Minnesota Vikings vs. 49ers: 5 players to watch
By Dan Zinski
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
3. Mike Wallace
Wallace came to the Vikings in a surprise offseason trade that in retrospect maybe should not have been considered surprising.
I mean consider the Vikings’ situation going into the offseason. They had Teddy Bridgewater in place and Adrian Peterson hopefully returning but their receiver corps lacked a proven threat who could force defensive adjustments and open up other areas of the field.
Putting Bridgewater out there without a full complement of weapons would not have been fair to Bridgewater or the rest of the team and Rick Spielman knew it.
Enter Mike Wallace, a player whose speed will command respect from defensive coordinators. Unlike the out-going Greg Jennings, Wallace is someone who can get down the field and open up underneath routes.
Wallace in theory should be a great complement to Adrian Peterson but he must develop chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater for the theory to become practice. Teddy and Mike didn’t hook up much in preseason but they did combine for a big downfield play in the second-to-last game.
Though some fans don’t want to admit it, there are lingering questions about Wallace’s attitude after the way things ended for him both in Pittsburgh and Miami. And these questions are legit.
Wallace has done a lot to try to silence the doubters since arriving in Minnesota but the proof of his alleged new attitude will come the first time he gets frustrated with his number of targets in the regular season.
Wallace has talked the talk so far but he needs to walk the walk.