannehill said.
On one occasion, Tannehill got flushed out of the pocket and threw to Rishard Matthews. On another, Tannehill got sacked.
“You've got to hit the ones that are there,” Tannehill said. “If I only get a couple of opportunities to get him the ball, then throw it out there and let him run underneath.”
To no one's surprise, the Dolphins ruled Jonathan Martin out of Sunday's game. Dimitri Patterson (groin) and Mike Pouncey (illness) were present at Wednesday's practice but did not participate.
Chris Clemons (knee/shoulder), Dannell Ellerbe (knee), Reshad Jones (groin) and Wallace (hamstring) worked on a limited basis.
Matthews (back), Koa Misi (knee), Derrick Shelby (ankle) and Daniel Thomas (ribs) participated fully.
Not a single Dolphins player is among the top two Pro Bowl vote-getters at their respective positions.
Punter Brandon Fields is among the more deserving Dolphins candidates. Fields leads the league in gross punting (49.3 yards) and ranks fifth in net (42.4).
Fans attending Sunday’s Dolphins-Panthers game are encouraged to bring canned food and nonperishable food items.
Drop-off for the food drive, which benefits Feeding South Florida, is Gate E.