PDA

View Full Version : Steelers rookie wideout a quick learner


Galax Steeler
06-11-2009, 03:54 AM
PITTSBURGH — Mike Wallace doesn’t have a car right now, so there’s no chance he’ll get stopped by the cops for speeding.

But on the football field, this guy can fly.

He’s only worked out with the Steelers for 15 off-season practices. But he’s seen enough of his new teammates to claim he’s the fastest man on the roster.

“By far ... by far,” he said with a sheepish grin. “If you’re talking about foot speed, those guys don’t want to see me in a race.”

A rookie wide receiver taken in the third round of the NFL Draft, Wallace said he could beat speed burners like Santonio Holmes, Ike Taylor, Willie Parker or Troy Polamalu in a 40-yard dash or 100-yard sprint.

But he knows speed alone won’t guarantee him playing time. He has so much to learn and improve upon.

Route running. Pass catching. Blocking. Mastering the playbook. Understanding how defensive backs defend. Picking up tricks of the trades from veterans like Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.

“Mike, he’s still raw,” Ward said. “But each day, he’s starting to see the game (more).”

For Wallace and the rest of the rookies, the true test comes Aug. 1 when training camp begins. That’s when pads go on and hitting begins.

Right now, Limas Sweed, a second-round pick last year, and free-agent pick-up Shaun McDonald, are ahead in the pecking order. Yet if Wallace keeps developing, he might work his way into the rotation.

He’s also going to get a shot at returning kickoffs.

Wallace turned in the second-fastest time of any wide receiver in this year’s draft. Darrius Heyward-Bey, the speedster out of Maryland drafted in the first round by the Oakland Raiders, was clocked at 4.30. Wallace ran 4.33.

Wallace used his speed at Ole Miss as a deep-ball threat and kick return specialist.

“Those are big-time guys ... all the guys you just named,” Wallace said of the Steelers’ speedsters. “They have big-time status in the league. I might be faster than those guys, but I’m not established. I’m trying to go where they are.”

Since arriving in Pittsburgh shortly after the draft, Wallace has lived in a North Side apartment complex with other rookies. Each day, they’re shuttled to work at team headquarters on the South Side.

Wallace, from New Orleans, is still learning about life in Pittsburgh. Because he doesn’t have a car, he hasn’t been able to experience much of it.

He has attended a Pirates game (he walked to PNC Park). But he hasn’t even gone up to Mount Washington for the breath-taking, panoramic view of the three rivers and city skyline.

“Pittsburgh’s OK from what I’ve seen so far,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll get to learn more about it once the season starts.

“One thing I keep hearing about is how cold it gets here during the winter. You know, I’m from the South. I’ve never even played in a cold-weather game before.”

If he’s a fast learner, he’ll get plenty of chances to do just that.

http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/06/10/sports/steelers/doc4a307b6a05cc6866055941.txt

DACEB
06-11-2009, 05:58 AM
A rookie wide receiver taken in the third round of the NFL Draft, Wallace said he could beat speed burners like Santonio Holmes, Ike Taylor, Willie Parker or Troy Polamalu in a 40-yard dash or 100-yard sprint.

This is going to be fun, line 'em up boys!

mulldog24
06-11-2009, 06:37 AM
The Steelers could really use his kind of speed at wr and on kr/pr.

bigjamesharrison2
06-11-2009, 09:13 AM
I really hope he gets the opportunity to return for us this year. We really haven't had a good KR/PR fir a few years.

SteelRNation
06-11-2009, 12:48 PM
I know alot of people are looking forward to seeing Frank the Tank and Shipley, but this is the guy I am most excited about. I want this guy to tear it up.

Preacher
06-11-2009, 03:15 PM
Wow.

Our team speed is ever increasing. Just think, we can put him and Santo on the outside and have them streak up the sidelines, pulling the safeties out to them as well.

That leaves the middle wide open for Ward, Sweed, or Willie and comp. out of the backfield.

Just think about what a delayed draw could do!

bigjamesharrison2
06-11-2009, 03:18 PM
Do we have a nickname for this guy yet?

Dino 6 Rings
06-11-2009, 03:42 PM
Do we have a nickname for this guy yet?

Lets let him make a play or two first...


But...since I'm in a dead mood today...

"If the thunder don't get you then the LIGHTNING WILL!!!!"

thumper
06-11-2009, 03:52 PM
Hope he can get it done as a returner. We had a stocky, slow running back doing it last year; not the kind of player who scares anyone returning kicks.

But as far as this kid making any plays as WR this year - forget about it. He is raw and no speed can make up for being so raw when he would have to take balls away from the likes of Ward, Holmes and, the much improved Sweed, not to mention, McDonald, who is a real hidden gem IMO

Fire Haley
06-11-2009, 03:56 PM
"Those guys don’t want to see me in a race.”

Bring it, rookie

5 WIDE!!!



There, I said it.

tony hipchest
06-11-2009, 04:15 PM
Do we have a nickname for this guy yet?

yep. he was #2 in college and fast like rusty wallace.

MasterOfPuppets
06-12-2009, 12:07 AM
yep. he was #2 in college and fast like rusty wallace.
genuine draft ? :noidea: that was the coolest lookin car ever...:popcorn:

Preacher
06-12-2009, 12:27 AM
Do we have a nickname for this guy yet?


Yeah. . .

Rookie.

Its the one he is stuck with until he proves otherwise.

LVSteelersfan
06-12-2009, 12:33 AM
I hope he makes the team as a pr/kr which means he will suit up and possibly be used in the 5 wide scenario. Burners all over the field leaves it wide open for my favorite, Heath Miller to bust it up the middle for 25 yards. WOO HOO !!!!! And Ben can air it out to Holmes if the rookie is pulling the double team off him.

JackHammer
06-12-2009, 12:34 AM
Nuthin funnier than seeing a southerner in the dead of winter in Pittsburgh. It never gets old. :rofl: We don't even have bad winters.

steelreserve
06-12-2009, 02:59 AM
Wallace turned in the second-fastest time of any wide receiver in this year’s draft. Darrius Heyward-Bey, the speedster out of Maryland drafted in the first round by the Oakland Raiders, was clocked at 4.30. Wallace ran 4.33.

Poor Wallace. Four hundredths of a second faster, and he would've been a top-10 pick.

Galax Steeler
06-12-2009, 03:39 AM
Poor Wallace. Four hundredths of a second faster, and he would've been a top-10 pick.

We would not be having this discussion either.