Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Other Wrs Will Embrace Wallace Steelers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Other Wrs Will Embrace Wallace Steelers

Article excerpt

Now that a date has been determined for when holdout receiver Mike Wallace will return to the Steelers, the team can contemplate other questions surrounding their big-play receiver.

Assuming Wallace has been staying in good shape, the most important question to be answered is how quickly he can pick up Todd Haley's offense.

The consensus among his teammates Wednesday was that it won't be much of a problem.

"It depends on how much he's been doing while he's been away," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after practice Wednesday afternoon. "From what he's told me, he's been working out, not just on his conditioning and his strength, but working through the offense.

"It could be a little bit of a challenge, but, if he's been putting in the work that he's told me he's been doing, I think he'll be fine."

Wallace, who is expected to report to the team this weekend, has been absent since the season ended in January because he was not happy with his contract situation. He was given a copy of the new playbook in the spring, but he did not attend the team's voluntary offseason program or the mandatory minicamp in June.

"Mike is a very intelligent guy, so picking up the offense won't be hard for him at all," receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. "The offense will be pretty easy for him to get down."

Even though the terminology is different, Wallace's role on the team won't change all that much. When he arrives, he'll step into his old role as the team's deep threat and put pressure on defensive coordinators to account for him every play.

"Mike is a big part of our team," running back Isaac Redman said. "He's a great player. He allows us to stretch defenses and have that deep threat. I'm looking forward to him coming back. He's also a good friend of mine. It'll be good to have him back in the locker room."

Entering his fourth season, Wallace made a name for himself the past few years with fellow young receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. They refer to themselves as the "Young Money" crew.

Brown, entering his third season, signed a six-year contract for $42.5 million at the beginning of training camp. …

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