Mike Wallace will be a bit of a warm-weather hunter in these five weeks off for Minnesota Vikings players between the end of minicamp and the start of training camp on July 25.
Wallace is already in Jamaica, arriving Friday, the day after the Vikings concluded their mandatory minicamp with full attendance. But Wallace, whose high school hometown is New Orleans and went to college in Mississippi, will be in at least three locations during his “break.” But it won’t be all pleasure; some pain will accompany.
Jamaica is a short-lived respite before getting back into “grind mode,” as he called, on Tuesday.
“Guys work hard, but at the same time I have to spend some time with my family because I won’t see them as much once I leave,” Wallace said. “Definitely going to grind, try to get two workouts in a day while I’m gone.”
He’s chose a couple of the Vikings’ hardest workers to meet up with during the players’ time off. He will be joining Adrian Peterson for workout in Houston, where Wallace also has a home.
“In the spring, it’s kind of like endurance. Right now, it’s going to be pretty much football drills. Now that I’ve been through the offseason program, I know exactly how our coaches want our routes run. Every system is different from each one so I know exactly how our coaches – the depth, the way they want our routes ran. Just working on that, trying to get my footwork right,” Wallace said.
“Coach (Norv) Turner, he has us running out of the gate. He don’t take no time to warm it up. You’re wide receivers, so you’re going to run. I know I’ll be running a lot when I’m at home.”
He believes the heat of Houston in June and July will prepare him for the dog days of summer training camp in Mankato.
Wallace knew Peterson before joining the Vikings, but once he was on the field with Peterson for the first time about three weeks ago, he became a fan.
“He’s Adrian Peterson. He looked like the guy that we all know. I’m excited. I feel like a fan when I’m on the field with him,” Wallace said. “This is a legendary guy out here. This is a guy that’s going to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he’s finished. He obviously makes the whole offense goes. … I know he’s going to be in shape, so try to get some of those (workouts) in.”
At some point in the coming weeks, Wallace also has plans to join Teddy Bridgewater in Miami for workouts with his new quarterback and continue to develop a rapport that started in April when both reported for the voluntary offseason conditioning program.
“We’re going to probably have some guys off our team coming down. But I’m going to be in Miami also, get a couple workouts in with Teddy when I’m down there,” he said. “I’m going to be going back and forth.”
After two seasons playing for the Miami Dolphins, Wallace also has a house in Miami, so it’s a natural locale for the quarterback and receiver to spend additional time together in the offseason.
Asked where he lives, Wallace joked (we think), “everywhere.”
And that’s apparently a good explanation of where he’ll be working out before he dons the pads of training camp.
“I can’t come in looking sloppy,” he said. “I’ve got to be ready.”
Wallace ready to rekindle ‘grind mode’ soon
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