Minnesota Vikings Mike Wallace ‘a lot better’ than people think


When the Minnesota Vikings traded for Mike Wallace from the Miami Dolphins, fans immediately thought of the Pittsburgh Steelers version of the pass catcher popped into people’s heads.  The idea of him streaking down the field and catching a long bomb was something we saw on a fairly regular basis when Ben Roethlisberger was his quarterback.  In fact, the pass catcher had the nickname “Fast Money” when he was a part of the “Young Money Crew” in Pittsburgh because of his ability to leave defenders in the dust and earned it with two season of over 1,000 receiving yards.

Aug 15, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) stands along the sidelines in the preseason NFL football game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

However, when Mike Wallace landed in Miami on a big free-agent deal, things slowed down a bit.  Although he scored 15 total touchdowns there, his yards per catch average dropped from an average of  17.5 to 12.8 and touchdown per season dropped from 9 per year to 7.5.  Despite those drops in production, Wallace still proved that he can be a deep threat while being more of a red zone target in 2014.

The Minnesota Vikings took on a big contract when they traded for Wallace.  They are counting on him to be a productive and reliable player for the team.  Some fans think the last two years of Mike Wallace in Miami were a bad sign for him, but according to an article on the ESPN website, Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner thinks Wallace is just what the team needs.

"“He’s played a lot better in the last two years than people give him credit for,” Turner said. “If we get him to catch 65 balls and have 10 touchdowns or nine touchdowns, he’ll make a great contribution and help our entire team.”"

And even if Mike Wallace doesn’t turn out to be a traditional #1 wide receiver for the Vikings, Norv Turner believes that the team has enough options as pas catchers to keep Teddy Bridgewater happy.

"“We’ve got a lot of guys who have played and had production and made plays,” Turner said. “Obviously, you can’t play them all, but we’re going to try and figure out what everyone does best and give them opportunities to do those things. I think you saw it last year with Jarius Wright; it took him a little while to really get a feel for what we’re doing, but once he got going, he made a lot of plays that helped us. With this set of guys, I don’t see one guy flashing unbelievable numbers. I see a lot of guys, on Sunday nights, saying, ‘This guy, it was his turn, he had a big day and he was a big part of that win.'”"

Time will tell whether or not Mike Wallace will turn out to be a worthwhile investment for the Vikings, but in the meantime we can sit back and enjoy watching this new, dynamic weapon being integrated into the team’s offense.

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