PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — The Steelers possess one of the most dangerous deep threats in the NFL, but Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t dropped many long bombs recently, despite putting up impressive aerial numbers in back-to-back wins.
In theory, this should frustrate Mike Wallace, especially considering he is auditioning for a bigger paycheck next season, but the wide receiver says he is at peace with how Roethlisberger and new offensive coordinator Todd Haley have deployed Big Ben’s targets.
“Being the type of player I am, I always want to go downfield, but I think we’re really effective with what we’re doing now,” Wallace told 93.7 The Fan’s Jeff Hathhorn on the South Side Wednesday. “Ben doesn’t have too many sacks or picks. Everyone wants to make the big play, but you also have to do what’s working.
“Right now…we’re not getting the yards per catch we want, but we’re still getting opportunities, so we just have to take some short ones, and make them big.”
As they prepare for a trip to MetLife Stadium to face the Super Bowl champion Giants, the Steelers, though one of the top passing teams in pro football, rank in the bottom third of the NFL with 11.1 average yards per catch.
Wallace, who averaged as many as 21 yards per reception in 2010, is currently averaging just 12.8, though he is on pace to at least match his eight touchdowns of a year ago.
He foresees this offense taking more chances in the foreseeable future.
“We have them in our gameplan. It’s just a matter of opportunity, and whenever Coach feels comfortable calling them. I think, as the season progresses, we’ll see more calls [to go] downfield,” Wallace added.
Wallace also discussed the quarterback duel between two-time world champions Roethlisberger and Eli Manning:
Kickoff between the Steelers (4-3) and Giants (6-2) is set for 4:25 Sunday on KDKA-TV.