Baltimore signed Mike Wallace in free agency because his speed complemented Joe Flacco's strong arm. But he has been more than a "one trick pony," a nickname playfully given to him by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
Wallace has caught passes on fade routes in the end zone. He has pulled in tough catches on back-shoulder throws. He has been a frequent target on underneath routes.
"Mike is awesome," Flacco said. "I think he is going to be a really big hit for us."
"We all know he can run," Flacco said. "But just the way he runs his routes and how good is he at the top of it and coming back to you, and how sure his hands have been. I don't know if I've seen him drop a pass."
Steve L Smith is coming off of an Achilles injury, Breshad Perriman has already had a knee scare, while Kamar Aiken continues to fly under the radar. Wallace finished #74 in PPR formats last season as it turned out that he wasn’t a good fit with Teddy Bridgewater’s deep ball inaccuracy. Joe Flacco can wing it, so his arm would seem to be a good match for Wallace’s deep speed. Prior to last year, Wallace had five straight top-25 finishes, though his age and his production in 2015 has scared most owners away. This is a camp battle to monitor this summer: if Wallace wins a starting job -- and it appears that he will -- then he’ll be firmly on the fantasy radar.
Flacco didn’t want to say he’s surprised by how good Wallace has been, because he didn’t know much about Wallace, but he’s certainly happy.
“Mike is awesome,” Flacco said Tuesday. “I think he is going to be a really big hit for us.”
Unlike last year, Flacco has another option in Wallace with Breshad Perriman still out. On Tuesday, Flacco lofted a deep pass for Wallace. The throw was a bit short and tipped by cornerback Jimmy Smith, but Wallace still ran underneath it for the score.
It’s been more than a deep-ball connection, however, that has impressed Flacco so much.
“We all know he can run,” Flacco said. “But just the way he runs his routes and how good is he at the top of it and coming back to you, and how sure his hands have been – I don’t know if I’ve seen him drop a pass. That stuff has been great.”
The Ravens have not had a deep threat since Torrey Smith moved on to the 49ers, and this isn't the first time Flacco has praised Wallace. According to the story, Wallace has also run a lot of intermediate and even shorter routes that could lead to higher reception totals and a place among the Ravens’ top-two receivers. Prior to last year, Wallace had five-straight top-25 finishes, though his age and his production in 2015 has scared most owners away. This is a camp battle to monitor this summer – if Wallace wins a starting job, then he’ll be firmly on the fantasy radar.
Friday, July 29, 2016, 9:53am
Wallace, the veteran free-agent acquisition for the Ravens, passed the mandatory conditioning test and joined his teammates for the second full-squad practice of training camp.
The Ravens will have their first full-squad practice of training camp Thursday and one of their high-profile free agent acquisitions might not be on the field.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh acknowledged Wednesday that Mike Wallace did not pass the team's conditioning test, which he'll need to do before he's permitted to practice with the team. Wallace took the test early Wednesday and Harbaugh said he hit five of six benchmarks but was unable to make the final one.
Wallace could get another opportunity to pass the test on Thursday, the story said. The Ravens will have their first practice at 9 a.m. He'll start training camp on the non-football injury list until he passes. The Ravens are known for having one of the more difficult conditioning tests in the league the story also said.
We'll see what being "fine for the season" really means. He's likely to miss a number of practices and may have to earn his playing time as the season begins if he's not able to participate in camp. More concrete timelines should come out in the next week or so.
It won’t be easy, but it will be on quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman to get everyone involved. However they do it, Aiken deserves a prominent role.
It's difficult to project the Baltimore receiving corps. Steve L Smith seems to be the WR1 if healthy, but he's 37 years old and coming off of a season-ending injury. Breshad Perriman was a 1st round pick and the team signed Mike Wallace in the offseason. Aiken was the most productive receiver in 2015 and is certainly the best bet to replace Smith if he were to miss any time.
“I plan on him having a huge impact,” Flacco said, via the team’s website. “I think he’s a talented guy. He can run, he can catch, he can do a lot of things. I’m planning on him coming in here and having a big impact on our football team and helping us win a lot of games.”
Mike Wallace signed with the Ravens on Tuesday for two years at the same $11.5 million in salary and said at a press conference that he’s looking forward to playing with Joe Flacco, whose years with Baltimore have featured plenty of deep balls that turned into catches or pass interference penalties.
“You have a quarterback that can really sling the ball,” Wallace said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “That’s what I need.”
There are a lot of question marks in the Ravens receiving corps, but things should look a lot better than they did this year if Wallace revive his deep threat credentials while Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman return from injuries in good form.
Wallace is a good fit for Joe Flacco's big arm. The Ravens didn't have a deep threat last season with Torrey Smith gone and Breshad Perriman on the shelf. Wallace is past his prime but he's bound to have a few big games given his ability to go deep. Consider him a WR5 type if Perriman is healthy.
Wallace had a very disappointing first season in Minnesota. He was outplayed by Stefon Diggs, who enters the offseason as the team's WR1. The Vikings are likely to address the position in the offseason. As for Wallace, the free agent WR market is weak, so it's likely that some team will overpay him based on his past success.
For what it’s worth, rookie Stefon Diggs was running with the first-team offense in the three-receiver set during the open part of practice this morning. But we should also note that the media only gets to see the first few minutes of practice. Probably because we’d report things like this.
For those keeping track, Diggs ran with the starters on Wednesday, ran behind Charles Johnson on Thursday and was back with the starters on Friday. Whether or not he plays starter's snaps in Week 7, only OC Norv Turner knows. We feel comfortable ranking Diggs as a WR4 with upside, but owners counting on him this week should be aware of his floor. It's hard to believe that the Vikings would send him back to the bench after his quality play in the last two games, but stranger things have happened.
Johnson started Minnesota's first three games alongside Wallace and caught just six passes for 46 yards. He has missed the past two games because of a rib injury and watched while rookie Stefon Diggs caught 13 passes for 216 yards.
Diggs got the start in Sunday's 16-10 win over Kansas City at TCF Bank Stadium and hauled in seven catches for 129 yards. With Johnson close to returning, Zimmer wouldn't commit Monday to a starter moving forward.
"You don't lose your starting job because of injury, but you lose your starting job because of performance," Zimmer said. "But, no, I have not decided that yet."
Johnson was a pleasant surprise during the second half of last season, earning a starting job after being plucked off the Cleveland Browns' practice squad but hasn't looked like the same player this year.
Friday, October 16, 2015, 6:15pm
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6:18pm
Vikings WR Charles Johnson (rib) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Johnson could become a Sneaky Start if Mike Wallace (knee) isn’t able to play in Week 6. Wallace says that he’s going to play.
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 6:18pm
Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 6:20pm
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