Mike Wallace Wants to be a Part of Something Special
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Mike Wallace has produced quite a bit through his first nine NFL seasons.
The speedy veteran receiver has cracked the 1,000-yard mark on three occasions, reached the Pro Bowl back in 2011 and even broke the bank a couple of times in free agency.
Set to turn 32 on August 1, however, now it's about the ring for the Ole Miss product, something he explained after signing a one-year deal which could be worth up to $4 million with the Eagles back in March.
“When you’re young, you have a different agenda,” Wallace said when asked by 973espn.com what he learned during his previous forays in free agency. “I didn’t try to come to this game to leave empty-handed. I had to secure the bag [money], and I did that. Now it’s time to try to secure a ring.”
Wallace has been close before, coming up on the short end of Super Bowl XLV when his Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers. As his football mortality approaches, he's intent on punctuating the resume.
"Those guys have Super Bowl meetings and I'm not invited," he joked of his new teammates when taking with reporters this week. "Next year I want to be in those meetings. ... Those guys are going to the White House [on Tuesday]. I want to be going to the White House.”
Wallace joins an explosive offense which already features a top receiver in Alshon Jeffery, one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the game in Zach Ertz and an ever-emerging slot threat in Nelson Agholor. His role is to replace Torrey Smith as the deep threat who opens up everything underneath whether it's Carson Wentz or Nick Foles throwing the football.
"With Mike, obviously the first thing that jumps out to you about Mike is his speed," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. "So, we feel like that gives us a home run threat. Much the same way that Torrey did. So, we're still getting to know Mike and his game, and he's still trying to learn the system, so that will be an evolution there."
While Smith, now in Carolina after the trade that brought Daryl Worley home for a short time, was a thoughtful presence and good teammate he simply is not the same player as Wallace, a home-run hitter miscast as a WR1 at times during his career.
As a complementary piece in Philadelphia Wallace should be an excellent short-term fit for Philadelphia as second-year receiver Mack Hollins continues to progress,
The talent Wallace brings to the dance coupled with Doug Pederson's War and Peace-like playbook has the veteran receiver excited and taking to Twitter to rave about his new offense.
"It's more complicated for me," Wallace admitted when asked about the playbook by 973espn.com. "This is my seventh offense in seven years. All [the] terms start running together in football but when I opened that playbook, it's just different so it gets you excited."
Wallace is a little too savvy to give up any trade secrets, however.
"[The playbook is] top secret," he smiled. "Can't tell you too much about it but just know, it's great."
Just like that fit of Wallace in Philly.
"I want my own [Super Bowl]," Wallace admitted. "That's why I'm here. I know they have a great team, a great locker room. Just from the outside, looking in, you can see it. ... I just to be a part of it."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Want more NFL? Check out John's piece on why 'The Cleanse' in Cleveland was about more than losing at GetMoreSports.com