Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace had kind of a bad first week of the regular season. For just the fifth time in 64 career games, Wallace had just one catch in the Dolphins' Week 1 win against the Cleveland Browns.
Wallace caused a stir after the game when he refused to talk to reporters. On Monday, he elaborated on his disappointment, saying he was "mad at myself" for his play, not at quarterback Ryan Tannehill or offensive coordinator Mike Sherman for not targeting him more.
On Thursday, Wallace sought to put to bed any thought that he is a disgruntled diva receiver. "That would [bother] me," he told The Miami Herald of that characterization.
"For the last year and a half, I heard a lot of different things [about myself] that weren’t true," he said. "But my teammates know me. Ask any one of them about how I go about my business. After a game, it's just a reaction of what happened in the game. Next day, it's over."
Wallace said his mother told him this week to keep his head up. "She knows me," Wallace said. "She says, 'You have to always smile, baby boy.' She knows I'm really emotional about the game."
Either way, Wallace thinks "I will have more than my share of opportunities to make plays" this season.
He also understands that he will draw double or triple coverage sometimes, and that will open up opportunities for Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, and others in the passing game. "When you have two or three people on me, you don't want to force me the ball. We have great receivers, that if you cover them one on one, will make plays."
Wallace clearly regrets the way he responded on Sunday, but framed it within his own desire to help his team succeed. "Winning is the thing that really matters to me," he explained. "I just want to help my team. When you make plays, you feel like you help your team."
According to the Herald, Wallace and Tannehill have a good relationship ("no friction"), and the two were spotted warmly embracing at a charity event Wallace organized Thursday.
Wallace has said all the right things after his outburst on Sunday, but he should not be surprised if Dolphins fans are skeptical. It is easy to brush off one incident following a win, but will Wallace be as circumspect if the Dolphins struggle and he has a bad game or two later this season?
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