Wallace 'excited' about his new opportunity

Mike Wallace is excited about the opportunity he has been given to play for the Minnesota Vikings, but he is not all that excited about the cold weather the state is known for.

The Minnesota Vikings traded a fifth-round pick for wide receiver Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins on Friday. After the trade was made, there were reports out he was not happy about being traded to Minnesota, but Wallace said that wasn’t true.

The receiver spoke with Vikings media members in a conference call on Saturday and said that he is very excited to be in Minnesota.

“Just wanted to let you all know I’m excited to be here, fresh start,” Wallace said. “I’m excited about the opportunity Coach (Mike) Zimmer gave me, (Rick) Spielman and the Wilfs. I’m excited. Great city from what I’ve heard. Great young quarterback, a lot of good players on the team, young team. ... I want to help out and do the best I can.”

Wallace had his ups and downs during his two seasons in Miami. He never exceeded 1,000 receiving yards, and there was a report that he wanted to take himself out of a game last year. Although he said that he never did that, it was becoming clear a change of scenery might be in place for the receiver.

That is what the Vikings hope happens with Wallace in Minnesota. The receiver said he was going to make the best of any situation he was given in 2015, but he is excited about the opportunity he’s been given.

“Honestly, I was going to make the best of any situation that was coming,” Wallace said. “But I’m definitely excited about this opportunity. I feel really embraced here. I feel like it was a lot of love when I got here, guys really wanted me here. So I’m excited about the fresh start.”

One reason he is excited about playing in Minnesota is the quarterback situation. That has not been the case for free agents coming to Minnesota that past few years, but Teddy Bridgewater has changed that.

Wallace said he has watched Bridgewater since his college days in Louisville and he is excited to be catching balls from him.

“He was a great player and he was always accurate,” Wallace said. “He has a really, really nice touch on the ball. I think throughout the year everybody seen him grow up. I obviously couldn’t watch too many games, but just from the highlights I would see from the start of the season to the end of the season how much better he would get. He’s a guy who looks like he’s always composed and always happy. I’m excited about it. I know he can get the ball to me. I’m not even worried about that aspect of it because I have seen him play. I’m just excited to be coming around some great people.”

One thing he is not excited for, however, is the cold weather that Minnesota is known for. The weather has been nice while he has been here, but he knows it’s not always that way. Wallace is a good friend with former Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford, and he told Wallace what he should be expecting.

“I kind of feel like (the nice weather) is a trick, honestly,” Wallace said. “I kind of feel like everybody’s trying to trick me and try to get me to think the weather is nice. One of my good friends Jamarca Sanford played, so he told me about the weather. He told me the weather's not the best but the people are great.”

He said that since he arrived in Minnesota he has felt a lot of love and has felt embraced. Everybody he has met has made him feel welcome and that has made things a lot easier for him during his transition.

“The whole office, the whole front office, everybody was excited to have me,” Wallace said. “My wide receiver coach was excited to have me. It was just the whole welcome that I got. It wasn’t just one person. I think it was everybody collectively just making me feel welcome.”

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