- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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There was increasing buzz among teammates toward the end of the Steelers training camp last week that Mike Wallace would soon return, although no one gave an exact report date. Coming back to the Steelers over the next couple of days makes sense for Wallace. He would have a chance to get acclimated to the new offense and put himself in position to get some snaps in the preseason finale. More importantly, it would give him nearly three weeks to get ready for the Sept. 9 season opener.
Based on Sunday's night body of work for the Steelers offense, Pittsburgh needs Wallace to come back as soon as possible. Take away the 57-yard touchdown by Antonio Brown, which was the result of a screen pass and not a downfield one, and Ben Roethlisberger's completions went were for 18, 3, 0, and 3 yards. The Steelers are probably not opening up the playbook for the preseason, but this lack of explosiveness doesn't inspire confidence during their time without Wallace.
“I look forward to seeing him hopefully sooner rather than later,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said last week.
When I asked Haley last week how long it would take Wallace to get up to speed with his offense, he said, "Everyone is a little different. A lot of other guys know him better but I am a little familiar with his skill set, and it is pretty impressive. I would think we will just tailor to his skills early on and ease him into it. You want a guy like that involved as much as you can because he is a difference-maker."