By Danny Cox
Mike Wallace, WR # 17
Weight: 199 lbs.
Hometown:New Orleans, LA
Experience: Four years
2012 is not proving to be a very successful year for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they are sitting in third place in the AFC North with a 2-3 record. Injuries are riddling the team as is lack of production from multiple players on both sides of the ball. Only a couple guys are stepping up as scoring threats for a struggling offense, and one of them is wide receiver Mike Wallace.
The Steelers seem almost anemic on offense this season, and it is evidenced by their mere 12 offensive touchdowns through six weeks of the NFL season. Two of those are on the ground and ten are through the air, and only two players have more than one touchdown.
One is tight end Heath Miller and the other is Wallace. They are both tied with four.
Antonio Brown has the most receptions (29) and is leading the team in receiving yards with 346, but it is Wallace that’s the real receiving threat.
His stats don’t look so good, but they are the most impressive on the entire Steelers’ squad. Through five total games, Wallace has 21 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns. He also was a part of the longest play this season for the Steelers and it was an 82-yard touchdown reception in the loss to the Titans.
The young wide out from Louisiana is used to doing well whenever he steps on the field, and he’s still growing into his role as an NFL receiver.
In college, Wallace played in the difficult SEC and enjoyed a good bit of success when he led the conference in yards per catch with 18.8 in 2007. That was the year that he also was named third-team All-SEC.
After his senior season, he participated in the 2009 Senior Bowl and was then drafted in the third round by the Steelers. His time in the NFL has been short, but he’s already achieved tremendous success.
Wallace was named the Pittsburgh Steelers Rookie of the Year for his work in the 2009 season. He continued his big-play ability and led the NFL in average yards per reception with 19.4 in his rookie season as well. Continuing on, Wallace was named to the AFC roster in the Pro Bowl after his performance in the 2011 season.
Before the 2012 season began, Wallace held out from the Steelers and didn’t report until very late in August as he was trying to secure a new contract. Nothing seemed to work in his favor, and he ended up signing a one-year, $2.7 million tender offered to him and hopes a long-term deal can be reached after the season is over.
Pittsburgh doesn’t negotiate contracts during the season as a rule.
After catching a career high 72 passes for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011, many expected Wallace to get the contract he wanted. That wasn’t meant to be and now he is trying to continue on, play well, and earn his money.
If Wallace wants to shine though, he’s going to need help from his teammates. Pittsburgh’s rushing game is awful which means that opposing teams know the Steelers will pass most of the time. No-one is producing in receiving game besides Wallace except for Miller and Antonio Brown so that means coverage is focused on just them.
No matter what, things are going to end up well for Wallace. Whether or not the Steelers decide to keep him around, his talent can’t be questioned. Someone will have the services of Mike Wallace next year and they’re going to be getting a young wide receiver with an insurmountable up side.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Steelers news, see CBS Sports Pittsburgh.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.