View Full Version : Steeler receiver Mike Wallace ready for increased role

04-26-2010, 12:14 AM
Steeler receiver Mike Wallace ready for increased role
Monday, April 26, 2010

Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace, the logical replacement for Santonio Holmes, expects to be a main object of opposing game plans for the first time in his NFL career.

"(I know) there's going to be double-teams now,'' said Wallace, a third-round draft pick in 2009. "With Santonio and Hines (Ward), a lot of that pressure was taken off (last season). I know I'm going against elite corners now.''

With his new role, comes new expectations for Wallace, who embraces the challenge.

"I think I can make a major jump I'm trying to make it to the Pro Bowl this year,'' said Wallace, the fastest receiver on the team. "People are going to have their doubts, but I'm going to be ready.''

Wallace's rookie season was a pleasant surprise. He played more than anticipated in taking over for Nate Washington as the No. 3 receiver, catching 39 passes for a team-high 19.4-yard average and six touchdowns.

When the Steelers traded Holmes to the New York Jets for a fifth-round draft pick, Wallace realized he would have to accept more responsibility.

Known for his explosive bursts downfield, Wallace must refine other areas of his game to erase the stigma of being a one-dimensional (speed) receiver.

"Regardless if Santonio was here or not, I was going to be ready for a bigger role,'' Wallace said. "I learned a lot from Santonio, and I'm going to continue to learn from him, even though he's not here. But this is our team, and I'm developing my new role.

"I'm trying to take no steps back. I know we've lost a big-time player, but I'm trying to make the drop-off a lot easier on everybody.''

Wallace will be expected to play outside like Holmes, one of the league's best route-runners.

Ward normally lines up in the slot.

Instead of running straight downfield against nickel backs, Wallace will now have to free himself at the line of scrimmage against starting cornerbacks intent on jamming.

"Hines is a big technique guy," Wallace said. "He has a lot of tricks. Santonio's a big route runner. I learned a lot from him just about keeping my eyes forward, keeping my arms pumping and keeping my feet moving - giving a perception of different things. With that combination of the best of both worlds, I'm ready.''

Wallace is keeping all of his options open. He fielded punts during practice, the way Holmes used to do, in case he's asked to fill that role during the season.

Stefan Logan was the Steelers' punt returner last season.

At Ole Miss, Wallace holds school records for single game, season and career kickoff return yards.

"If they want me to return punts, I will," he said. "I haven't done it in a while, but I look to get better in every aspect - not just at receiver. I never did it during practice last year, but I'd do it after practice. This year, if they want me on the depth chart, I'm ready at any time for whatever.''

04-26-2010, 12:21 AM
Heres hoping Sweed can bust out of his slump and take some pressure off of Wallace.

04-26-2010, 12:28 AM
I believe Mike Wallace made the decision to let Holmes go easier for the Steelers. If Wallace wasnt on the team, I think they may have waited a while before making a decision on him. They still would have gotten rid of him but maybe they would have waited to see if they could get more value. He has the speed and catching ability to be a number 1 receiver. If he works hard like Hines Ward does, he will be a pro bowl receiver. Or at least a Marques Colston type receiver.

04-26-2010, 12:34 AM
I have a feeling this kid's gonna be something special. What a 3rd round draft steal

04-26-2010, 12:47 AM
I hated losing Santonio, but having Wallace helps ease the pain.

04-26-2010, 01:30 AM
Great. The battle for 3rd receiver is on...Randel El, Sweed or Sanders.

If Sweed can't get 3rd then he falls to 5th and becomes inactive (non-dressed) for games. I doubt he'd be fourth because he doesn't elp enough with ST and the fourth receiver needs to play ST.

I'm rooting for Sweed or Sanders to win the spot. If I can't have big, I want speed.

04-26-2010, 03:19 AM
I am really psyched for Wallace this year. Like... I am hoping for Santonio production. That is probably way too much to expect right off. It's a mentality thing. Santonio was always the man in College, and got to be the man in big spots for the Steelers. Wallace has to learn to be the man, really. He seems almost too humble for a wide out! And OX... if he is like Colston then we should be thrilled. I see Colston as big time!

Galax Steeler
04-26-2010, 04:52 AM
I think Wallace will do good this year sounds like he wants to learn and take on more responsibilty. I just hope Sweed or Sanders will come in and help Ward and Wallace out.

04-26-2010, 05:37 AM
hopefully wallace keeps improving and dosnt hit a wall. he looked so great last year

04-26-2010, 08:01 AM
Wallace has a plethora of talent and I really believe he is very capable of not only filling Santo's role on the team, but becoming a clear cut Top 5 receiver in the NFL. He's going to be asked to step up big time this coming season and I have no doubt he will fulfill every wish the Steelers and we fans have for him. :thumbsup:

04-26-2010, 08:45 AM
wallace is the man, he'll step in no problem

keep the faith!!


Third Rail
04-26-2010, 10:06 AM
Love Wallace. He had one of the most impressive rookie seasons ever for a WR. Can't wait to see the kid cut loose this year.

04-26-2010, 02:35 PM
Wallace will take over where Holmes left off, maybe even better. Im confident he will.:tt02:

04-26-2010, 04:40 PM
Wallace was undoubtedly the best value of that draft for the Steelers. We sometimes hit on the value picks like Woodley, but it never hurts to move up to somebody like #43 on this team.

In addition, nobody has mentioned Heath Miller's hands since last season. No need to panic at WR. After all we had TWO SB MVP WRs, a first in NFL history.

Homes should be embarassed and humiliated for what he did to the team at such a critical time. But he probably won't because stoners are usually irresponsible and oblivious to the real demands of professionalism.