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STEELERS STARTED TRAINING WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF WR MIKE WALLACE
Fri, 25 May 2012 03:19 AM EDT

Mike Wallace has one of offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s playbooks. What the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver does not have is a new long-term agreement. Basketball spreads

Until the Pro Bowler gets one, don’t expect to see Wallace running drills alongside his squad.

The Steelers commenced organized team activities and while attendance for the voluntary exercise programs was high — even All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu showed up — the concentrate remained very much on the fast receiver who remains home in New Orleans.

The restricted independent agent still has to sign his 1 year tender of about $2.7 million, as he continue to try to secure a lengthier agreement.

Both parts remain positive one will get done. Neither appears to be in a hurry.

“It’ll be over, a little bit of short-term misery,” Coach Mike Tomlin said. “It won’t be significant in the big scheme of things hopefully.”

Wallace missed the opportunity to get the 1st on-field look at Pittsburgh’s new-look offense under Haley, who took over in Feb, replacing longtime coordinator Bruce Arians.

However, Wallace has a copy of the Steelers’ playbook, which he received in a trip to Pittsburgh last week.

The changes, judging by the 1st day at least, are sweeping.

From the language to the blocking schemes to the receiver routes, QB Ben Roethlisberger likened Haley’s system to learning a totally new language. Right now, the Steelers are at equivalent to pronouncing “hello.” Anything else might be asking for too much.

The process has Roethlisberger feeling like a newbie again, so much so he asked receivers Brown and Emmanuel Sanders to be patient and stop attempting to find the ball.

“I tried to tell (them) don’t get frustrated because I know you’re used to getting lots more balls, but this is how it was my rookie year,” Roethlisberger asserted. “I know what one guy does and I am going to him. If he’s not open, I start scrambling.”

This essentially is the incorrect choice. Haley was brought in to give the offense some balance and take some of the pressure off the franchise QB.

The Steelers passed the ball on 56 % of their offensive plays last year — right about the NFL average — but the team would prefer Roethlisberger not drop back so much in order to avoid the sort of punishment that compelled him to play most of the 2011 season with a collection of injuries.

“I understand that I am expected to lose the ball, stay in the pockets and not get hits,” Roethlisberger said. “I guess I better learn where the protections are coming from so I do not get hit.”

The Steelers are enthusiastic to progress after a 12-4 season ended with a surprising 29-23 overtime loss to Denver in the wild card round, capping a year in which they never quite looked like the team that took the AFC in 2010.

The road back to the Super Bowl commenced on Tues. Though Wallace’s absence was noted, there was hardly a sense of panic. Contract altercations in Pittsburgh are rare. Wallace will be back at work at some specific point. If it’s later on so be it, though his teammates would prefer it be earlier.


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