Minnesota Vikings WR Mike Wallace Putting In Extra Time
By Adam Carlson
When the Minnesota Vikings made a trade with the Miami Dolphins for the rights to Mike Wallace, there was a mixed reaction among the fan base. While Wallace is one of the best players in the NFL at stretching the field and helping to open things up underneath for other players, he also brings with him some baggage that worried some folks.
There were questions about the attitude that Mike Wallace had with the Dolphins and the Steelers and even allegations by his own former teammates that he had quit on his squad and was a poor teammate. However, based on reports so far from Minnesota Vikings Organized Team Activities, Mike Wallace has been putting in extra time to work on his game and develop chemistry with the team’s quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater.
Here is what Mike Wallace had to say about the extra effort he’s been putting forth so far according to an article on StarTribune.com:
"“You just have to continue to put the time in. There are days where we stay behind and we complete passes, work on routes that we may have ran in practice that day,” he said. “It’s just putting in that little extra work that’s going to help you do it that next day. It’s just going to continue to help me.”"
May 27, 2015; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) meets with the media after practice at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
And the Vikings will need Wallace if they will succeed in having a strong passing game this season. With the release of veteran Greg Jennings and a roster full of young, talented pass catchers, Wallace will be the experienced player at wide receiver. Last year, the Vikings were tied for 23rd in the NFL in passes of 20-plus yards (43) and were tied for 25th in the league in passes of 40 yards or more (7). When you combine that with the fact that the Vikings were #28 in the NFL in passing yards per game (202.8), it’s obvious that the Vikings have a lot of work to do on the passing game, especially when it comes to the long ball.
But Mike Wallace wants to get on the same page with his new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and play at a high level. That’s why reports of him staying late after practice to catch passes from Teddy, run routes, and use the jug machine are so good to hear.
"“We do a little something extra every day,” he said. “Whatever we didn’t get right on the field, we’ll go out and correct it. Today, we were pretty spot on. Time restrains you from doing certain things right now, so you have to be on and off the field. Every day we do something extra to get better.”"
If the Vikings want to have playoff hopes this year, they’ll need a motivated and prepared Mike Wallace to play at a very high level like he did when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Or like he did for the Dolphins…when he played against Minnesota last season.
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