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Eagles remain confident in Mike Wallace

Eliot Shorr-Parks
September 13, 2018 - 6:43 am

It seemed like the Eagles were making an upgrade this past offseason when they signed veteran receiver Mike Wallace to replace Torrey Smith. 

Wallace was coming to the Eagles from a bad Baltimore Ravens’ offense, but still finished with more catches, yards and touchdowns that Smith did with the Eagles. 

So far, however, Wallace has struggled to make plays in an Eagles’ uniform. A harsh reality that, at least for now, isn’t concerning to head coach Doug Pederson. 

“No, because last week, we get into game plan specific things,” Pederson said. "And Atlanta's defense, we had some shots in there for Mike and give credit again. We got the coverage. They just defended it. We had to go somewhere else with the football.

There is plenty of truth in defending Wallace by saying it has only been one game. Wallace’s struggles in an Eagles’ uniform, however, go beyond just his zero-catch performance against the Atlanta Falcons. 

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During the team’s mandatory minicamp earlier this summer, Wallace caught just two of the seven passes thrown his way in team drills. Nine players had more catches. Wallace was on the only player to catch fewer than 50% of the passes thrown his way. 

Things didn’t get much better during training camp. Wallace caught just 12 of the 23 passes thrown his way. That was good for 11th on the team during team drills in training camp. His struggles carried over into the preseason games as he caught one pass for three yards, good for dead last on the team. 

Add everything up, and Wallace has yet to show in an Eagles’ uniform the big-play ability he was supposed to bring to the Eagles’ offense— not in OTAs, not in training camp, not in the preseason and not in Week 1. 

“Mike is such a team player too, that that doesn't bother him,” Pederson said of Wallace’s lack of production. "He comes to work again today and prepares for this game like he did last week.”

The good news for the Eagles is that things could change once quarterback Carson Wentz returns. Wallace was open down the field against the Falcons, and with a better throw, might have a long, game-clinching touchdown on his resume after just one week. 

As has been the case since he came to Philadelphia, however, things just didn’t connect for Wallace on the play. 

The Eagles, despite mounting eveidence to the contrary, are confident that will soon change.

Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email at [email protected]!

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