It all gets down to does Mike Wallace deserve more than $2.7M? Answer is Yes.
Did Mike Wallace have a chance to get significantly more than the $2.7M he is playing for? Answer is Yes.
Who prevented Mike Wallace from getting much, much more? Answer is Mike Wallace.
All this talk about what a bargain Wallace is is moot because Mike Wallace chose to be a bargain. He is not being exploited, he is playing for the what he decided to play for. He knew that behind Door #1 there was a contract reported to average $9M per year for multiple years and behind Door #2 there was a contract for $2.7M for one year. Mike Wallace himself chose Door #2. No coercion, no threats, his choice.
Some want to feel sorry for him like he doing us all a favor by playing as well as he does, but life is full of choices and Wallace made the wrong one.
Antonio Brown is committed to the Steelers long term. So fans are likewise invested in him.
Wally isn't. And fans aren't.
That seems pretty straightforward. It's great we've gotten a bargain out of Wally. It's unfortunate his priorities aren't aligned with the Steelers for the long term.
On the Steelers: Wallace adjusts nicely, happily in new offense
November 2, 2012
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steelers receiver Mike Wallace pulls in a pass against Redskins' Josh Wilson in the fourth quarter last Sunday at Heinz Field.
The Steelers' new dink-and-dunk offense has shrunk Mike Wallace's receiving statistics, but he has kept a positive outlook about it.
He entered the season as one of the celebrated deep threats in the NFL with a career average of 18.7 yards per catch. After averaging 7.6 yards on 15 receptions the past two games, his season average has dipped to 12.8.
His attitude, however, has not descended with it.
"I'm trying not to, you have to stay positive," Wallace said Thursday. "We're winning right now; you don't want to try to fight it or go against it if it's being productive. I'm just trying to adjust what we're doing in this offense."
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has called Todd Haley's offense the "dink and dunk," which is different from the wide open, go-deep thinking under former coordinator Bruce Arians. Haley has emphasized high-percentage passes and getting them away more quickly.
Roethlisberger compared it to the West Coast offense.
"When I grew up, the [San Francisco] 49ers, that's what they did," Roethlisberger said. "That's what a West Coast offense is. Not saying we're a West Coast offense but "dink and dunk' is not a negative term. We're taking advantage of quick, fast receivers, a lot of different receivers, running backs, tight ends, guys getting open.
Especially when defenses take away the big play down the field, that's what's open."
Wallace has been open enough to catch 36 passes for 459 yards and four touchdowns and is on pace to catch more than his career high of 72 last season. He's just not catching them deep much. He had an 82-yard touchdown reception at Tennessee, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of his yardage this season.
Wallace said he's run eight "go" routes all season, but three of those were as decoys or clear-outs.
How many did he run last season?
"Almost five a game!" Wallace said. "I used to go deep a lot last year, until eventually I was just clearing it out for AB and Hines. Now, I haven't really gone much deep. Hopefully, we will."
Antonio Brown leads them with 40 receptions and 480 yards with a 12.0 average. Hines Ward was forced into retirement after the 2011 season. Heath Miller is third with 35 catches for 336 yards and leads the team with six touchdowns. Emmanuel Sanders is next with 22 for 282.
Whereas Arians would use four and five receivers, Haley does not deploy as many as four wide receivers much.
"You have to go with the offense that you're in," Wallace said. "Just do what you're used to doing and you have to be able to adapt, and that's what we're trying to do right now. I get the ball, so that's still cool."
Wallace, a restricted free agent, declined to sign his one-year, $2.7 million tender until the end of the preseason, which allowed him to stay away from spring training and the preseason.
He said he has not thought much about what effect this season might have on his future In one sense, the lower numbers per catch might cause some suitors to shy away; in another, they show he's willing and can play in different styles of offenses.
"It might affect it, it might not," Wallace said. "It might affect it in a good way, it might affect it in a bad way. You never know. Right now, I'm not worried about it. I'm just trying to stay positive.
"It could be a positive thing for me, it just depends on how you look at it, and I'm always looking at it in a positive way, especially when we're winning. As long as we're winning, everybody will be happy."
Wallace also has not given up on the idea that the big play will return in a big way.
"Yeah, I think they'll come. I don't think we're just going to go short the whole year. I think we'll eventually open it up and, whenever we do, we'll be ready for it.
If you look at practice, it's not like we never do it, we're still [throwing deep]. It's just a matter of getting an opportunity in games. Hopefully, we get back to it."
Cook: Wallace's catch grabs attention
November 14, 2012
By Ron Cook / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Lost in the sobering injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Ryan Clark, the timely interception by Lawrence Timmons in overtime and the Steelers' less-than-satisfying 16-13 win Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs was their play of the year.
"You can't practice it," said one of the co-authors, Mike Wallace. "You can't script it."
It went down as a simple 7-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Wallace late in the second quarter, but there was so much more to it. The play went a long way toward saving the game and perhaps the season for the Steelers. Roethlisberger and Wallace are getting pretty good at that sort of thing, or at least they were before Roethlisberger left early in the third quarter with a potentially serious sprained right shoulder. A week earlier in a win against the New York Football Giants, the two combined on a 51-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to turn the game the Steelers' way.
That score against the Giants was all Wallace. He caught the ball on a short crossing pattern and used his incredible speed to outrun everyone across the field and up the left sideline. The touchdown against the Chiefs was a wondrous collaboration between Roethlisberger and Wallace. It took brilliance on both ends to make it work.
Roethlisberger froze Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers for just an instant with a pump fake, then threw a perfect lob pass to Wallace, who ran a fade pattern to the right corner of the end zone. Wallace -- fighting the lights, the wind, the rain and generally nasty conditions, not to mention Flowers' coverage -- dived and scooped the ball into his lap with his right hand. It settled between his thighs as he hit the ground.
"I knew it was a touchdown," Wallace said even after it took an officials review to confirm it. "When you play football every day for as long as I have, you know when the ball hits the ground. That ball didn't hit the ground."
The play pulled the Steelers into a 10-10 tie against the Chiefs, who came in to Heinz Field as 12 1/2-point underdogs with a 1-7 record. It was the sixth time this season that Roethlisberger and Wallace hooked up for a touchdown. They nearly hit on a 44-yard touchdown a few plays earlier, the ball grazing off an open Wallace's fingertips inside the Chiefs 5.
"Me being the caliber of receiver I am, I probably should have caught that one," Wallace said. "It would have been a nice catch. But if I'm the elite receiver I think I am, I need to catch that ball."
It will be a crying shame if Roethlisberger and Wallace don't get a chance to add to their touchdown total anytime soon.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn't rule Roethlisberger out for Sunday night's home game against the Baltimore Ravens, but you probably shouldn't hold your breath that Roethlisberger will play. Tomlin was more peevish and his answers more clipped and condescending than usual at his weekly news conference. It can't be easy looking at the games ahead without potentially having your franchise quarterback. The guess here is Tomlin will be thrilled if he has Roethlisberger back for the second Ravens game Dec. 2 in Baltimore.
That leaves Byron Leftwich as the next man up at quarterback.
Leftwich said there won't be any changes in the offense and Tomlin said he isn't sure any are needed. If anything, the Steelers might take a few more deep shots to Wallace. Leftwich has a big arm.
"He might throw the fastest ball in the league," Wallace said. "Did you see him overthrow me? I can't remember the last time that happened. I was disappointed in my legs after that play. I've got to talk to 'em when I go home. 'Legs, you've got to pick it up.' "
It was nice to hear Wallace giggle. If he's troubled by his tenuous contract situation, he isn't showing it. He held out during training camp in an attempt to get a long-term deal. When that failed, he reported late in the exhibition season and signed the Steelers' tender to play this season for $2,742,000.
"It's not as tough as you might think," Wallace said. "I love my teammates. I love playing with these guys.
They've rallied around me. They make it a lot easier for me."
Roethlisberger wasn't the only player who had to adjust to new offensive coordinator Todd Haley's quick-pass offense. Wallace had to do it, as well. He's just as much of a possession receiver now as he is a home-run hitter.
"Coach Haley likes to call short passes and set up for a deep one every once in a while," Wallace said. "I'm not going to fight it. I'm going with it."
The touchdowns help.
Remember when Tomlin called Wallace "a one-trick pony" early in his career, his way to motivate Wallace to become more than just a speed threat? Well, it worked. It took a special player to make that touchdown catch Monday night. A special receiver.
That was no one-trick pony.
"Please tell [Tomlin]. Please let him know," Wallace said, grinning.
That's so unnecessary.
Wallace knows that Tomlin knows that Wallace has become a big-time, all-around receiver.
Now if Leftwich can just keep getting him the ball ...
Wallace has been a real difference-maker for the team these last couple of weeks. Sure, he's fast, but he brings a whole lot more than that to the game.
You can't say that about Wallace. He is strictly a one-trick pony and nobody is allowed to say otherwise. :D :stirpot
Originally Posted by Sugar
Here is where I need help. I'm not sure which trick is the one we should notice. Is it the blazing speed or is it the fantastic hands?
Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o.
Originally Posted by Sugar
Did you see that catch?
Originally Posted by Mister Pittsburgh