Found December 13, 2012 on
SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
With three good games to finish out the 2012 season Mike Wallace could break 1,00 receiving yards for the third straight year and break, or match, his career high for touchdown receptions. However, anyone who has watched the Steelers thirteen games this season can tell you that Wallace is not having the kind of year that his statistics may make you think he is having.
During the off-season Wallace decided to hold out for a new contract; when things didn’t go his way he finally reported to the team with less than two weeks before the start of the regular season. That decision did not sit well with many of the Pittsburgh faithful, who have now been on his case ever since the beginning of the holdout.
Fast forward to week 14 of the regular season and many fans are hoping they’re almost done seeing Wallace suit up for the Steelers.
So far during the 2012 season Wallace has dropped many catch-able balls including a long pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter of last weeks loss to the San Diego Chargers. That pass would have put the Steelers in Chargers territory, but instead the ball bounced off his finger tips and hit the ground incomplete.
After failing to make that catch the boos began to come in from the crowd. Those boos may not have been just for that drop as it would have been a heck of a catch had he brought the ball in. Instead the boos were for the holdout and the drops throughout the season including a very bad game in which Wallace dropped multiple balls against the Titans.
“I think they’re out to get me a little bit,” Wallace said with a smile in response to being booed in the second quarter.
And he is right. Fans have not forgiven him for holding out and are tired of seeing him drop the ball even though some of the other Steelers receivers, including Antonio Brown, have dropped their fair share of balls this season as well. In fact, in the second quarter Brown also dropped a long pass from Roethlisberger that bounced off of Brown’s chest incomplete.
However, Brown signed a new deal with the team in the off-season and is in better standing with the fans which makes any errors more excusable. At least that is the conclusion that I have come too. Take away four or five dropped balls against the Titans and Wallace may not even have the most drops on the team this season in terms of per game statistics, but add in the holdout and Wallace has become the scapegoat for a struggling offense.
Beyond all that though the boos may have woken Wallace up. For the first time in the 2012 season he looked like a true play-maker after the fans booed him off the field in the second quarter. Up to that point (and including the drop) Wallace had been targeted four times and had made one reception for 10 yards.
After the drop, however, Wallace was targeted seven more times. Of those seven targets Wallace pulled down six receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Antonio Brown, on the other hand, was only able to make four receptions on ten targets including one touchdown and one dropped pass.
Perhaps Wallace will return to form to show that he is better than the product that has been displayed so far during the 2012 season. If he can do that and if he and Brown can start hanging onto the ball the Steelers offense just might be able to get rolling, but if they continue to drop passes and shoot themselves in the foot the Steelers seasons may be over sooner than we’d hoped.
The post Steelers: Boos May Have Woken up Mike Wallace appeared first on SteelBlitz.
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