View Full Version : Wallace keeps proving Browns, NFL wrong

12-28-2011, 10:17 PM
BEREA — The 36th pick of the 2009 draft got cut Nov. 1.

The 50th pick of the 2009 draft has 1,475 receiving yards in three seasons.

The 84th pick of the 2009 draft racked up 1,275 last year and has 1,182 this year — and was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.

Don’t say Mike Wallace didn’t warn them.

No. 36, wide receiver Brian Robiskie, and No. 50, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, both were Browns picks. After the NFL in general and Cleveland in particular thought something was too wrong with Wallace to take much of a chance, No. 84 vowed to make them pay.

“It’s always gonna drive me,” Wallace said Wednesday. “It’s not just the Browns. It’s every team in the whole NFL.”

Teams that drafted wide receivers before Pittsburgh got Wallace were Oakland (Darrius Heyward-Bey, No. 7 overall); San Francisco (Michael Crabtree, No. 10); Philadelphia (No. 19, Jeremy Maclin); Minnesota (Percy Harvin, No. 22); New York Giants (Hakeem Nicks, No. 29); Tennessee (Kenny Britt, No. 30); Cleveland (Robiskie and Massaquoi); Detroit (Derrick Williams, No. 82) and New England (Brandon Tate, No. 83).

Among them, the top producers in 2011 have been Nicks with 1,116 yards, Harvin with 852, Heyward-Bey with 845, Crabtree with 788 and Maclin with 754.

The Steelers paid less and got more from Wallace, with his 71 catches for 1,182 yards and eight touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Robiskie had three catches this season before the Browns let him go. The other 2009 second-rounder, Massaquoi, has 29 catches for 368 yards. Pittsburgh drafted an elite wide receiver corps with the third-rounder, Wallace, and with 2010 Round 6 pick Antonio Brown, who has caught 63 passes for 1,018 yards.

Wallace admits it helps to have a quarterback who knows what he is doing.

“I never realized how great a player Ben (Roethlisberger) was,” said Wallace, who played college ball at Ole Miss. “I kind of under-appreciated him. He’s got everything you need. Soft touch, great awareness, great spin on the ball ... a competitor. And he’s fun to play with.”

The Browns inflicted a high ankle sprain on Roethlisberger on Dec. 8. He played in a 20-3 loss at San Francisco on Dec. 19 but sat out a 27-0 win over St. Louis on Saturday. The Steelers aren’t saying whether Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch or both will be the quarterback at Cleveland.

Batch finished the first half of the first Cleveland game before Roethlisberger returned to preside over a 14-3 win.

Wallace thought back to late in the fourth quarter Dec. 8 when the Browns reached first and goal, trailing only 7-3.

“There was no panic, no anything,” Wallace said. “If they scored, we had a lot of time left to get a big play.”

Two plays after the Browns lost the ball on an interception, the big play came from Brown, who beat Joe Haden on a 79-yard catch and run for a touchdown with 2:52 left.

Now, the Steelers are coming to Cleveland. It was over much earlier the last time the Steelers were here. On Jan. 2 this year, less than a minute into the Browns’ season finale, Wallace caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger. By halftime, Pittsburgh led 31-3.

Wallace took a guess as to whether the Browns have improved since then.

“They’re getting better,” he said. “They’re definitely going in the right direction.

“I don’t see them laying down.”

He might have been analyzing Cleveland from the inside of the Browns’ locker room. Instead, the Browns took other wideouts and left him hanging for Pittsburgh.

McCoy, Harrison out?

Browns tight end Evan Moore says he looks forward to facing James Harrison and the Steelers.

There is a chance, though, that the Steeler who left Colt McCoy with a concussion on Dec. 8 will not play Sunday at Cleveland.

Harrison sat out Wednesday’s practice with a neck injury. He played in Pittsburgh’s Christmas Eve game against the Rams, making four tackles in a 27-0 win.

McCoy was not cleared to practice Wednesday and is in danger of missing his third straight game in the wake of Harrison’s hit.

Harrison was suspended for one game after blasting McCoy helmet to helmet late in a Thursday night thriller. The Browns were driving and trying to cut into a 7-3 deficit when it happened.

Harrison has seemed unremorseful about his hits that have resulted in fines, including one against Browns wideout Mohamed Massaquoi in 2010.

Moore says this of the Harrison issue:

“There are rules and you have to abide by them, but obviously he hasn’t done that.”

Extra points

• Joshua Cribbs’ legs aren’t right, and that was true even before he began his 84-yard punt return at Baltimore. Cribbs says a gigantic opening allowed him to score. “Their guys were just so tired from getting blocked,” he said.

• The Browns are 1-12 against Pittsburgh since Cribbs joined them in 2005, despite the fact some of his best returns have come against the Steelers. “We just want to win THIS game,” he said. “This is our one-game season.”

• During a conference call Wednesday, a reporter who covers the Browns used the word “headhunter” in a question to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin about James Harrison. “Those are your words, my man,” Tomlin said. At another point, Tomlin said, “I can say comfortably I don’t think James Harrison is a dirty player.”

• Injured Browns who sat out practice Wednesday included Joe Haden (thigh), Jordan Norwood (concussion) and Mohamed Massaquoi (foot).

• Tomlin says the Browns have changed since they were in Pittsburgh on Dec. 8. “Peyton Hillis has been running extremely well since our game,” he said. “Their changes at tight end have been significant.” Tight ends Ben Watson and Alex Smith both have gone on injured reserve since that game.

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12-28-2011, 11:35 PM
I must admit that Wallace is doing far better than I thought he could. Im glad I was wrong.