Minnesota Vikings wide receiver wants to set the record straight about what he believes are misconceptions regarding his time with the Miami Dolphins.
There were rumors that he quit on the Dolphins last season. Jeff Darlington of NFL Network reported that many of his teammates “were very displeased” with his actions and “felt like he abandoned them” when they needed him the most.
Many Dolphins teammates were very displeased with Wallace’s actions today. Several tell me they felt like he abandoned them when needed.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 29, 2014
Wallace doesn’t agree.
He spoke with Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune about the matter, claiming he “gets a bad rep sometimes,” among other things.
“For the most part, I feel like I’ve been a great pro,” Wallace said. “I get in trouble for going off because I’m too passionate, going off too much because I want the ball. … I get a bad rep sometimes, but I feel like I’ve been a really good pro when it comes to doing my work.”
He also mentioned he’s never been in trouble, doesn’t miss meetings and isn’t the kind of player who keeps coaches up at night wondering what kind of mischief he might be up to.
Wallace denies he ever abandoned his teammates in Miami, saying, “I would never do that.”
Former Dolphins teammate Maurkice Pouncey accused Wallace of being a “coward” last year, but Wallace says those comments were taken out of context.
The receiver is happy to be in Minnesota. He’s happy for the new beginning and is eager to prove his worth, not only as a phenomenal playmaker for the Vikings but also as a leader. Vensel reports the Vikings so far have “been pleasantly surprised with Wallace’s work ethic and his willingness to be a leader among an inexperienced group of wide receivers, who now flock to JUGS machine post-practice to snatch passes with him.”
Whether or not he quit on his teammates in Miami is a question that perhaps will never be fully answered. That said, there doesn’t appear to be any current issues regarding Wallace’s work ethic, his leadership nor his willingness to do all the little things it takes to succeed long term in the NFL.
If Wallace does play to his full potential and proves to be a trusted leader for the Vikings in 2015 and beyond, then Minnesota’s passing attack should be lethal. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, now in his second season, has the goods to become an elite passer in the NFL.
With Wallace fully engaged, the two have a chance to develop into something special.