Just when things couldn’t get any more precarious as far as the relationship between the Steelers and Mike Wallace, he has formally made the decision to no-show at camp, having failed to check in by 3PM and take part in coach Tomlin’s conditioning test. The worst part about it is the total silence from Wallace, who has given so little indication of what is to come for him that some even thought a deal was going to happen imminently.
Given that Ward is another character giving the Steelers cause for stress, they must be at the point where they’re considering pursuing other players instead. Rather than voice their enthusiasm for him despite the no show, they had the following to say, something that’ll register as an “oh no” moment for anyone from Wallace himself (if he is even interested in the Steelers anymore) to those who check out the odd game between OnlinePoker.com study sessions:
“Obviously, we have a desire for him to be here,” Tomlin said. “We want him to be part of this thing, both short-term and long-term. We’ve been in negotiations with him. He’s not here today. That’s unfortunate for him.”
Unfortunate for Wallace rather than the Steelers sounds like a less-than-subtle hint about how they feel right now. However, Jerricho Cotchery, long-time receiver, feels positive that things can be sorted out. “He’s the lead dog. So, when he comes in, I’m pretty sure there’ll be a lot of time set aside for him to get up to speed. We’re not worried about that. Whenever Mike gets here, he’ll be ready to roll.”
Whether he ever will be ready to roll with the Steelers isn’t clear, but Tomlin is passionate about Wallace being part of something greater, which should hopefully motivate him to take part: “I want the player here. One thing experience has taught me is this is bigger than all of us. It’s bigger than Mike, it’s bigger than me. So I mean that when I say it’s unfortunate for him that he’s not here.”