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mesaSteeler
01-11-2012, 06:20 AM
Bires: Wallace faded at the finish
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/bires-wallace-faded-at-the-finish/article_8e7d1c56-3c17-11e1-b8b1-0019bb30f31a.html?mode=print
By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 12:39 am

PITTSBURGH -- In two weeks, Mike Wallace will bask in the warm Hawaiian sun. He'll be there basking in the glory of his selection as a Pro Bowl wide receiver.

Wallace, one of NFL's fastest players, made it to the all-star game based primarily on what he did during the first eight games of regular-season play. During that time, he was the most feared pass catcher in the AFC.

However, in the Steelers' last eight games and then in Sunday's wild-card loss in Denver, Wallace was not Pro Bowl material. His performance was disappointing.

For as much as he overachieved in September and October, he underachieved in November, December and January.

And as the Steelers head into the off-season feeling so sad about the way their Super Bowl hopes ended, certainly Wallace must shoulder his share of the blame.

No doubt Ike Taylor was the No. 1 goat in the 29-23 overtime loss to Tim Tebow and the Broncos. His failure to cover Demaryius Thomas was arguably the worst post-season performance in franchise history.

But a second-quarter pass Wallace dropped will go down as one of the most infamous bobbles ever by a Steeler.

After the Broncos went ahead 7-6, it appeared that the Steelers would strike back immediately. On the Steelers' next possession, Ben Roethlisberger threw a bomb to Wallace for a 52-yard gain.

It was the Steelers' way of saying "Take that Tebow!"

But Wallace didn't catch the ball cleanly. He juggled it, and as he hit the ground, a piece of the ball touched the turf. The Broncos used instant replay challenge to dispute the catch, and after reviewing the tape, the referee overturned the call.

Instead of having momentum and the ball on the Denver 28, the Steelers were back at their own 20.

Two plays later, the Steelers punted. A few plays after that, Tebow scored to make it 14-6.

But if Wallace would have caught that 52-yard pass cleanly and the Steelers would have gone ahead with either a field goal or touchdown, who knows what the final outcome would have been?

In that wild-card game, Roethlisberger targeted Wallace 10 times. But only three times did they connect for just 26 yards.

Certainly Wallace didn't elevate his game when the banged-up Steelers needed it most.

Last year when Wallace ranked second in the NFL with a 21.0 yards-per-catch average, coach Mike Tomlin often referred to him as a one-trick pony. Wallace's forte was going deep. Few did it better.

This year, the Steelers wanted Wallace to develop into a better all-around receiver. They wanted improvement in running routs, reading defenses, catching the ball in traffic, breaking tackles after the catch, etc.

Early in the year, it looked like Wallace was progressing nicely in all areas. But down the homestretch, he showed that he still has a long way to go. In the second half of the season, he dropped way too many passes, some when he was wide open.

Just like the drop Sunday in Denver.

Catches like that are supposed to be routine for all-star receivers.

During the off-season, Wallace must work harder than ever to improve on all facets of playing wide receiver. If he doesn't, his upcoming trip to Hawaii may be his last.

jjpro11
01-11-2012, 10:35 AM
to be honest, Ben deserves at least some of the blame. Wallace had those big stat games early in the year primarily because he'd make a long catch or two each game... those long plays weren't there in the second half. it's not like he all of a sudden lost the ability to get open though.. i recall numerous times Ben overthrowing Wallace when he had his defender beat. they just couldn't get on the same page like they were earlier in the season.

TRH
01-11-2012, 12:31 PM
Ben isn't the one dropping the ball.
Wallace had numerous catches the latter half of the year that clearly should have been made and some other "possibles" that other great receivers may have and likely would have caught.

The 1st thing i noticed about Wallace throughout the year was his HUUUUUUGE head and atttiude...i thought "what happened to the competitive, humble guy from last year???".

ZoneBlitzer
01-11-2012, 12:46 PM
Ben isn't the one dropping the ball.
Wallace had numerous catches the latter half of the year that clearly should have been made and some other "possibles" that other great receivers may have and likely would have caught.

The 1st thing i noticed about Wallace throughout the year was his HUUUUUUGE head and atttiude...i thought "what happened to the competitive, humble guy from last year???".

I posted in another thread that I would let him walk. He was always a project from day one. He's got bad feet (agility) and poor hands. His speed is impressive but I would take the elusiveness and hands of an AB over Wallace's speed any day. To my mind, AB is the best receiver on this team right now.

eldernesmamvop
01-11-2012, 12:50 PM
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Sixburgher
01-11-2012, 12:51 PM
I posted in another thread that I would let him walk. He was always a project from day one. He's got bad feet (agility) and poor hands. His speed is impressive but I would take the elusiveness and hands of an AB over Wallace's speed any day. To my mind, AB is the best receiver on this team right now.

He'll be a restricted free agent, so it would be nice to get a first and a third rounder out of him. And someone will pony up, guaranteed.

Danny136200
01-11-2012, 01:12 PM
to be honest, Ben deserves at least some of the blame. Wallace had those big stat games early in the year primarily because he'd make a long catch or two each game... those long plays weren't there in the second half. it's not like he all of a sudden lost the ability to get open though.. i recall numerous times Ben overthrowing Wallace when he had his defender beat. they just couldn't get on the same page like they were earlier in the season.

That is true, Ben did overthrow many passes in the second half of the season.

pete74
01-11-2012, 02:50 PM
No way someone gives a 1st and 3rd for Wallace. The Raiders are the only team that would but they already trades them

NoFieldFive
01-11-2012, 02:54 PM
towards the end of the season they started sending Wallace down the sideline with Ben trying to time the throw and lob it over the defender's head. coverage was always tight and the throws well past Wallace. they were 0 for 2 on that play against Denver.

I thought Wallace was best going across the middle and hitting him 10-15 yards down field when he was in full stride.

When the deep ball is called Ben always goes that way, even though some times you need to bag the throw in tight coverage (like last year's pick six against the Packers) and go short to someone else.

steelerjim58
01-11-2012, 04:09 PM
Should Wallace have made the catch, probably. Was it a poorly thrown ball, yes. If it were thrown out in front of him was it an easy td, yes. It was not an easy catch IMO. Ben missed him early also with an overthrow down the sideline.

PhantomJB93
01-11-2012, 04:17 PM
I wouldn't be so fast to trade Wallace after a few bad games to close the season. At the halfway point everybody was talking about how far he'd come and how well-rounded of a receiver he was. He had a few drops but I would attribute his decline in stats more to a change in gameplan due to Ben's injury than to his regression as a receiver. Ben couldn't throw the deep ball well anymore so we stopped using him in that way, in which case AB was the better receiver on short/intermediate routes and got more of the passes.

If Ben comes back healthy next year and we're still talking about Wallace this way, than maybe consider letting him walk.

Fire Arians
01-11-2012, 04:28 PM
wallace's decline had more to do with ben roethlisberger getting injured imo. i think we'd be crazy to trade him. it's not like he can catch the ball when the ball is over or underthrown 10 yards nearly every time.

pete74
01-11-2012, 04:54 PM
I agree the blame goes on Ben. Ben has never been a consistent QB and Wallace's stats suffer because of it. If he played with the Saints, Packers, Lions or Pats he would be a 1500 yard WR every year

jjpro11
01-11-2012, 05:37 PM
I agree the blame goes on Ben. Ben has never been a consistent QB and Wallace's stats suffer because of it. If he played with the Saints, Packers, Lions or Pats he would be a 1500 yard WR every year

the main reason he would probably be able to put up those stats is because those QBs get all day to sit back and throw. it's not because Ben is a bad QB, despite my criticism of him earlier in this thread. Wallace would destroy in the Patriots offense. they have deadly play-action because Brady has so much time to fake the hand-off, nonchalantly take a couple steps, turn around, and fire. when Ben runs play-action, as soon as he fakes the hand-off, he turns around and has multiple defenders grabbing him.

harrison'samonster
01-11-2012, 05:54 PM
Wallace would destroy in the Patriots offense. they have deadly play-action because Brady has so much time to fake the hand-off, nonchalantly take a couple steps, turn around, and fire. when Ben runs play-action, as soon as he fakes the hand-off, he turns around and has multiple defenders grabbing him.

that might be because nobody respects our running game, or our offensive line for that matter.

Ricco Suavez
01-11-2012, 06:04 PM
On the long pass Wallace did not have to make much of an adjustment, he just juggled enough for a bad overturn if you ask me. Receivers are always going to have to make adjustments either because the pass is off or the QB puts in a tight area away from a defender. It is their job to catch. QB constantly underthrow balls so the receiver can adjust to it. Wallace needs to be resigned unless him and his agent want to try and break the bank. One last thought for every poorly throw or uncatchable ball that Ben threw there was some that went right thru one of our receivers fingers. Every ball is not perfect and every ball is not going to be caught even the well thrown ones.

TRH
01-11-2012, 09:38 PM
On the long pass Wallace did not have to make much of an adjustment, he just juggled enough for a bad overturn if you ask me. Receivers are always going to have to make adjustments either because the pass is off or the QB puts in a tight area away from a defender. It is their job to catch. QB constantly underthrow balls so the receiver can adjust to it. Wallace needs to be resigned unless him and his agent want to try and break the bank. One last thought for every poorly throw or uncatchable ball that Ben threw there was some that went right thru one of our receivers fingers. Every ball is not perfect and every ball is not going to be caught even the well thrown ones.

oh, Wallace and his agent WILL try to break the bank...thats not even up for discussion.

FireOmarTomlin
01-11-2012, 10:11 PM
holy shit this thread is beyond gone

Goodell wants arenaball and 72-68 games. Steelers football is gone , no matter how much we love it. We have the 2nd or 3rd best set of overall players for a spread O in the NFL. you want to jettison Wallace accordingly?

wow.

austinfrench76
01-11-2012, 11:16 PM
Wallace almost looks lost sometimes. It'snot disappointing but I certainly wouldn't trade him. AB and Manny are gonna be good though. Nice 1-2 punch with Wallace a huge variable.

Wallace108
01-11-2012, 11:33 PM
Trading Wallace isn't necessarily a bad idea.

1. We can spend the money on other needs.
2. We can get good value for him.
3. If we pay him what he'll want, what happens here soon when it's time to pay Brown and Sanders?
4. If we can re-sign Cotchery and keep Ward for one more season, we're set at WR while being able to address other needs.
5. I'll get to change my username and sig.

tony hipchest
01-11-2012, 11:47 PM
5. I'll get to change my username and sig.

Thaddeus108 has a nice ring to it....

Wallace108
01-11-2012, 11:52 PM
Thaddeus108 has a nice ring to it....

I was kind of thinking of dropping Wally and going with Bubby. :noidea:

TRH
01-12-2012, 12:35 AM
Wallace has been arrogant and aloof at times, run his routes lazily or terrible so much the announcers are pointing it out, dropped a bunch of passes right in his hands.......yet i like how some in here "blame Ben". For crying out loud.

pete74
01-12-2012, 03:25 AM
If I was GM my first concern would be to sign Wallace. If he wants to be paid as a top 3 WR then I would try to get a 1st round pick for him. We also need to resign Brown and Sanders this offseason and odds are were losing one of them. Wallace is a really good WR that keeps defenses honest. If Ben was able to consistently hit him in stride he would have had a monster year.

Aussie Steeler
01-12-2012, 04:03 AM
that ball ben threw should have easily went for 6 if wallace had an ounce of confidence :(

Atlanta Dan
01-12-2012, 12:41 PM
If I was GM my first concern would be to sign Wallace. If he wants to be paid as a top 3 WR then I would try to get a 1st round pick for him. We also need to resign Brown and Sanders this offseason and odds are were losing one of them. Wallace is a really good WR that keeps defenses honest. If Ben was able to consistently hit him in stride he would have had a monster year.

Ed.B of the P-G has his doubts in today's P-G about Wallace

Watching Wallace this game was frustrating. Any chance next year he's our #3 WR and we send Brown or Sanders on more Go routes?

Bouchette: All is possible. If he plays the way he did in the second half of the season, I'd say it's likely.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/114362-ed-steelers-were-historically-stupid

Ricco Suavez
01-14-2012, 07:29 PM
Man watched Saints and 49ers and all I can say is Brees airs it out but his receivers pull some off target catches in better than anyone. The touchdown late that put them up to Gresham down the middle of the field was short and behind and he made a great adjustment to pull it in between double coverage. I like our group of receivers and think Brown has the best set of hands other than Heath, but we have guys who make few of these really clutch catches. Hines used to be money but father time has caught up, even Heath dropped more this year than in years past. I guess as long as we have Ben instead of Rogers, Brees, Brady, and/or the current flavor of the month we will have fans say he is just too inaccurate.

VegasStlrFan
01-14-2012, 07:44 PM
I wouldn't trade him. His second half has a lot to do with defenses, game plan, bens health and he seemed to feel some pressure from the spotlight.

Set-Man
01-14-2012, 08:43 PM
Keep Wallace for sure. He stretches the defense but is not a top 10 receiver in the league. Drops way too many passes. Also is taken out of a lot of games. Still a very good receiver.

zcoop
01-14-2012, 10:22 PM
Get rid of Wallace? Are you kidding me? Why do some want to point out the mistakes of certain players while giving others a pass. The WRs didn't throw the ints that cost us games this year or in the last year's SB. I love both Big Ben and our WRs so I won't throw any of them under the bus. But if were going to call players out we need to put them all out into the fray.

MasterOfPuppets
01-14-2012, 10:43 PM
If I was GM my first concern would be to sign Wallace. If he wants to be paid as a top 3 WR then I would try to get a 1st round pick for him. We also need to resign Brown and Sanders this offseason and odds are were losing one of them. Wallace is a really good WR that keeps defenses honest. If Ben was able to consistently hit him in stride he would have had a monster year.
if the steelers were to put the high tender on wallace and a team plucks him off the roster for a 1st and 3rd , i wouldn't be too upset about it. i think a healthy sander can fill the void nicely. he may not have as much straight line speed but i think he'll become a more complete receiver.