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mesaSteeler
09-12-2009, 11:48 PM
Steelers WR Wallace makes name for himself
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_642877.html#
By Kevin Gorman
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mike Wallace already had a step or two on Tennessee Titans safety Chris Hope deep along the right sideline. All Ben Roethlisberger had to do was hit Wallace in stride for a sure six points.

When the pass fell short, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin joked with Roethlisberger that there was no way they were allowing the rookie receiver to catch a touchdown pass only three plays into his first NFL game.

"We told him we didn't want it to be too easy for him," Roethlisberger said.

Wallace earned his stripes anyway.

Turns out, the "60 Minutes" namesake starred in OT.

The third-round pick out of Ole Miss was on the receiving end of a 22-yard pass play that set up Jeff Reed's 33-yard field goal to clinch the 13-10 overtime victory over the Titans Thursday night at Heinz Field.

Although Wallace downplayed his heroics, saying he benefited from soft coverage "because I haven't really done too much in the league," (Good attitude. - mesa)

Roethlisberger said he was "really proud" of the way Wallace came through with a clutch catch.

"I was real nervous," Wallace said. "It was my first game, so I was just focused on the ball anytime it came, trying to make sure if it touched my hands, I came down with it.

"Ben always tells me to keep running, that it's either my ball or nobody's ball. That was my focus going in: If I can't catch it, to knock it down. Ben put the ball right there in my hands. All I had to do was come down with the catch."

Wallace, a 6-foot, 199-pounder from New Orleans, was happy he was able to keep his composure.

"I've got to act like I've been here before," he said.

Wallace's debut performance might have catapulted him into the No. 3 receiver slot for the Steelers, ahead of 2008 second-round pick Limas Sweed and free-agent addition Shaun McDonald, who was inactive.

Steelers receiver Hines Ward insinuated as much.

"(Wallace is) there to fill the void of Nate Washington," Ward said, referring to the former Steelers No. 3 receiver who signed a free-agent deal with the Titans. "Him and Sweed are competing for that void."

If the season opener were any indication, Wallace has already surpassed Sweed. Wallace finished with three catches for 32 yards; Sweed went without a catch on a night when Roethlisberger attempted 43 passes and connected with six different receivers on his 33 completions.

Wallace's first career catch came on a 3-yarder in the right flat on the Steelers' second series. A pass deep in the middle in the second quarter was incomplete, and Wallace was involved in the scrum in the end zone on Roethlisberger's Hail Mary that was intercepted by Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan as the first half expired.

When Tennessee took a 10-7 lead early in the fourth, the Steelers went to Wallace with a 7-yard pass to start a 12-play, 56-yard drive to tie it on Reed's 32-yarder. Learning a lesson from Ward who fumbled at the 4-yard line in the final minute of regulation while trying to score - Wallace caught the ball in the middle of the field at the Titans' 15 and went straight down.

"It was great that he went out and made some plays," Ward said of Wallace. "It wasn't perfect, but it was a great building block for him to learn from and understand what goes into being a productive wideout."

Kevin Gorman can be reached at kgorman@tribweb.com or 412-320-7812.


Images and text copyright 2009 by The Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
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SteelC7
09-12-2009, 11:53 PM
i love to see this guy get his catches and i like his attitude, but id still love to see sweed get in there and show off his talent, hes one of our most physically gifted and tallest receivers, i hope we see him get used more this season, with sweed, holmes, and now wallace, weve got a solid trio or wideouts for years to come

steeltheone
09-13-2009, 12:02 AM
Looks better than i expected...Love to be wrong when it helps us

Preacher
09-13-2009, 12:41 AM
Ahh... a little too premature concerning Sweed. he is going to make some great catches this season.

They will be battling for the number 3 spot all season long. Then when Hines retires (year or two?) they will be battling for the number 2 spot. Sure is a nice problem to have.

Kal
09-13-2009, 02:44 AM
There's potential with Wallace, but he wasn't that great. He made one very good play, but was pretty much a non factor for the rest of the game. Couple of short passes he didn't turn into anything ... but this can be attributed to rookie nerves and it will be interesting how he evolves once he is used to being on an NFL field and once he and Ben have a better chemistry (Ben was least efficient throwing to him, missing 3 out of 6 attempts).

Comparing both rookie receivers was interesting, because Kenny Britt did not look like a rookie at all which was surprising and upstaged Wallace.

For those interested Wallace played 51 of the 74 snaps, while Sweed was in on 13. Sweed wasn't targeted once.

Galax Steeler
09-13-2009, 07:03 AM
There's potential with Wallace, but he wasn't that great. He made one very good play, but was pretty much a non factor for the rest of the game. Couple of short passes he didn't turn into anything ... but this can be attributed to rookie nerves and it will be interesting how he evolves once he is used to being on an NFL field and once he and Ben have a better chemistry (Ben was least efficient throwing to him, missing 3 out of 6 attempts).

Comparing both rookie receivers was interesting, because Kenny Britt did not look like a rookie at all which was surprising and upstaged Wallace.

For those interested Wallace played 51 of the 74 snaps, while Sweed was in on 13. Sweed wasn't targeted once.

I think Wallace had a good game just my opinion but how can you compare Wallace to the way Britt played. Britt was not playing behind the likes of Ward and Holmes they are the main two on the team. Wallace was the no.3 man behind them so he wasn't getting the looks that Holmes and Ward was getting they both had over a hundred yards receiving each so that don't leave much for Wallace.

mmalone
09-13-2009, 07:09 AM
Ahh... a little too premature concerning Sweed. he is going to make some great catches this season.

They will be battling for the number 3 spot all season long. Then when Hines retires (year or two?) they will be battling for the number 2 spot. Sure is a nice problem to have.

Sweed is 6'5 we need one receiver over 6'

They need to get him in... The beauty of it is we have McDonald sitting and he has great hands. But he is 6' too.

wow, we are WR loaded.

We need to be passing for 4 qtrs... since it works...

Boomerang
09-13-2009, 07:16 AM
It,s cool to have the WR talent on our roster and give us depth there.:tt02::tt02:

Kal
09-13-2009, 08:16 AM
I think Wallace had a good game just my opinion but how can you compare Wallace to the way Britt played. Britt was not playing behind the likes of Ward and Holmes they are the main two on the team. Wallace was the no.3 man behind them so he wasn't getting the looks that Holmes and Ward was getting they both had over a hundred yards receiving each so that don't leave much for Wallace.

A valid point for sure. But Wallace was thrown at more than Britt, and Britt looked more impressive when the ball got to him. His run blocking was marginally better as well. Because the Steelers went to the pass more often than not, Wallace was also in on 8 more passing plays than Britt was.

Wallace had opportunities to do more than he did, but he did at least make a good catch to set up the game winner. For where he was drafted you would expect him to take a bit longer to adjust to the NFL than Britt, and I think this game was evidence of that.

Galax Steeler
09-13-2009, 08:20 AM
A valid point for sure. But Wallace was thrown at more than Britt, and Britt looked more impressive when the ball got to him. His run blocking was marginally better as well. Because the Steelers went to the pass more often than not, Wallace was also in on 8 more passing plays than Britt was.

Wallace had opportunities to do more than he did, but he did at least make a good catch to set up the game winner. For where he was drafted you would expect him to take a bit longer to adjust to the NFL than Britt, and I think this game was evidence of that.

Fair enough:drink:

Kal
09-13-2009, 08:21 AM
Sweed is 6'5 we need one receiver over 6'

They need to get him in... The beauty of it is we have McDonald sitting and he has great hands. But he is 6' too.

wow, we are WR loaded.

We need to be passing for 4 qtrs... since it works...

The problem is McDonald doesn't have great hands. He displayed poor hands last year. Dropping 6 balls may not seem that bad, but when you consider he was thrown at 60 times and only caught 35 balls those stats are amongst the bottom 10 of all receivers in the league.

markymarc
09-13-2009, 05:50 PM
Mike Wallace made a big time catch on Thursday night. This kid is going to be very good when the game slows down for him. Now as far as the #3 WR sorry, but I don't see Wallace moving ahead of Sweed at this point. It's not Sweed's fault he wasn't thrown to once all night. Boy our WR depth is very nice right now. I see both Sweed and Wallace making big plays for us offensively this season.