Mike Wallace: WR is giving the Vikings what they need so far


Mike Wallace is giving the Vikings exactly what they needed out of him.

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When he arrived in Minnesota, Wallace played the PR game to perfection and helped dispel the impression that he wasn’t happy about being traded to the Vikings, a team he told to take a flying leap in free agency several years ago.

Wallace showed up for OTAs and voluntary minicamp and seemed like a guy who was happy to be on the field with his new team. He went out of his way to bond with Teddy Bridgewater, working out with the QB before the start of training camp.

Now that camp has arrived, Mike Wallace is doing even more to prove that he’s not the same old Mike Wallace.

He’s showing great effort in practice, he’s working extra after practice. By all accounts, he is comporting himself like a solid veteran leader.

When asked about his reputation as a whiner and a malcontent and a selfish jerk, a reputation he initially earned in Pittsburgh then built on spectacularly in Miami, Wallace said exactly what he knew we all wanted to hear (via St. Paul Pioneer-Press):

"“(I’m trying) my best to be a leader this year and do a much better job in that department than I have been before,” Wallace said. “(I’ve got) to be a better person and a better player and lead more.“You take experiences that you have in your life and just learn from them. Some are good and some are bad, but you have to build from it. I know some mistakes I made in Miami. I know some good things. So I try to leave the bad and take the good.”"

Through the first two days of training camp, Mike Wallace has given the Vikings everything they could have asked for in terms of effort and attitude. But the hard part hasn’t even gotten here yet.

When the season rolls around Wallace, who is being paid like a top-drawer receiver, has to produce at the level of a top-drawer receiver. And if he doesn’t produce he still has to maintain the same effort and attitude he’s shown so far.

It’s easy to talk about being a leader and a good person. But leaders and good people don’t talk about being those things, they are those things, regardless of what happens to their stats.

Let’s see how Mike Wallace reacts the first time he has a bad statistical game and the media start asking questions. Will he behave like a leader or will he revert to his old diva habits?

Will Mike Wallace’s new attitude still hold up if his own numbers aren’t where he wants them to be? Will he put team results above personal stats? Will he value wins over individual accomplishment?

It’s been good so far, but then again Wallace hasn’t really been tested. He hasn’t been tested on the field or in the locker room. Until he does it for real, and shows he’s not just another diva wide-out who knows how to kiss butt, some of us will remain skeptical.

Next: Mike Zimmer still questioning Patterson

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