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fordfixer
08-11-2010, 01:36 AM
Harris: Can Wallace adequately replace MVP Holmes?
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 94145.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_694145.html)

It's two seasons later, but the memory lingers like the stench of garbage soaked in cheap perfume.

Santonio Holmes, pigeon-toed with his cleats straddling millimeters inside the sideline, catches a bullet pass from Ben Roethlisberger for the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII.

Holmes, MVP of that game, was traded four months ago for conduct unbecoming a star player entering the final year of his contract.

Which brings us to one of the most important questions in the NFL this season.

Can Mike Wallace adequately replace Holmes as the Steelers' new split end?

It's a more important question than whether the New York Jets made a mistake signing LaDainian Tomlinson. More important than why the Washington Redskins paid Albert Haynesworth $100 million. Even more important than whether Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens can coexist peacefully in Cincinnati.

Holmes was a jumble of contradictions who made clutch third-down receptions, took punt returns back to the house and blocked like a fullback in the running game. On the other hand, besides his off-field issues, Holmes had an ego and he believed he was underutilized in the passing game.

"He was one of the premiere dudes in this league," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Monday. "He was outstanding."

Arians had this to say about Wallace, who admired Holmes as a teammate but not enough not to want to take his job: "That's the beauty of the Steelers. When an opportunity comes, somebody's always stepped up. Guys fill the role as good or better."

There's probably more pressure on Wallace than any offensive player on the roster, even more than the quarterback who will replace Roethlisberger for the first four games of the season.

Holmes' ability to attract double-teams resulted in Hines Ward and Wallace facing single coverage last season: Ward's 95 receptions were his highest total since 2003; Wallace led all NFL receivers with 19.4 yards per catch.

With defenses intent on stopping the pass, Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 1,108 yards on a hefty 4.6 yards per carry.

Wallace isn't concerned about replacing Holmes; he's wondering what took him so long to receive the opportunity.

Like most NFL receivers, Wallace is supremely confident in his ability to get open on every play, something he learned from being around Holmes and Ward as a rookie in 2009.

"I want the guys to trust me, to believe they have a good guy out there who's not a drop-off from Santonio," said Wallace, whose focus on football has heightened since the birth of his daughter, Maliha, on Friday. "I have some big shoes to fill -- he's a great player, that's my guy. We talk all the time. (But) I plan on doing an even better job than he did.

"Not just the third guy, (or) the deep guy, but a guy they can depend on any down. I look forward to going against the No. 1 (cornerback). They're going to try to press me and see if I can get off the jam. I'm stronger (this season). I'm going to be ready for them."

Wallace plans to elevate his game beyond the cartoon caricature of him being roadrunner fast and little else. He wants to be taken seriously as a complete football player who can work free against any type of coverage and takes pride in his blocking skills.

"It's just the mentality. You have to want to block. As the year went on, I was getting a lot of knockdowns, crackbacks," Wallace said. "Both of those guys (Ward and Holmes) were Super Bowl MVPs and they're out there throwing their head in there. If they can get in there, I can get in there."

To be sure, Wallace also wants to be respected for clutch moments like his 19-yard touchdown grab from Roethlisberger against Green Bay on the final play of the game. Wallace rounded off his route under duress in the end zone and made a difficult catch before tumbling out of bounds in the Steelers' 37-36 victory at Heinz Field.

Ward and Holmes couldn't have done it better.

Shawn
08-11-2010, 01:40 AM
Wallace is not the route runner Holmes is and I'm not sure he ever will be. With that said, you can't teach blazing speed. Wallace runs good enough routes and has good enough hands combined with elite speed. I believe Wallace can take Holmes place and do so well. I guess only time will tell.

Wallace108
08-11-2010, 02:08 AM
Hmmm, I wonder how I'll weigh in on this subject? http://www.steeluniverse.net/forums/images/smilies/chuckle.gif
Holmes made some memorable plays for us, but there were so many games where he disappeared. I think Wallace will more than fill his shoes. As I've said before, everyone likes to talk about Wallace's speed, but the kid has great hands as well. If his route-running comes along, which I suspect it will, then watch out ...

Shawn
08-11-2010, 02:49 AM
Hmmm, I wonder how I'll weigh in on this subject? http://www.steeluniverse.net/forums/images/smilies/chuckle.gif
Holmes made some memorable plays for us, but there were so many games where he disappeared. I think Wallace will more than fill his shoes. As I've said before, everyone likes to talk about Wallace's speed, but the kid has great hands as well. If his route-running comes along, which I suspect it will, then watch out ...

Generally once a sloppy route runner always a sloppy route runner. With that said, I like Wallace's fire. And if anyone is motivated to better themselves as a player it would be Wallace.

hawaiiansteel
08-11-2010, 03:13 AM
Sanstonio is a great receiver and he will play well for the Jets...

having said that, Mike Wallace needs to start and be on the field as much as possible. :tt2

Flasteel
08-11-2010, 06:32 AM
Wallace is not the route runner Holmes is and I'm not sure he ever will be. With that said, you can't teach blazing speed. Wallace runs good enough routes and has good enough hands combined with elite speed. I believe Wallace can take Holmes place and do so well. I guess only time will tell.

You mean like the route he ran against Cincy, where it led to a pick 6? Holmes is notorious for running the wrong routes. They may be crisp, but they're not always correct. Despite the clutch catches he's made, Holmes also had a penchant for dropping balls.

I think Wallace definitely has what it takes to fill the shoes of Sanstonio Holmes.

Northern_Blitz
08-11-2010, 07:45 AM
The big thing Holmes gave us was his unbelievable ability to run after the catch. Dude was money when he had the ball in his hands.

I think that Wallace is a different type of receiver. Hopefully, he can adjust to the added responsibilities he'll have this year (running more routes, having hot reads, etc.). I hope that we can get a couple bombs to him early in the season and teams need to put a saftey up top on him to free up the middle for 83 & 86.

stlrz d
08-11-2010, 08:12 AM
Hmmm, I wonder how I'll weigh in on this subject? http://www.steeluniverse.net/forums/images/smilies/chuckle.gif
Holmes made some memorable plays for us, but there were so many games where he disappeared. I think Wallace will more than fill his shoes. As I've said before, everyone likes to talk about Wallace's speed, but the kid has great hands as well. If his route-running comes along, which I suspect it will, then watch out ...

Generally once a sloppy route runner always a sloppy route runner. With that said, I like Wallace's fire. And if anyone is motivated to better themselves as a player it would be Wallace.

Lots of guys come out of college needing to polish up their route running. In college their superior athleticism let them get away with it so they didn't have to work as hard on route running as they do in the pros.

Wallace seems like the kind of guy who works hard to improve every aspect of his game at this level. I think his route running will improve as well.

frankthetank1
08-11-2010, 08:38 AM
if wallace is going to replace holmes he will need to start taking bong hits first thing in the morning. he will also need to work on his flexing after the catch. i really hope the coaching staff is working on that with him.

steelblood
08-11-2010, 09:11 AM
Wallace is a little stiff in the hips. He'll never be a master route runner. Holmes was a virtual contortionist. He had a Jerry Rice-like body control and flexibility.

ramblinjim
08-11-2010, 09:26 AM
As long as that catch in the Green Bay game wasn't a fluke, Wallace could indeed have Holmes' flair for being clutch.

RussBII
08-11-2010, 11:15 AM
Replace is a tough word.

Will he replace Santonio's production? I think so. Will he be the same type of WR? Nope.

I just like the kids work ethic, and he had a very Holmes esque toes glued to the ground, diving out of bounds catch last year. So we'll see.

I really like this idea of Wallace and Sanders being the future. Haven't seen E-Sand yet, so we'll have to wait and see.... but it does have me a little excited.

RussBII
08-11-2010, 11:18 AM
Replace is a tough word.

Will he replace Santonio's production? I think so. Will he be the same type of WR? Nope.

I just like the kids work ethic, and he had a very Holmes esque toes glued to the ground, diving out of bounds catch last year. So we'll see.

I really like this idea of Wallace and Sanders being the future. Haven't seen E-Sand yet, so we'll have to wait and see.... but it does have me a little excited.

DukieBoy
08-11-2010, 05:20 PM
if wallace is going to replace holmes he will need to start taking bong hits first thing in the morning. he will also need to work on his flexing after the catch. i really hope the coaching staff is working on that with him.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
That is funny!
:Bow
:Cheers

steelz09
08-11-2010, 06:31 PM
Can he?

Yes...

Will he this year?

No... I think this year will be an adjustment year for Wallace. He went from being matched up against Nickel backs, etc to now facing teams #1 CBs with the likelyhood of getting double team.

It's a whole different ball game.

SteelCrazy
08-11-2010, 08:34 PM
Holmes really didnt show improvement until his 4th year. He started in his 2nd and 3rd years but never improved MUCH more than he did in '06. If Wallace improves greatly over his rookie year, in my book, that will make him better than Holmes. Holmes didnt come out of college running those great routes. He improved them every year by working hard and that's all Wallace has got to do and I believe he will.

fezziwig
08-11-2010, 08:35 PM
Holmes is Holmes and Wallace is Wallce and Wallace needs to play to his stengths.

If Wallace's talents are burning down the field then that is waht they should contribute to him as in plays. We have Hines and Randel El as the short yardage or under route stuff that, can handle things very well. Add some Heath Miller and we will be fine.


If Mendenhall catches on fire and I think he will, our offense might dominate the deenses.

SteelCrazy
08-11-2010, 08:37 PM
Holmes is Holmes and Wallace is Wallce and Wallace needs to play to his stengths.

If Wallace's talents are burning down the field then that is waht they should contribute to him as in plays. We have Hines and Randel El as the short yardage or under route stuff that, can handle things very well. Add some Heath Miller and we will be fine.


If Mendenhall catches on fire and I think he will, our offense might dominate the deenses.

What? :Cheers

stlrz d
08-11-2010, 09:55 PM
Can he?

Yes...

Will he this year?

No... I think this year will be an adjustment year for Wallace. He went from being matched up against Nickel backs, etc to now facing teams #1 CBs with the likelyhood of getting double team.

It's a whole different ball game.

Pretty sure someone here posted something about that and it showed that because of how Wallace lined up he was still being covered by more than just scrubs.

And again...if they double team him it leaves someone else in single coverage. Good for us. Move the chains, line up and go again. Burn clock, matriculate the ball down the field and score.

RuthlessBurgher
08-12-2010, 10:28 AM
Can he?

Yes...

Will he this year?

No... I think this year will be an adjustment year for Wallace. He went from being matched up against Nickel backs, etc to now facing teams #1 CBs with the likelyhood of getting double team.

It's a whole different ball game.

Pretty sure someone here posted something about that and it showed that because of how Wallace lined up he was still being covered by more than just scrubs.

And again...if they double team him it leaves someone else in single coverage. Good for us. Move the chains, line up and go again. Burn clock, matriculate the ball down the field and score.

http://www.americabowl.net/uploaded_images/sb4stram-700384.jpg

Shoe
08-13-2010, 12:56 PM
Wallace is a little stiff in the hips. He'll never be a master route runner. Holmes was a virtual contortionist. He had a Jerry Rice-like body control and flexibility.

I'll co-sign on him being stiff-looking in the hips as you said. I won't in saying he "never" will be a master route-runner. In terms of impact for our offense though, he remains an impact player. The presence of a very legitimate deep threat (not just some Dwight Stone fast guy) makes us much better, just by his presence. You can't comfortably and routinely stack the box with a deep threat like Wallace in the game.

If things go the way I hope, I think Wallace + Sanders will effectively combine to fill and exceed Santonio's effect.