Mike Wallace was 'kind of' underused in Pittsburgh

Mike Ehrmann

Despite having more deep targets in 2012 under Haley than in 2011 under Arians, Mike Wallace threw a quiet jab at his utilization in his last season in Pittsburgh. Keeping him in check will be important for the Steelers against Miami in Week 14.

Never mind the fact Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace had 31 targets of 20 yards or longer (writes Tribune-Review reporter Mark Kaboly) in his lone season in Pittsburgh under offensive coordinator Todd Haley - four more than he had in 2011 under Bruce Arians.

Wallace feels he was "kind of" underused last year.

Many feel he "really" underperformed, more than anything else.

He didn't seem to run as many pure "go" routes as maybe he has in the past, something the Steelers don't do a lot of now, either. Haley's offense is based more in crosses and deep posts, perhaps those kinds of things are what Wallace means.

However it gets sliced, the Steelers have to worry about Wallace's potential on every offensive snap. This will be particularly important Sunday, as the Steelers' defense has been hit with numerous big plays this season.

The Baltimore Ravens know the Steelers as well as anyone, and it's rare to see them not test the Steelers vertically early in a game. They did that in Week 13, having thrown four deep passes in their first two possessions. They connected on one, drew pass interference on another and missed on the other two.

It wouldn't be at all surprising to see the Dolphins implement a similar strategy against the Steelers. Safety Will Allen has been caught out of place a few times, despite otherwise solid coverage. The presence of Brian Hartline gives the Steelers a more difficult overall assignment than they had against Baltimore. If Pittsburgh can get pressure on quarterback Ryan Tannehill (something that hasn't been hard for most teams), they can eliminate the deep threat, or just play vulture in the deep secondary, waiting for off-balance passes.

That would expose one of Wallace's main flaws, something prevalent under any offensive coordinator - his lack of ability to fight for balls in the air.

More from Behind the Steel Curtain:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker