Mike Wallace is still defending himself against accusations that he’s gone downhill as a receiver since leaving Pittsburgh.
When will Mike Wallace shut up about how miserable it was for him last year in the Vikings’ offense?
Oh I know, Wallace says he enjoyed his time in Minnesota and maintains good relations with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and other former teammates.
But why do I not believe Wallace when he tries to paint his time in Minnesota as a positive experience?
"“I think I’ve gotten better, even though [the] numbers don’t say so,” Wallace said. “I think I’ll get better this year, and I’ll show some people I have a lot up my sleeve.”"
The “numbers” Wallace refers to are those he put up in two years with Miami and last year in Minnesota, numbers that pale in comparison to those he posted his first four years in Pittsburgh.
With the Steelers, Wallace averaged 59 catches, 1,010 yards and eight touchdowns per season. In the three years since he left, Wallace has averaged roughly the same number of catches but his production has dipped to 755 yards and six TDs per year.
Last year with the Vikings, Wallace bottomed out at 39 catches for 473 yards and two touchdowns. Part of his struggle was down to the offense in general but part of it was due to his own inability/unwillingness to adapt his game to suit the Vikings’ needs.
After the season Wallace decided he no longer wanted to be with the Vikings so he left to sign a free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens and their “slinging” quarterback Joe Flacco.
Shortly after signing with Baltimore, Wallace made comments that strongly suggested Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings’ offensive coaching staff were mostly to blame for his bad stats.
These latest Wallace comments represent another subtle jab at the Vikings and their offense, and offer more proof that Wallace is totally delusional about his skill level.
Wallace admits that he may have lost a step since his days as a vertical threat in Pittsburgh, but says he’s learned how to become a better all-around receiver. If this is the case, where is the evidence?
If Wallace truly had improved as a receiver, he would have put up better numbers last year in spite of the Vikings’ sometimes-inept passing game.
The truth is that Wallace was bad last year, and his badness was a large contributing factor to the Vikings’ passing struggles.
Wallace simply isn’t the kind of receiver who makes a quarterback better, he’s the kind of receiver who needs everything else to be functioning well for him to function.
If Baltimore’s offense is good, Wallace may have a good season. If things go wrong for Joe Flacco and company, Wallace will struggle.
And if Wallace struggles? It will be everyone’s fault but Wallace’s, at least according to Wallace.
I wish Wallace all the best in Baltimore, and I hope that one of these days he ends his campaign to blame Norv Turner for his worst-ever season. Look in the mirror for once, Mike.