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Mike Wallace conference call with Pittsburgh media

Yesterday, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace had a conference call with the Pittsburgh area media. Wallace discussed his departure from Pittsburgh, his slow start in Miami, and if he misses Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Jared Wickerham

Former Pittsburgh Steelers and current Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace had a conference call with the Pittsburgh media. Below is the transcript from the call:

Wide Receiver Mike Wallace Conference Call with Pittsburgh Media

(On where he is going to dinner on Saturday Night) – “Wherever they want to go, I got to bring my own food though.”

(On why he is expecting to hear boo’s on Sunday) – “Just the way things happened when I left. I don’t think everything ended on the highest note. I know between myself and the organization, we all know what the deal was, so I am good with it. It is what it is.”

(On if some fans unfairly have a bad impression of him and the way he left) – “Oh definitely. I think some people definitely have a bad impression of me, but you can’t please everybody. So you just pray about it and move on.”

On what he attributes his slow start to the season) – “Who is this Ed (Bouchette)?” (Yes it is, I realize that you have played well lately and everything else but your numbers weren’t as high as we were used to seeing) – “I think they are a little better than they were last year actually. So it’s just a different team, a different scheme, a different role, just getting used to the team. I think things are starting to pick up a little bit and hopefully we can continue the snowball and get some good thing happening here in December.”

(On the prospect of he and Brian Hartline being able to perform moving forward similar to their game against the Jets) – “I think that it was just a matter of an opportunity. I think we both had a couple opportunities, we broke a couple tackles. But I think that we can do it every week. It’s just different game plans. Depending on the game plan we both can get off, or one person, or our running backs it’s just a different game plan every week. So just try to play within the game plan and stay level headed.”

(On how much insight he has on the Steelers defensive backfield and how much he has shared with the Dolphins already) – “It could be very insightful, but at the same time those guys have been together for so long that when they get out there they are still going to play well. You know just let them know the personnel, all I’ve really told them was each guy, described each guy to them, but for the most part I really haven’t said anything. The tape speaks for itself about those guys, they are great players, we all know that they have been together forever. They are going to always be in the right spots, smart players, crafty guys so its going to be a tough challenge but we are up to it.”

(On if he misses Ben Roethlisberger throwing him the ball) – “Definitely. That’s my guy; it’s not really even about that its more so just friends. That’s like my big brother. So anytime you play with a guy like that you are automatically going to miss him, but things they happen for a reason. You just take it and roll with it.”

(On if he was surprised about the way things ended and if he had thought that he would play for the Steelers for his entire career) – “Not really surprising because you see it happen all the time, but it was nothing personal on each side. We both had to make the best decisions for ourselves, (the Steelers front office) for the organization and me for myself and my family. I am fine with the (Steelers) organization, I love those guys to death there are no hard feelings whatsoever from Mike, you know it’s all love.”

(On if he thought that he was misused last year near the end of the year) – “Kind of, but you know it is what it is. Like I said that’s the past, looking forward to a bright future. (I) can’t really dwell on that.”

(On how he thinks he was misused by not utilizing him as a deep threat) – “Somewhat, but I think it was fine. I think it was Coach’s (Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley) first year, I wasn’t in training camp so he got the chance to see other guys and the things they were able to do throughout training camp. Well for me it was just looking at tape and then me coming in and just playing. He didn’t really have a chance to see me throughout training camp, so I think it was a little bit of a challenge for him being able to use me, but like I said again, it is what it is. But we will move on and just be happy. I am grateful for every opportunity that I had to play out there.”

(On if eliminating the Steelers from the post season mean more to him) – “No not at all, I worry about us going to the playoffs. Like I said, I have a lot of love and respect for everybody over there, but I am not on that team anymore. That is really not my concern about them going to the playoffs. My concern is about my team going out and me doing the best job that I can for my team to help us stay in the race for the playoffs.”

(On if he expects to see Ike Taylor cover his exclusively) – “I’m not sure what their game plan is, but for the most part, Ike (Taylor) is probably the guy every single week so I’m looking forward to him following me. But if not, I really wouldn’t be surprised.”

(On how’d the match up used to work in practice) – “It was a little different, he didn’t really do that. The only time they every actually really covered us was in training camp. As we all know I wasn’t there last year so it was different. The year before in training camp they never really switched sides, they just stayed on the same side and whatever guy that came to that side, that’s how they played. He never really followed us in practice it was just, that was a game plan thing.”

(On what emotions he has when he sees the adversity the team is going through in his absence) – “I don’t think that has anything to do with me, I think it’s more so their selves. The guys who are replacing me are doing really well, if not better than I was last year, so big ups to those guys. I don’t think the adversity that the team is going through has anything to do with me. They lost a lot of players, not just Mike (Wallace) so it’s a lot of different things but I’m not there so I couldn’t even tell you what it was.”

(On how the offensive philosophy change by the Steelers impacted him) – “It was a lot, I think it was definitely a lot, just because it was a different scheme. Our scheme with BA (Bruce Arians) was more vertical I think than with Coach Haley. Obviously that was my strength so I think my numbers were a little bit better with BA (Bruce Arians), but I think Coach Haley is a great offensive coordinator though in his own right, it’s just a different game plan.”

(On if there is any grudge held against him for holding out last year, with the Steelers when he held out) – “With who? I mean maybe with the fans, but I don’t think so with the coaches, my teammates. I could be wrong but when I came in, it was nothing on my part. When I came in I was happy, happy to be there, just ready to play some football. I got the same impression from my teammates and my coaches. Me personally I never really felt anything toward anybody or felt like anybody felt any type of way towards me. I’m not sure, I can’t really answer that question, but I don’t think so.”

(On when he scored last week did he do the ‘Jet’ celebration, and if he has something planned for this week) – “I have a little something in mind, I have a little something in mind, I can’t tell you what it is. But I’ve got a little something.”

(On if that was Santonio Holmes’ Jets celebration) – “Yeah, I saw him during the game. I saw him after I made a catch at the beginning of the game and kind of made me think about it. I was like, if I score a touchdown I’m going to do his celebration.”

(On if he had any thoughts on Mike Tomlin’s fine/issue) – “I think it’s pretty funny. I won’t make fun of him about that but I’ll have a couple words to tell him when I see him. That’s my guy, I’ve got a lot of love for Coach Tomlin. He’s one of the best coaches I ever played for in my life. Not just as a coach, but as a person and a motivator. He’s one of the greatest I’ve ever played with, I’m definitely going to have a couple words for him but it’s not just going to be about that. That’s just an incident that happened on the field, the Soul Train picture was kind of funny though.”

(On if he feels that the play could have been intentional) – “Do I think he did it on purpose? As far as Coach Tomlin and the type of guy he is, he’s never given me a reason to think he would do something like that. People are going to draw their own conclusions. No matter what I say, no matter what you say, everybody is going to have their own opinion of it. I think the NFL handled it in the way they had to handle it. I think Coach Tomlin is a guy, he’s always a standup guy, he’s going to take whatever punishment it is and deal with it. I don’t think he’s going to try to put it on anybody else or make an excuse. He’s going to deal with it, take care of the situation and it’ll be over.”

(On who pays for dinner Saturday night) – “I pay for it. I’m coming to my guy’s house. AB (Antonio Brown) may not let me pay for it though. He’s going to feel like I’m a guest, he’s going to feel like that’s his house. He’s probably going to want to pay for it, but I’m up for it.”

(On why he’s bringing his own food) – “Because we’re not on the same team anymore. I have to have a good game on Sunday I don’t want any poison (laughing). No, I’m pretty sure AB (Antonio Brown) has a good healthy cook for us man, he’s always eating healthy so I’m pretty sure he’ll have a nice meal for us. I don’t know how good it’ll taste, he’s a little weird when it comes down to his food but he’s having a great season so I’ll take whatever, some of what he’s got.”