DAVIE — Seven months after he had no one running deep, after his pop-gun offense couldn't create a quick touchdown, Ryan Tannehill stood in the first huddle of the new year and called the play this offseason was meant to solve.
"The long ball,'' Tannehill said later.
"I figured it was coming to me," receiver Mike Wallace said.
So, right from the start, you got a glimpse into the most important issue of this Dolphins summer. There are other story lines and sidebars to follow. There is the question of how much to expect from third-overall pick Dion Jordan (a lot).
There is what Brent Grimes, if healthy, can add at cornerback (a lot). There are offensive-line concerns (as usual). And there's the challenge of second-year coach Joe Philbin to prepare this changed roster for a schedule that hits hard early.
But considering the investment in each player and the overriding issues of last season, Tannehill and Wallace will provide the best referendum on if this offense gets some giddy-up. And if this franchise does, too.
You can crunch the unforgiving numbers to see this. Tannehill completed only four of 17 passes thrown more than 30 yards last year in an NFL era built around such passes. That was the lowest number of the 31 quarterbacks who played at least 10 games.
That was the major problem in why the Dolphins ranked 27th in scoring offense last year. It's why the receiving corps was overhauled. And here, running deep on the first play of camp, was the prime solution for this year.
Wallace caught four passes last year in Pittsburgh of more than 30 yards — or as many as Tannehill completed to his full stable of receivers.
"I can do better,'' Wallace said.
In 2011, he caught eight passes of more than 30 yards. So it's no secret why the Dolphins spent $60 million on him this offseason. He has elite speed. He's a proven commodity in getting behind defenses.
Wallace isn't the only new receiving weapon, of course, but he's the most dangerous. Tannehill says he's never thrown to a faster receiver. That's not saying enough, considering he's only played three years at quarterback since high school.
The Dolphins haven't had a proven receiver who can fly like Wallace since Mark Duper. Wallace, told what Tannehill said, makes nice and says his new quarterback has a stronger arm than Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"I've never had a guy who can overthrow me as much,'' Wallace said. "Ben could once in a while. This is only the second guy able to do that.
"If we ever get on the same page, I won't stop running."
The first day of camp isn't the time to expect magic to happen, as the first pass showed. Grimes, also in his first play, was ready for Wallace to run. The new cornerback covered the new receiver well.
Tannehill needed to throw a near-perfect pass to Wallace. He overthrew it.
"We've got some work,'' Wallace said.
Training camp, through the years, is where new quarterbacks and receivers find each other. It's where Dan Marino first figured Duper and Mark Clayton had it. In a previous generation, it's where Bob Griese and Paul Warfield were made roommates by Don Shula to forge a relationship.
Now Tannehill and Wallace try to find a formula that works. Sunday wasn't Tannehill's best practice. He said as much afterwards, even as he knows it's all different for him than a year ago. He knows it's his team. He understands the job better.
"No matter how much you talk in a meeting of what to expect to face a certain defense, or a certain situation, it's different to be out there on the field,'' Philbin said. "He's done that for a year now."
Philbin has a go-to line whenever anyone gets tangled up in football X's and O's about "not complicating things." Let's not complicate the Dolphins' hopes this year. So much comes down to being able to score more easily.
That means Tannehill and Wallace build a football relationship. Tannehill has to prove he's a franchise quarterback. Wallace has to prove himself in a new market.
"We have to be ready by Game One,'' Wallace said. "We have four weeks, six weeks. By that time, we'll be finding out if we're on the same page."
That first play and first missed pass? It's July. It's camp. Today brings another practice.
Follow at Twitter/davehydesports.