You knew sooner or later somebody was going to speak out in defense of Mike Wallace, and I don’t mean a teammate. We’ve all heard several Steelers players talking about how Mike is training hard, he wants to be here, and other statements in support of the situation with their teammate and the front office. We’ve also heard Jerome Bettis recently talk about how “Wallace doesn’t get the Steelers.
Now Tom Shaw, the same trainer that works with cornerback Ike Taylor has given us some additional information on the Wallace saga. Per an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review by Alan Robinson on Friday afternoon, he says the following in this excerpt:
“He’s fast as lightning right now,” said Tom Shaw, who works with players such as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. “He’s not going to put himself in a bad situation (conditioning-wise) so that he couldn’t play in the first game.”
Shaw also told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Friday that the unsigned Wallace “is lifting, running, jumping, catching the ball — the same things he would be doing if he were in camp, except not he’s not getting hit.”
Shaw said Wallace won’t talk to the media until he reports to camp, which, he said, “has got to be pretty soon. (The Steelers) aren’t just going to let him sit out there.”
Wallace is remaining silent, Shaw said, “because he gets mad when people write things that are totally false. He doesn’t want a $100 million contract, a $50 million contract. He’s never told anybody that. He knows the Steelers aren’t talking, and he’s not talking.”
I don’t think anyone figured that Wallace was sitting at home on his couch eating Oreo’s and drinking beer 24/7. Any professional athlete worth his weight on the field stays in shape year around, especially receivers and cornerbacks; any high profile skill position really.
So the question is, if he doesn’t want $100 million or $50 million but yet he feels he’s not been given his fair share after 3 good years, then what does he want? Respect maybe, but the team has already tried that approach by putting out media statements all through the offseason about how they want to keep him here long term. They’ve talked him up about being such a great talent and what not. They’ve put forth good faith proposals rumored to be around $50 million but Wallace still has not yet reported or even said a word.
If his version of respect is getting his money and then showing up, that’s not going to happen unless the Steelers have a change of heart about how they handle contracts with players. To be clear I’m not suggesting that respect is a motive in this holdout, only Wallace knows that and probably Tom Shaw and Wallace’s agent Bus Cook. In any event it looks like the end of the Wallace holdout mike be soon but what the exact time frame is remains to be seen.
Another interesting point is that Shaw says “it has to be soon” in reference to when Wallace will report because the Steelers can’t just let him sit there. I would beg to differ in that right now it’s a matter of who’s going to give in first and the Steelers don’t make a habit of giving into players that hold out for any reason. Had he shown up and put forth the effort on his end to be in camp and learn the offense then maybe he would have had his new deal right now. That’s just my take on it but basing on the Steeler Nation as a whole and the frustration with wanting him to be on the team, there are many that feel this way. We’re just fans though so we have to wait and see what the ultimate outcome is like everyone else.
Ben Roethlisberger said last week that he called his teammate to wish him a happy birthday and to see how he was doing. From a players perspective, at least to the media, they seem to support Wallace so to date and are patiently waiting for him to return. Ben also went as far as calling everyone crazy who thinks Mike doesn’t want to be in camp.
Well call us crazy but since there’s nothing else to go on but speculation since this whole thing started, we’ll just have to be crazy until we hear otherwise.