Wallace Vows to Bounce Back

In Wednesday's notebook, Mike Wallace vows to bounce back, Maurkice Pouncey returns to practice, James Harrison's getting better, and Sean Spence talks about his horrific knee injury.

PITTSBURGH – The NFL keeps track of targets right there next to catches in its gamebooks, and Mike Wallace was credited with 15 targets and 8 catches Sunday night in Cincinnati.

No, he didn't drop seven passes. It only seemed that way.

Wallace did have three flat-out drops, another drop of a ball in the end zone that was slightly tipped, and another one of those short passes at a critical point in the game when he wasn't looking.

And this wasn't the first time Wallace has dropped easy passes this season, even though Chris Rainey felt the need to defend his locker-mate while Wallace was being interviewed by a mob of reporters Wednesday afternoon.

"He just had a bad day," Rainey said. "He's going to fix it."

"Yeah," said Wallace, clearly appreciative of the support. "We'll shake back. We've got next Sunday. I feel like I'll come back in a big way. I'm not really worried about that. I'm not down on it or anything like that. I had a bad game."

Wallace did catch those 8 passes but for only 52 yards, a 6.5 per-catch average that brought his average this season down to 13.7, a career low by 2.9 yards per catch.

Wallace is also on pace for a lower percentage of targeted receptions. This year he's caught 59 percent of his passes, compared to 64 percent last year and 60 percent in 2010.

"I think sometimes I try to run a little too early, take my eyes off the ball," Wallace said. "I feel like I have it in my hands and I try to turn too fast sometimes. I have to lock in and make sure I have the ball, because you can't run without the ball."


Maurkice Pouncey (knee) practiced Wednesday and expects to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins, but the two injured running backs – Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman – missed practice, as did OLB Jason Worilds (illness) and RB Jonathan Dwyer (excused).

Of course, RT Marcus Gilbert and SS Troy Polamalu have been ruled out.


In his third game back from a knee injury that kept him out of the first three games of the season, James Harrison had no statistics, other than Game Started.

This appeared to be a regression from the 5 tackles he recorded in each of his other two games. And at Tennessee, Harrison had a sack and against Philadelphia he had 4 quarterback pressures.

"I felt more explosive this game," Harrison said. "The second game I thought it was obvious I didn't play well. Hell, we had what? Three or four days to get ready after my first game? And I felt I had played the worst I ever played my first game, so, I mean, you guys maybe look at it differently than I do. I felt like I didn't have as much action this game as I do normally. But as far as my conditioning and how I felt, I felt a lot better this game than I did the previous one."

So the knee is fine and the conditioning level is improving?

"Oh, yeah. I feel better," he said. "As long as everything keeps going the way it's going, yeah, I'm feeling better."


Sean Spence limped into the locker room Wednesday after appearing with the team on the sideline in Cincinnati.

Spence of course is the third-round draft pick who suffered an ugly left knee injury during the final preseason game. He said Wednesday that he had tore his ACL, LCL and PCL, but that no one has mentioned anything about it being a career-ending or even career-altering injury.

"Nah, I haven't heard that," he said. "I've started rehabbing. I'm getting my motion back, riding a bike, doing all the small things, and then just trying to progress each and every day."

Spence doesn't have a target date for his return next year. "It's a day-to-day thing with me," he said. "I'm not looking towards the future. I'm not sure what it's going to be. I'm just approaching every day as it is."

Spence said he was in a state of depression after it happened.

"Yeah, I felt pretty bad. It took a while, being it was my first surgery. I've never been through anything like that. But there's a first time for everything. I'm just trying to get better each and every day."

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