Wallace Stirs Steelers' Drink

Mike Wallace made the big plays in the Steelers' 27-3 win over the Carolina Panthers, but the speedy receiver is still looking for his ceiling.

As time ticked down on the Steelers' 27-3 win over the Carolina Panthers, Ben Roethlisberger – who'd already had his nose repacked with gauze once in the game – dropped back and threw a pass to Mike Wallace.

It was a slight risk, and an even more meaningless catch, other than it put Wallace over the century mark in receiving yardage.

Roethlisberger explained that the backup running back was tired, and the other backup runner was injured, and that, yeah, he may as well "kill another bird with that same stone and get him 100," Roethlisberger said.

"Oh, yeah," Wallace said in the locker room with a big smile. "That's why he's my dog."

Roethlisberger looks out for his burgeoning superstar receiver, and the stats glitter in response. Wallace caught 4 passes for 104 yards Thursday, his sixth 100-yard receiving game of the season.

Still, there was one flaw on that final catch: "He actually ran the wrong route," said Roethlisberger. "But he made it work."

And that's why Wallace was greeted by his coach after the game with the usual putdown, "Hey, One Trick."

Yep, Wallace is still the one-trick pony, even after he added a 40-yard stop-fade and a 43-yard touchdown off a short hot read to his seemingly expanding bag of tricks.

"I like where he is right now," Tomlin explained. "But he is capable of more."

So in spite of Wallace's repeated ability to stir the Steelers' drink, he remains the one-trick pony.

"That's going to be my name for the rest of the year," he said. "I don't care what I do, I don't think it's going to change. Hopefully next year I can get me a new name, but for the 2010-2011 season I'm going to be ‘One Trick.'

"I'm used to it. I really don't even pay attention to it. I just let it go in one ear and out the other because I know I have a whole lot of tricks."

Wallace scored the game's first touchdown with a 43-yard blast off a quick blitz read early in the second quarter.

"It was just a hot route," he said. "It was something we worked on in practice. Ben saw it. I saw it. He threw the ball and I ran."

Simple as that. It was the seventh time Roethlisberger and Wallace hooked up for a 40-plus-yard touchdown pass, tying the team record set by Bubby Brister and Louis Lipps.

But Roethlisberger liked Wallace's next catch even more.

Later in the same quarter Wallace ran a go pattern down the sideline and Roethlisberger threw it short. Wallace came back in front of the cornerback and caught it for a 40-yard gain. It led to a field goal and a 20-0 lead.

"I told him tonight he did something I've been waiting for him to do and that was on the deep ball, come back to it," Roethlisberger said. "That's something that a lot of speed guys can't always do."

It's just another trick for the horse with one name, but Wallace smiles and revels in what he's become: the playmaker for a championship contender.

But he still wants to get better.

"I still felt I left a lot of things on the field," he said. "Even though I had an OK game, I think I could've done some things better. I'm always going to search for the ceiling and never be satisfied with what I've done. I feel I should've had 200 yards, because that's the type of player I am."

Steel City Insider Top Stories