Usually when a player doesn’t participate in any organized team activities or training camp in the offseason while a new offense is being implemented, they will not be considered a key element for their respective team early in the season.
However, in the case of wide receiver Mike Wallace and the Pittsburgh Steelers, things are apparently different.
Wallace did miss OTAs and training camp, and doesn’t have a full grasp of offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s offense yet, but the Pro Bowl receiver will definitely have a huge role in the Steelers’ offense from the get-go. I predict that he will have an even bigger role than most people expect.
This didn’t completely dawn on me until I saw that Pittsburgh has only four wide receivers on their 53-man roster. Last season, the Steelers had six.
The four-year veteran has had very little time to get up to speed before the Week 1 matchup on Sunday night with the Denver Broncos, and will probably do a lot of learning during actual game time.
Pittsburgh’s speedy receiver will hands-down be one of the most important assets to the Steelers’ offense in the first few weeks of the season. The offense’s success will be dictated by how fast Wallace adapts to the new offense.
If significant production is shown by Wallace early in the season, then he just may put up numbers close to his statistics from last season. Wallace’s 72 receptions, 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns lead the team in 2011.
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