Steelers' Wallace: 'I can still get deep on anybody'

Prolific deep threat doesn't sound awed by presence of Ravens' Reed

November 03, 2011|By Edward Lee

Unless you are Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb, it’s difficult to argue that Mike Wallace hasn’t blossomed into one of the most lethal vertical threats in the NFL.

The Pittsburgh wide receiver leads the league in catches of 40 yards or more with six, and he ranks second in yards per catch with an 18.6-yard average among receivers with at least 40 catches. (The Carolina Panthers’ Steve Smith ranks first with a 20.0-yard average.)

Perhaps that’s why Wallace didn’t seem the least bit awed by the idea of trying to go deep on a Ravens defense with seven-time Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed patrolling the defensive backfield.

“They have a great safety in the middle of the field,” Wallace said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. “So when you’re playing with a guy like that, you have to kind of be smart about it. But I feel like I can still get deep on anybody. I don’t care who’s back there. So it’s just a matter of opportunities. I’ve got to think sometimes when the guys get back there, they just don’t throw it, but there’s nothing they can do to stop me from getting deep if I have an opportunity.”

Wallace’s confidence is understandable, but Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis said throwing over the defense is easier said than done.

“Big strikes against us? We’ve got Ed Reed. That might be a problem,” Lewis said. “I tell you what, man, we know the way the game comes down against them. It’s no secret. We know the way they play. They know the way we play. We know they’re going to try to get [No.] 17 [Wallace] on a deep ball behind us. There [are] no secrets with us. Whether they try or not, we’re prepared for it. Whatever they try – run the ball, whatever it is – we’re packing our defense when we come to play.”

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