If there’s one thing we thought we could count on in the Dolphins offense it was the presence of a better deep passing game. So it’s surprising that Miami is actually on pace to complete far fewer deep balls this season (12) than last year (20) when the Dolphins offense was often punchless.

And though Ryan Tannehill’s overall growth (the Saints game aside) is encouraging the deep ball metrics –- and Mike Wallace’s degree of involvement –- are somewhat unsettling. Consider:

### On balls thrown 20 yards or more in the air Tannehill has completed only three of nine such passes for 86 yards. Only Kansas City has thrown fewer deep balls than Miami and only the Chiefs Jaguars and Lions have completed fewer. That’s disappointing for an offense whose most dangerous weapon is a receiver with elite speed.

By comparison Philip Rivers has completed 8 of 17 deep balls (for 269) Aaron Rodgers 9 of 16 (305) Peyton Manning 7 of 14 (220) and even Geno Smith 12 of 21 (433) among many others. For his career Tannehill has completed 23 of 60 such deep balls which is mediocre.

### Wallace caught an NFL-high 14 passes thrown 20 yards or more in 2010 nine in 2011 and six in 2012. His 2012 numbers were impacted by Todd Haley taking over as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.

This season? He has only one such catch (for 34 yards) in seven throws including one dropped pass. (He has three drops overall.) No wonder his yards per reception has dipped to 11.7 well below his 16.9 career average and just 61st in the league.

Asked Tuesday if wants more deep balls Wallace said “Yeah” before the Dolphins intervened and said he had talked enough today.

Asked if the Dolphins need to throw deep more to Wallace offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said that’s “easy to say [but] coverage dictates a lot of that. We’re getting more two safety-looks to take away deeper looks. We called 12 deep balls [Monday]. They didn’t go there because coverage didn’t allow it to go there. You can’t force things when they’re not there.”