Steelers welcome back Mike Wallace

Steelers welcome back Mike Wallace
December 7, 2013, 2:45 pm
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The Steelers will welcome Mike Wallace back to Pittsburgh as their former wide receiver arrives with the Dolphins for Sunday’s game. In the case of his ex-running mates among the wideouts, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, they literally will be welcoming him back.

Wallace has been invited to Brown’s home for dinner Saturday night, with Sanders joining them. "I'm looking forward to seeing my friend and catching up with family and seeing what's been going on," Brown told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

On the field, Wallace will renew acquaintances with cornerback Ike Taylor, who will be matched up with him for real after having faced the speedster in past Pittsburgh training camps.

"One thing he has that you can't coach is speed," Taylor said. "If you're just watching tape, he's been opening it up a lot, not just for himself but for lot of other guys.”

Wallace has 56 receptions this season after signing with Miami as a free agent in the offseason. It’s been an up-and-down 2013 for him. He has three 100-yard games, but also six when he has had less than 42 yards. However, he’s coming off two strong performances — five catches, 127 yards against the Panthers and seven catches, 82 yards against the Jets, with a touchdown in each game. With 743 yards on the season, he’ll certainly surpass last year’s 836 for Pittsburgh, but with four games left, he has three TDs, less than half of the eight he scored in 2012.

[RELATED: Wallace hasn't lost distaste for Ravens]

Taylor says Wallace has helped open things up for Brian Hartline, already a 1,000-yard receiver for Miami last year, who appears headed for a career-best season. How has Wallace opened things up? Listen to Steelers safety Ryan Clark talk about defending Wallace.

"You can't worry about playing the run,” Clark said, “you can't worry about playing the flat or playing crosses — my job is to be the deep defender, and when you have Mike Wallace, that's really deep.”