Follow Us

Mike Wallace: Ryan Tannehill vs. Ben Roethlisberger


New Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace hasn't caught a meaningful pass in Miami yet, but he is already comparing his new quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, to his old quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

“Ryan may be able to throw the ball a little farther than Ben. Obviously, Ben is more experienced in game time experience. The way it’s going, it won’t take long for Ryan to be one of the great quarterbacks. I feel like we can make a lot of big plays," Wallace told reporters, according to the Miami Herald.

A few practices with Tannehill and Wallace knows he is going to be one of the great quarterbacks. Really? I know he has to say something nice about Miami and his new quarterback, but that is a big statement considering Tannehill had a very average rookie season.

Wallace goes on to say that it helps that Tannehill “always wants to work, never wants to take a second off,” Wallace said. “….I like this team. I like how everybody works. Not much talking, just grinding. That’s the way it should be. I’m one of the older guys on this team, so it’s different than being in Pittsburgh.”

I had to read some of these quotes a couple of times to see if I was jumping to conclusions, but I wasn't. It definitely sounds like he is saying that Roethlisberger may be better now, but doesn't have the same work ethic as Tannehill. He also thinks that not everybody works in Pittsburgh. They just talk a lot.

He really sounds like an young, immature player that didn't get his way in Pittsburgh and is happy being a veteran in Miami because there is no one there to shut him down.

Contrary to how he feels in Miami, he did a lot of talking in Pittsburgh and not a lot of "just grinding" on the field. His 2012 season showed Steeler Nation exactly what Wallace is about, himself.

After Hines Ward retired, Wallace had one season to prove he could be a leader at the wide receiver position for the Steelers. He started leading by holding out and not learning a new offense. It showed the entire season.

Last year, Wallace's body language said that he didn't want to be in Pittsburgh anymore. He dogged it on plays. He didn't finish routes that sometimes lead to interceptions. Instead of chasing down the person that just intercepted the ball, he would throw his hands up in the air and just watch in disgust. He dropped passes that he normally would catch. He seemed distracted. It kind of felt like he was tanking it sometimes.

Wallace said he wanted Larry Fitzgerald money. He came close, but he is not even close to being as a good of a receiver. Fitzgerald is not as fast as Wallace, but when his team turns the ball over he doesn't cry about it. He runs as fast as he can to try and stop the other team from scoring. The best example of this was James Harrison's interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII. Even though he did not stop Harrison, he hustled and at least tried. Wallace does not have that in him.

When the Steelers offered Wallace a five-year, $50 million long-term contract and he turned it down, everyone knew he wasn't staying in Pittsburgh.

No matter how you feel about Wallace, it will be fun to compare Wallace's stats from his four years in Pittsburgh to his first four years in Miami. It will also be interesting to see how the Steelers do without Wallace this season.