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Ben Roethlisberger says Mike Wallace is in shape, will be ready

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Ben Roethlisberger says the Steelers’ passing game needs receiver Mike Wallace, but he’s not worried about Wallace’s status as an unsigned free agent, because he’s confident that Wallace will be signed and ready to play before the season starts.

Roethlisberger told 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh that he called Wallace on August 1, his 26th birthday, and heard exactly what he hoped to hear: Wallace says he’s staying in shape and getting ready for the regular season, even though he’s not doing it in training camp.

“I talked to Mike several days back. It was his birthday, I gave him a call to wish him happy birthday and see how he was doing,” Roethlisberger said, via “Mike’s training hard. He’s training with his helmet on just like he would be here. So he’s doing a lot of things. And without getting into the details of all the things I don’t want to get involved with, I have confidence he’ll be here and ready to go for the season.”

Roethlisberger said being away from camp is killing Wallace, because he desperately wants to be there with his teammates, and that anyone who thinks Wallace isn’t a team player — or that Wallace isn’t a player the Steelers’ offense needs — is completely wrong.

“They’re crazy. No offense, but they’re crazy,” Roethlisberger said of Steelers fans who don’t think the team needs Wallace. “I can’t say enough how good of a teammate he is. And that’s the most important thing when you have as many young guys as we have on our team. And Mike’s a little older and has been doing it for several years. Everyone talks about how great Antonio Brown is — and he is — but the reason Antonio is going to get open — not the only reason — but one of the reasons Antonio is going to get open is because Mike is stretching the field. Any time that Mike is on the field, he commands two guys.”

With the Steelers’ opener at Denver one month away, Roethlisberger sounds confident that Wallace will be stretching the field again soon.

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47 Responses to “Ben Roethlisberger says Mike Wallace is in shape, will be ready”
  1. domeunit says: Aug 9, 2012 2:17 PM

    He may be ready to go for the season physically, but mentally will be a different story. With all of the missed time in a new offense, I don’t see him being as effective this year, unless they just have him run the “Go” route all day.

  2. FinFan68 says: Aug 9, 2012 2:23 PM

    I like the way the Steelers and Jags are handling the Wallace/MJD issues. At some point these guys will realize that the teams may just be willing to move on without them. No money will be difficult to deal with as the season moves on.

  3. bennyb82 says: Aug 9, 2012 2:29 PM

    Wallace needs a new agent if he advised him to turn down 5 years and 50 million thus ruining his clients public perception when it was clear that no team was going to pay him the kind of money the steelers were offering. An agent doesnt care what team you play for or how many games you win. An agent cares about the bottom line. This is an instance where Wallace was going to get paid well playing for a great franchise with a solid qb. An agent would probably rather he play for Jacksonville making 51 million over 5 years.

  4. steelersownyou says: Aug 9, 2012 2:30 PM

    Big ben is a first ballot hall of famer. And a HUGE reason we’ve won 2 super bowls since hes been here. And no doubt a few more are on the way! I trust what he says!

  5. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Aug 9, 2012 2:31 PM

    hey wallace. stay away from the steelers. take a few normal season games off. let them see what they missed out on.

  6. butchhickory says: Aug 9, 2012 2:32 PM

    Being in physical shape and being in football playing shape are two different things. I hope they never sign him. Will teach these prima donnas a lesson.

  7. b7p19 says: Aug 9, 2012 2:32 PM

    So if Wallace doesn’t come back, will Ben still say how monumentally important Wallace is to the offense? Or will he give us the old “next guy has to step up, no one guy makes the team” speech? All he’s doing is massaging the guys ego so he’ll sign his under market tender and help make him look good. There is nothing wrong with that by the way, smart move. Just don’t think Ben is scared about whether or not Wallace comes back.

  8. ltcpain75 says: Aug 9, 2012 2:34 PM

    Then why don’t you convince your “teammate” to fire his agent so he can get into training camp!

  9. flapjackdaddy says: Aug 9, 2012 2:35 PM

    Maybe if he were a good teammate and could run more than two routes he would have gotten a new contract like the guy who showed up to work — Antonio Brown.

  10. ravenmuscle says: Aug 9, 2012 2:38 PM

    What else would Roethlisberger say…that Wallace is woefully “out of shape” and has “no plans” of showing up for the season??? Dahhh..

    Oh…and would Ben say Wallace is NOT a team player???

    What a stupid piece. It says nothing.

    The only thing that should be said is that the Steelers will not budge and talk contract with Wallace until he reports. His staying away from camp has gotten him nothing and will get him nothing.

    Go Steelers

  11. xxsweepthelegxx says: Aug 9, 2012 2:41 PM

    “Roethlisberger said being away from camp is killing Wallace, because he desperately wants to be there with his teammates, and that anyone who thinks Wallace isn’t a team player — or that Wallace isn’t a player the Steelers’ offense needs — is completely wrong”

    I hate when players say that….what’s holding you back then Mike?? ……what was that…I couldn’t hear you…….Oh….Greed. Thanks for clearing that one up.

    Get to camp, keep working with your teammates and the Steelers WILL reward you. It ain’t gonna happen with this approach

  12. handsofsweed says: Aug 9, 2012 2:45 PM

    Hang on a second, steelersownyou. Ben still has 5-7 more seasons to cement that legacy. I feel you, but let’s let this thing play out and have a little bit of “aw shucks” humility. I think you’ll be right in the end, but now isn’t quite the time for it yet.

  13. gunpowderjones says: Aug 9, 2012 2:46 PM

    Greed! You people act like you wouldn’t leave your jobs for a higher paying one.

    – Wallace is not under contract. He’s “tagged”. I’d use whatever leverage I had, too.

    – If the Steelers had offered the Brown contract to Wallace last year…he probably takes it. It’s not completely analogous.

    – Brown would (IMO, of course) not get near what Wallace would get on the open market, unless he were to blow up this year. Brown jumped at that contract for a reason. He’s a very good player but Wallace’s skill-set is more valuable these days.

    – In every other facet of life, people do things like this. When athletes do it and try to get paid at their jobs (and yes, these are jobs), they are primadonnas. I don’t get it. Wallace is retiring closer to 32 than 62.

  14. bobzilla1001 says: Aug 9, 2012 2:47 PM

    Steelersownyou: Roethlisberger is a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer? A quarterback who had the lowest passer rating in Super Bowl history? A quarterback who has been named to the Pro Bowl just TWICE in eight seasons?
    A quarterback who has thrown a whopping ONE touchdown pass in two Super Bowl wins? A quarterback who started 15 games his 2004 rookie season and threw 17 TD passes but managed only 21 TD passes in 15 starts by his EIGHTH season?
    If Roethlisberger is a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, Troy Polamalu should be inducted into the Hall any minute now…

  15. napoleonblownapart6887 says: Aug 9, 2012 2:48 PM

    I want Mike in camp as much as all of the other Steelers fans, but everyone calling for him to “get to camp” are a little short sighted in my opinion.

    A holdout like this is the only leverage a player has in negotiating with a team. Now a lot of people will point to the holdout and say, “that’s the reason they refuse to negotiate” which is all well and good, but if he’s NOT going to get the deal, then he should probably still holdout so he doesn’t risk injury. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

    My guess is he gets to camp in between week 2 and 3 of the preseason, and hopefully they can get a deal done in 2 weeks before the season starts.

  16. steeelfann says: Aug 9, 2012 2:48 PM

    Either way, if he comes or does not come, the Steelers will be fighting for the top spot. Just up to Wallace in terms of what he wants to do with his life.

    I can almost assure you the Steelers will franchise him next year as well, maybe pay $9-$10MM next year, and with the $2.7 this year (if Wallace doesn’t sign long term), basically giving Wallace to the Steelers for 2 more years at around $6-$7MM per.

    Then Wallace is 28, and the luster may start to turn slightly.

    PS: Don’t believe the Steelers will not have the cap room next year. Harrison will be 35 next year and is like $13MM against cap, this also Hampton’s last year. Larry Foote, another 10 year player will be going. There will be PLENTY of space to use franchise on Wallace and he and his agent know it. Right now, it is just staying out on principle. Wallace will be coming in. He is pissed that they signed Brown, but he also realizes he overpaid his hand a bit.

  17. rickastleydancemoves says: Aug 9, 2012 2:53 PM

    I love how when things were going good he was the “best deep threat in football”, but now that he has a contract issue he’s a “one trick pony”. Be careful what you wish for Steelers fans. Last time I checked 186 lb Antonio Brown with 2 td catches last year doesn’t dictate coverage like Mike Wallace does.

  18. bpowder85 says: Aug 9, 2012 3:05 PM

    Being in shape and being in football shape are two different things, Mike needs to report asap, at this point there isn’t a logical reason to holdout as the Steelers aren’t caving.

  19. ravenator says: Aug 9, 2012 3:23 PM

    This is so funny to watch. Ready to do what Ben? Holdout until week 10 when your team is already out of the playoff hunt

  20. Deb says: Aug 9, 2012 3:40 PM

    Roethlisberger’s job is to play quarterback, not to involve himself in player personnel matters. Unless the Steelers have asked him to run interference for Wallace with the fans, he needs to shut up and focus on learning the new offense. I trust Kevin Colbert to handle the Wallace situation. And if being away from camp is “killing Wallace” the solution to that is for Mike to trot down to his garage, plop his butt in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, and zoom himself to camp ASAP. There … problem solved.

  21. gnutella0 says: Aug 9, 2012 3:50 PM

    A few questions for bobzilla1001:

    1. Were you aware that Ben Roethlisberger had the highest playoff passer rating of all 12 QBs who participated in the 2005 post-season, even with Super Bowl XL included? He was the only QB with a triple-digit rating that post-season. That must mean that he was scary good in the other three playoff games that he played if his performance in Super Bowl XL still couldn’t drop him out of the triple-digits. Face it; the Steelers wouldn’t have gone to the Super Bowl that season without Roethlisberger. He gets a mulligan for Super Bowl XL, especially given his age at the time.

    2. Were you aware that Craig Morton had a 0.0 passer rating in Super Bowl XII, and John Elway had a 19.4 passer rating in Super Bowl XXIV. For that matter, Elway had a 51.9 rating when he won Super Bowl XXXII, but neither of those performances kept Elway from being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot. For that matter, Fran Tarkenton’s cumulative 43.4 rating in his three Super Bowls didn’t prevent him from being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer either. His TD/INT ratio in the Super Bowl was 1/6. Roethlisberger’s is 3/5, which is identical to first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Jim Kelly’s.

    3. Would you have more respect for Roethlisberger if he threw a 1-yard TD pass to end Pittsburgh’s first TD drive in Super Bowl XLIII, instead of handing it off to Gary Russell? Even without it, he had a 70.0% completion percentage, 8.5 YPA and a 93.2 passer rating in Super Bowl XLIII, and also led one of the most memorable game-winning drives in Super Bowl history. If he threw a 1-yard TD pass instead of letting Gary Russell punch the ball in from the 1-yard line, then he’d have a 71.0% completion percentage, 8.3 YPA and a 103.8 passer rating. Never mind that he was playing behind arguably the worst interior O-line in Super Bowl history, or that the running game contributed all of 58 yards and 2.2 YPC, thereby making his job a whole lot harder that game.

    4. Were you aware that Roethlisberger only started 12 games in 2005 and 2010, 13 games in 2004, and 15 games in 2006, 2007 and 2009, thereby artificially deflating his TD passes? If Roethlisberger started all 16 games in each of those seasons, then he’d only have two seasons with fewer than 20 TD passes: 2006 and 2008. Otherwise, he’d have 20 in 2004, 22 in 2011, 23 in 2005 and 2010, 28 in 2009, and 34 in 2007. I bet you he throws for at least 30 this season with a better offensive line and better play-calling. On a related note, were you aware that the Steelers had the third-worst average starting field position in the NFL last season, thereby making it harder to sustain drives and score TDs? That alone probably took four or five TD passes off Roethlisberger’s stat sheet.

  22. tsizzlehotpiss says: Aug 9, 2012 4:05 PM

    Yeah, because Ole Miss players are so well known for staying in phenomenal shape……

    Wallace and his agent are idiots. New OC and new system, and he hasn’t learned any of it yet, so now, even when he comes back, he probably won’t have a good year, in a CONTRACT YEAR, which will give the Steelers even MORE leverage. Complete and total idiot(s).

  23. petey62 says: Aug 9, 2012 4:15 PM

    Mike Wallace would have been crazy to accept the Steelers offer. Wallace did not reject the years and amount of 5 years and $50 million.

    Wallace rejected the low-balled guaranteed amount of only $8 million. Why in the world would anyone expect a receiver who has more yards in his first 3 years than any receiver not named Rice and Moss to take only $8 million guaranteed?

    Had the Steelers not low-balled him and came in with a guarantee of about $18-$20 million, Wallace would be signed and sealed and in camp today.

  24. geniusfan says: Aug 9, 2012 4:41 PM

    For a receiver that only caught two touchdowns last year Antonio Brown sure gets a lot of love from Steelers fans….

  25. holeinone09 says: Aug 9, 2012 4:45 PM

    HEY PEOPLE! Steelers play football tonight!! Football is back baby!

    As I have said a number of time before, if Wallace would have come to camp, he would probably be signed to a nice contract now, instead of Brown. The Steelers rarely let a good player get away in their prime. He chose to stay out, they won’t deal with him until he reports, period end of story. The longer he stays out, the less he will contribute and the lower his value becomes to them for this year. They are certainly better with him, but will certainly survive nicely without him.


  26. sanguillen35 says: Aug 9, 2012 4:49 PM

    Can’t wait for his return. He’ll make a great 4th receiver!!!

  27. yinzgotsix says: Aug 9, 2012 4:56 PM

    gnutellao: Ben is still the most overrated QB in the league. bobzilla was talking about worst rating of any QB to win the SB. Randle El was the best passer for the steelers that day. A solid defense, Willie Parker, and some help from the refs got Ben that ring. Ben led a game winning drive against arguably the worst secondary in SB history, New England’s last year may have been just as bad. Without Harrison’s Interception return, Pitt probably loses that game. Nevertheless Ben will never be an elite QB such as Brady, Rodgers, Brees, or both Manning brothers.

  28. stratoaster68 says: Aug 9, 2012 4:59 PM

    For the folks saying Wallace should fire his agent. Reports in Pittsburgh newspapers indicate that it’s Wallace calling the shots, not the agent.

  29. theuglitruth says: Aug 9, 2012 5:02 PM

    I like what Wallace is doing. No point in going to training camp and exposing yourself to injury if they don’t plan to pay you. Come in when it counts, do your time at Pitt…don’t let the time at Pitt do you. Keep your eye on the prize…free agency.

  30. gnutella0 says: Aug 9, 2012 5:12 PM

    Mike Wallace wasn’t low-balled. He’s fast and he’s made plenty of big plays, but he still hasn’t mastered the little things that make WRs great. His route-running is still sloppy at times. He loses focus in tight coverage. He’s not known for his toughness; for all the big plays he’s ever made, I honestly cannot remember him jumping or putting his body out for the ball. His failure to master or improve these things is why $8M is a reasonable offer for him.

  31. t8ertot says: Aug 9, 2012 5:15 PM

    Not exactly the best time to be holding out, especially with a new coordinator. I hope my Bengals can take advantage

  32. Mikey says: Aug 9, 2012 5:19 PM

    I understand the argument that “this is the only leverage that Wallace has” and all that. Being from New Orleans, I’m as big a Mike fan as the next guy, but there are some teams out there in which this tactic simply doesn’t work. One of them is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    You can get away with a holdout against teams like the Bengals, Vikings, Cowboys, Jags, etc. The simple fact is the Rooneys just don’t play that sh*t. They are old school, they do it their way, and its gotten them to the SB eight times with six championships. His agent has to know this, or he needs to find a new line of work.

  33. gnutella0 says: Aug 9, 2012 6:11 PM

    yinzgotsix, without Roethlisberger’s game-winning TD drive in Super Bowl XLIII, James Harrison’s INT return doesn’t even matter. That argument is a double-edged sword, and I just sliced you with the other edge. With 2:37 left in the game, the weight of the entire season was placed squarely on Roethlisberger’s shoulders, and he carried that weight all the way down the field to win the game. He was responsible for all 88 yards on that drive too, 84 with his arm and four with his feet. Even the 40-yard catch-and-run by Santonio Holmes would not have been possible without Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie biting on Roethlisberger’s pump fake to Mewelde Moore. That pump fake opened up the middle of the field for Holmes to run free. Thanks, Ben! And for as awesome as Holmes’ catch in the end zone was, Roethlisberger’s pass was equally brilliant, being placed in the only six-inch-by-six-inch parcel of Tampa atmosphere that enabled Holmes — and only Holmes — to have a chance at catching it. It was a perfectly-thrown pass with the outcome of the biggest game of the year at stake.

    By the way, Aaron Rodgers was spotted a TD by his defense in three of their four games during the 2010 post-season. They won the NFC Championship Game by seven, and Super Bowl XLV by six. The Saints defense during the 2009 post-season was identical to the Steelers defense during the 2008 post-season in terms of both points allowed (19.7) and takeaways (eight). Tracy Porter’s INT return TD in Super Bowl XLIV put the game away. Peyton Manning threw more INTs (seven) than TDs (three) during the 2006 post-season, but thankfully the Colts defense only allowed 12.8 points per game and forced 13 takeaways in four games. Even Tom Brady got a TD from his defense when the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI by three points. As for Eli Manning, his defense allowed 16.3 points during the 2007 post-season, and 13.5 points during the 2011 post-season. Apparently all these other QBs need great efforts by their defenses to win championships too! Imagine that! (For the record, all points scored by opposing defenses and special teams have been factored out, so the numbers above are the points allowed by the defense only.)

    “Great players aren’t always great…only when they need to be.” -John Facenda

  34. tedmurph says: Aug 9, 2012 6:17 PM

    petey62 says:Aug 9, 2012 4:15 PM

    Mike Wallace would have been crazy to accept the Steelers offer. Wallace did not reject the years and amount of 5 years and $50 million.

    Wallace rejected the low-balled guaranteed amount of only $8 million. Why in the world would anyone expect a receiver who has more yards in his first 3 years than any receiver not named Rice and Moss to take only $8 million guaranteed?

    Had the Steelers not low-balled him and came in with a guarantee of about $18-$20 million, Wallace would be signed and sealed and in camp today.


    Finally, someone that gets it.

  35. steelersownyou says: Aug 9, 2012 6:26 PM

    Big Ben is and has always been elite. He does things most qb’s cant do. Looking at fantasy stats doesnt do ben justice. You have to watch the games to appreciate his greatness. Theres only 3 better. Brady, brees and rodgers. Hes a unique qb. Its impossible to judge his greatness from just mere stats! It doesnt tell the full story. Consider yourself now educated bobzilla!

  36. holeinone09 says: Aug 9, 2012 7:08 PM

    Completely agree with gnutella and steelersownyou about Ben. Also don’t forget Ben threw Wallace a TD pass on the play before Wallace caught the pass to win the SB, except Wallace dropped it. Ben is the best QB in the game to avoid the rush and make big positive plays happen. He may never have the best stats, but if he would have had Bradys, Mannings or Rodgers OLs, he would probably have several more SB rings now. He spent most of his career running for his life and has taken a beating none of them could have withstood.

    Glad he is on my team.

  37. yinzgotsix says: Aug 9, 2012 7:17 PM

    gnutellao: Write as many short stories and throw out as many stats as you like, but ben can’t compare to the other QB’s I listed. Are you telling me you wouldn’t take the QB’s I listed over Ben this year? Ben is an oversized (fat) QB that can extend plays and hit a wide open reciever because DB’s can’t cover for 8 seconds. As far as steelersownyou, bobzilla doesn’t need educated, he tells you steeler fans how AVERAGE ben is with actual stats, but you’re too feeble minded to understand.

  38. SteelyMcBeam6 says: Aug 9, 2012 7:56 PM

    Fantasy stats are worthless. by your logic its better to throw for 500 yards and lose than throw for 150 and win. all that matters is winning and he has proven he can do that. Roethlisbergers career record is 80-33 (.708) and a playoff record of 10-3 (.769)

  39. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Aug 9, 2012 9:53 PM

    So many people hate on Ben. I don’t see it that way. Riding a motorcycle and hooking up with a gal that is hounding him repeatedly. If you’re an unmarried/unattached guy in his early twenties – is that so wrong?

    Not in my book.

    We ALL hooked up with girls before marriage/commitment. It’s only out of line if he’s committed in a relationship.

    Riding a bike? Many of us have done that too.

    What I’ve seen of Ben is he backs his O-Line, his wideouts, his RBs, his defense, his coaches (past and present) and is just classy overall. Loyal as all hell.

    Lots of Ben haters out there – but here’s one real fan of the guy. I dig him. Dig his heart. Dig his game. Just dig where he’s coming from on multiple levels.

  40. ravenator says: Aug 9, 2012 9:57 PM


  41. yinzgotsix says: Aug 9, 2012 10:10 PM

    So you’re saying if Ben was on the Browns or Jags he would lead them to the playoffs?

  42. gnutella0 says: Aug 9, 2012 11:35 PM

    Why not? The Browns and Jaguars are just a QB away from respectability anyway.

  43. SteelyMcBeam6 says: Aug 10, 2012 12:03 AM

    evansed….then Cundwiffed

  44. Deb says: Aug 10, 2012 1:32 AM

    @ialwayswantedtobeabanker …

    That was one of the more mature perspectives I’ve read. I love the way Ben plays and love that he’s our QB, but have been frustrated by his haphazard work ethic through the years. He’s an amazingly gifted natural athlete who doesn’t seem to realize perfecting his technique won’t damage his spontaneity. And he’s been something of an idiot off the field … which is why I’d prefer he stuck to his job and let the GM handle the personnel issues. But I do appreciate that he’s loyal to his offense.

  45. yinzgotsix says: Aug 10, 2012 4:52 AM


  46. petey62 says: Aug 10, 2012 8:18 AM

    gnutella0 says: Aug 9, 2012 5:12 PM

    Mike Wallace wasn’t low-balled. He’s fast and he’s made plenty of big plays, but he still hasn’t mastered the little things that make WRs great. His route-running is still sloppy at times. He loses focus in tight coverage. He’s not known for his toughness; for all the big plays he’s ever made, I honestly cannot remember him jumping or putting his body out for the ball. His failure to master or improve these things is why $8M is a reasonable offer for him.

    You cannot argue the results and that’s what counts. For a guy who hasn’t mastered the little things that make WRs great, he sure has produced the results that show “greatness” (only 2 WRs have ever had this kind of production in their first 3 years in the league-EVER). That cannot be debated.

    I don’t care if the only route Wallace runs is the go (“nine” pattern), if it’s a pattern that gets the amount of production he’s gotten in his first 3 years as a Steeler, then I’ll take that. Obviously he’s running the “nine” and garnering the defense’s attention better than anyone in the NFL has since he’s come into the league. He’s not Fitzgerald or Megatron but his numbers are comparable.

    All that means is he is still developing and when he does consistently run more precise routes and fight more for the ball, he could (a big could) possibly be one of the greatest Steeler WRs. But he has more than proven that he’s on Vincent Jackson’s or Pierre Garcon’s level (actually a level higher).

    So, by what you’re saying, if he ran more precise routes and made more catches in traffic and showed more toughness fighting for the ball BUT had half the production, then you would be okay with him getting more guaranteed money?

    But you cannot argue that with his production in his first 3 years, he hasn’t earned a contract that would value more than a mere $8 million guaranteed.

  47. SteelyMcBeam6 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:45 PM

    Steeler haters trolls need a gold medal for the mental gymnastics they pull trying to convince themselves of reasons why the steelers won’t be a good team. They want it so bad they try to force their weak ass irrelevant opinions on everyone else in a pathetic effort to justify their hate. It first matter what facts or stats you put in front of them…they are so consumed by their hatred they will ignore any and all factual and legitimate arguments.

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