Mike Wallace sure is happy to be in Baltimore.
“When this process started, I knew I wasn’t going back to Minnesota,” the receiver said Tuesday during his introductory news conference with the Ravens. “I was like, ‘I need a good quarterback. I need a quarterback who I know is proven, who can get things done,’ and [Baltimore’s Joe] Flacco, he’s always been that guy.”
Um, no offense, Teddy Bridgewater?
It was during this time that Wallace established a reputation as a big-time deep threat. He led the league with yards per reception with 19.4 as a rookie in 2009, set a career high in the same category with 21.0 the following year and made his only Pro Bowl appearance in 2011.
But since leaving the Steelers as a free agent, Wallace has played for teams not so enamored with the deep ball: the Miami Dolphins, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill in 2013-14, and the Minnesota Vikings, with Bridgewater as the signal caller last season.
And Wallace’s stats have suffered. He didn’t average 13 or more yards per carry in any of those seasons, and last year, his overall numbers really bottomed out, with just 473 yards and two touchdowns even though he played in every game and started 12.
Apparently, that was entirely the quarterback’s fault and all will be well again now that Wallace is paired with Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP.
“I always loved [Flacco’s] deep ball, always, ever since, like I said, I was in Pittsburgh watching Torrey [Holt] catching them,” Wallace said. “I was like, ‘Man, this guy gets like eight of them in a row.’ I need some of that.”
Incidentally, Bridgewater ranked higher than Flacco last year in average yards per pass, completion percentage and passer rating. The Ravens quarterback was higher than the Vikings QB in average yards per game.