Minnesota Vikings WR Mike Wallace: ‘I get a bad rep sometimes’


Being in the NFL is a hard thing.  You’re under a microscope at all times and are open to levels of criticism that most everyday people will never experience.  Based on the observations of people and the image the media puts out, players can get a reputation that will follow them wherever they go.  That is exactly what happened with current Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace.

Aug 15, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) talk 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

Things seemed fine when he was a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  He and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger were an exciting combination to watch, stretching the field and scoring quite a few touchdowns.  When it came time for Walllace’s rookie contract to be up, the young pass catcher took his talents to South Beach.

It was there where Wallace got the reputation as a quitter and an attitude problem.  Much of it stems from a loss against the New York Jets on December 28, 2014, when it was said that he was either benched or removed himself from the game (depending on whose reports you read) because of a disagreement with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the coaching staff.  It went as far as having Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, both former teammates of Wallace, talking about his lack of teamwork to the press.

Here is that video from the CBS Miami site:

However, we can’t just take the Pouncey brothers’ word for it.  In fact, they have a history of making some questionable decisions as to who to support as well as backtracking on things they’ve said.  However, none of that will change the stigma that now follows Mike Wallace around.  Is he a quitter and an attitude problem?

The folks over at the Star Tribune recently spoke with Wallace about this reputation.  And it sounds like he’s much more focused on getting work done on the field than worrying what others think.

"“For the most part, I feel like I’ve been a great pro,” Wallace said. “Nobody hears about me getting in trouble off the field. I’ve never missed a meeting or been late for anything. I get in trouble for going off because I’m too passionate, going off too much because I want the ball. It’s never where you have to go home at night and worry about Mike. … I get a bad rep sometimes, but I feel like I’ve been a really good pro when it comes to doing my work.”"

Right.  No legal issues.  Doesn’t miss meetings.  Sounds pretty good, right?  But what about THAT incident.  You know, the one that Mike Wallace gained a reputation from?

"“Who’s really going to quit in the middle of a game? I would never do that. You know, it’s easy for me to sit here and tell you that. You might believe me. You might not. Honestly, I really don’t care. Because I know that didn’t happen, even though people said it happened.”"

At this point, it’s all he said-she said type drama that you’d hear in a schoolyard.  Whoever you believe, it shouldn’t matter now that Mike Wallace has landed with the Minnesota Vikings and will play his first professional regular season game for the team in 8 days.  With a clean slate, he can prove to those willing to give him a chance that he is the hard-working player he claims to be.

But only time will tell if he can overcome that reputation.

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