Before 2011, NFL teams didn’t necessarily want the extra week of practice that goes with playing in the Hall of Fame game. Now, with reduced offseason workouts and limited hitting in training camp, teams see the benefit of extra time.
This year, the Dolphins and Cowboys get the extra week of camp, and the extra preseason game. Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace thinks it “definitely” will help Miami prepare for a Week One game against the Browns.
“Especially with the amount of young guys that we have on the team . . . getting guys ready for the NFL,” Wallace said, in quotes distributed by the team. “We have a lot of guys on the first and second year, a lot of new guys like myself who have to get used to this program and the way they do things around here.”
For the Dolphins, there was even more extra work. In the days before camp opened, second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill worked with his receivers. Wallace wasn’t there, but he said that he’ll work after practice “every single day” with Tannehill in order to “be on the same page.”
Trying to stay on the same page with Wallace will help the team’s defensive backs cover receivers from other teams.
“It’s good to go against because he’s probably I mean if not the fastest it’s probably top three, one or two, one of the fastest guys, so if you cover him you’re not going to see too many people running like that during the season so it’s good work,” cornerback Brent Grimes said of Wallace.
“He’s a pretty elite talent,” Tannehill said of Wallace. “He has a speed that not many guys have, especially in football. I played with a few fast guys at Texas A&M, Ryan Swope, but he was mostly an inside guy. As far as an outside receiver with just pure speed, he’s probably the only guy I’ve played with.”
Wallace’s speed will help him catch plenty of passes, and when teams give him extra attention it’ll help open up the rest of the offense. And the extra time the offense will be spending to prepare, both in training camp and after practice, will come in handy when the opportunities arise.