Some of Mike Wallace’s comments during his Tuesday press conference may not sit well with the Vikings or their starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater. The Ravens’ newest wide receiver made it clear he was happy to leave the Vikings, and Wallace said one attraction to Baltimore was an opportunity to play with quarterback Joe Flacco.
“When this process started, I knew I wasn’t going back to Minnesota,” Wallace said. “I was like, ‘I need a good quarterback. I need a quarterback who I know is proven who can get things done.’
“Flacco, he’s always been that guy. I always loved his deep ball. When I was in Pittsburgh, watching Torrey (Smith) catching them, I was like, ‘Man, this guy gets like eight of them in a row. I need some of that. Ben (Roethlisberger) was my guy (in Pittsburgh). (But) this dude’s getting a lot more opportunities than me, Ben. I got to talk to you about that.’
“This is going to be fun. This is going to be a great opportunity just to revive, and get back to where I want to be at - the type of player I know I can be. I feel like I can maximize my potential here.”
Wallace is not afraid to speak his mind, and will join another Ravens receiver who shares that trait – Steve Smith Sr. Wallace said that Smith called him recently and made a persuasive recruiting pitch.
“I knew when he called, he was going to shoot it straight,” Wallace said of Smith. “He wasn’t going to tell me what I wanted to hear, he was going to tell me exactly what I asked him.”
Wallace’s ability to improve the Ravens’ passing attack is not a given. He is coming off his worst NFL season with 39 catches for 473 yards and two touchdowns. His last 1,000-yard season was in 2011 with the Steelers, but Wallace says he is motivated to convince doubters he can still be a big-time playmaker at age 29.
“I’ll show everybody,” Wallace said. “I’ve been taking a lot of heat for about three years in a row. We’ll see about that, though. I promise, I’ll get the last laugh.”
Wallace also talked about being a former Steeler, who will now experience the Ravens-Steelers rivalry from an opposite perspective.
“It feels weird being on the other side but I’m all for it,” Wallace said. “I just got to switch my whole mentality. I used to hate purple, now I love purple.”
MORE RAVENS: Ravens sign former Steelers star WR Mike Wallace