Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review
Steelers receiver Mike Wallace ended his holdout on Tuesday and reported to the South Side facility. Wallace talked to the media for the first time since January. Here is what he said:
WHAT DID MIKE TOMLIN TELL YOU WHEN HE SAW YOU?
“Nothing. He just told me to say whatever I feel. I told him I feel like I am not talking about any of that stuff in the past. We are only talking about my team and us getting ready for the Super Bowl. That is it. That’s all I am talking about. If we are talking about anything else, I am not talking about it.”
HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE BACK WITH YOUR TEAMMATES TODAY?
“That is the best feeling in the world, seeing all of the guys, all of the smiles, all of the sweat, all of that good stuff. I am ready to be back, ready to be with my teammates. I am ready to go.”
WAS IT HARD TO WATCH AND NOT PRACTICE TODAY?
“I couldn’t even go on the field. That was a little different. I am here now, learning the plays. I get to at least see it. At home I couldn’t even see it. At least getting to watch those guys I am getting a couple of mental reps. I will be back on Monday hopefully and ready to roll.”
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT CONDITIONING
“I am not worried about it all because I have good teammates and they will get me ready going against a defense. As far as conditioning-wise we have two weeks until the game. I have been working out, doing really good conditioning so that is not going to be a problem. Nothing is like getting in football shape. It’s a little different. The first couple of days I might be a little more tired than the rest of the guys, not because I am not in shape but because it’s different with the pads on. I will be ready when it’s time to go on Sunday night against Denver.”
WILL YOU BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR HAMSTRINGS, TAKING CARE OF THAT?
“You mustn’t have heard I don’t have hamstrings. I don’t worry about that. I am going to stretch real good. I don’t think like that. I don’t think about getting hurt. I am ready to play ball. If that happens, that just happens. That happens to all types of people. I am in good shape so I am not worried about that.”
WHY REPORT TODAY
“Because my teammates need me. It’s time to get ready for the season. I felt like it was time to go. I am ready to roll, I am here. That is all that matters to me. I am not worried about why or nothing. Why, because my teammates need me here and it’s time to get prepared for the season.”
ARE YOU HOPING TO SIGN A NEW CONTRACT BEFORE THE SEASON STARTS?
“I am not worried about a contract. I am just here to play football. I am not worried about contracts; that is in the past. That is the business side. I am here to play football…that is it.
WHAT DID YOU MISS THE MOST?
“What I really feel like I missed is my teammates,” Wallace said. “I am not worried about everything else. Just being around football is what I missed not really the plays. You have to be out there to run the plays but I know the plays. I am not really worried about that. I had a lot of time so all I did was study my plays. I knew my plays. I just really missed being around my teammates and the atmosphere.”
YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS ABOUT THE WAY YOU HANDLED THIS?
“Nah, that’s the past. I am not worried about that. I don’t dwell on the past. I am worried about right now, that’s it. I don’t have any regrets. Anything I do in life I don’t regret it. I am grown man, that’s what I do. Whatever I do, that’s what I did.”
ANY CONSIDERATION TO SIT OUT UNTIL WEEK 13
“Nah, never once thought about that. There was a timetable for me to come back and I am here now. I never thought about staying out six weeks not one time.”
SO YOUR PLAN WAS IF YOU GOT SOMETHING DONE BEFORE CAMP FINE, IF NOT COME IN BEFORE SEASON?
“Not really. The whole time, I never wanted to be away from my teammates. I love my teammates and I love the organization. I never once wanted to be away. But like I said, that’s the business side of it. We handled it the way we had to.”
WHAT DO YOU FEEL YOU ACCOMPLISHED
“I am not worried about a few weeks ago. I don’t really think about three weeks ago. I think about August 28 – that’s when I am here. The past is the past.”
WHAT WAS HARDEST PART OF SITTING OUT?
“I told you, my teammates and my coaches. That’s it. People pass judgment that’s not true. It is what it is with that and I really don’t care about that. My teammates know where I was going, my coaches knew. I kept in contact with them so as long as they knew, I don’t care about anybody else.”
YOU THINK YOU WILL BE ABLE TO WORK OUT AN EXTENSION?
“That’s down the road. Hopefully I can. I would love to be here. This is the team that drafted me and this is where I want to stay. I am not really worried about down the road. I am worried about who is playing football right now. That’s it. That’s really the only thing on my mind. You all might think I am just saying that but that’s it. I am not worried about none of that. That was business. I am not on that right now. I am here to play football, that’s it. I am here with my teammates and happy to see the guys. There was a lot of smiles and a lot of love and that’s all that matters.”
WITH THE REPORTS OF WHAT YOU WERE SEEKING, DID YOU OVERVALUE YOURSELF?
“You are talking about some. You never heard my teammates say that. You never heard my coaches say that so who is someone? I really don’t care about someone. They don’t matter to me.”