With all signs pointing to wide receiver Mike Wallace finally reporting to the Steelers this weekend, it looks like we can stop wondering about when he’ll decide to get back to work.
And we can start wondering about how quickly he’ll be able to get up to speed after missing the entire offseason. During preseason action, we’ve seen some clear differences in Todd Haley’s offense from the one Wallace played in last season. That could mean a slow transition, although quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reports that Wallace has a copy of the playbook that will help him hit the ground running.
“I guess it could be a little bit of a challenge. But if he’s putting the work in that I think and he’s telling me he’s doing, he’ll be fine,” Roethlisberger said, via Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times. “He’s been working out and working, not just on his conditioning and his strength, but working also on the offense.”
Any full contemplation of Wallace’s readiness will have to wait until he actually arrives, but one thought does leap immediately to mind. The one thing that hasn’t been part of the Steelers offense under Haley has been the deep ball, something that could be missing because Wallace hasn’t been in the lineup. Even if Wallace doesn’t have a full grasp of the offense when the regular season begins, the threat of him running deep could open up things underneath for Antonio Brown and others.