Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his Tuesday press conference to talk about the performance of wide receiver Mike Wallace on Sunday and if his role will change moving forward.
"You know, Mike was frustrated on Sunday and rightfully so," said Tomlin. "He is not producing in the manner he would like to or we would like him to. It’s a function of a lot of things. He is going to be committed to continuing to work and we are committed to that as well."
Tomlin was then asked if he has seen anything less than 100% effort from his receiver and he said, "no".
The head coach was then asked about the change on the depth chart that was released on Tuesday that shows Wallace "or" Emmanuel Sanders as the starting wide receiver opposite Antonio Brown, who is scheduled to play Sunday. The Steelers head coach would only say that the situation will determine who starts there on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Wallace was indeed frustrated on Sunday and rightfully so as Tomlin put it. Quarterback Charlie Batch underthew the wide receiver several times in the game both short and deep. Wallace only recorded one short reception in the game for 9 yards and that came on the final hook and ladder play of the game. He caught one other pass in the game but it was wiped out by a holding call.
Wallace can be charged for half of one of the intercepted balls thrown his way on Sunday, however. Batch attempted to hit Wallace on a quick slant and threw the ball behind Wallace. The ball still likely should have been caught despite the poor throw, but instead bounced up into the air and was intercepted.
The depth chart move made by Tomlin on Tuesday could be considered both praise for Sanders and a slight nudge to Wallace that he needs to get past his frustration.
This will be not be the last you hear about this story this week as it is sure to escalate. Wallace will undoubtedly be asked by the media this week about his frustration level and the change on the depth chart. With that said, the Steelers fourth year receiver needs to be very careful about how he chooses his words this week.
Wallace has 47 receptions so far this season for 572 yards and currently has 6 touchdowns, which ties him for the team lead with tight end Heath Miller.