Mike Wallace has had an up-and-down season with the Pittsburgh Steelers this year that has largely been a disappointment. Fresh off an offseason where he held out and missed much of training camp, the fourth-year receiver has been unable to establish any type of consistency. The problem, he says, is his inability to remain focused when the offense isn’t getting him the ball.
“When I don’t get the ball for a certain amount of time, I lose focus sometimes,” he told the Pittsburgh Tribune. “It hurts me when it’s time for me to make a play. The toughest thing is staying positive through three quarters because you’re not going to get the ball every time. You have to be ready to deliver when it comes your way. That’s been the biggest thing I’ve had to learn this year.”
Ben Roethlisberger’s injury has not helped Wallace’s production, but he said the lack of balls coming his way is also due to a change in philosophy.
“We spread the ball around more than we did in the past,” Wallace said. “So it’s not one or two people with yards. Nobody’s numbers just jump out. If there’s been a play that I haven’t made this year, it’s been in the second or third quarter when I haven’t been getting too many passes … and I’m losing focus. I get a little frustrated, and that’s the main thing.”
It’s nice that Wallace is willing to be honest, but that attitude is precisely what separates the great receivers from the rest of the pack in the NFL. Larry Fitzgerald has had one of the worst quarterback situations in the league over the past several seasons, but he seems to maintain focus and continue producing. We know Roethlisberger has shown a serious desire to keep Wallace in Pittsburgh in the past, but its looking more and more like he won’t get his way this offseason.
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