Mike Wallace Used To Hate Ravens, But Now Loves Them


Mike Wallace used to hate the Ravens.

The veteran wide receiver started his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the rivalry between the two teams runs deep. Even after Wallace left Pittsburgh to join the Miami Dolphins in 2013, he still said the Ravens were his "least favorite team."

But any lingering animosity from the two sides was put in the past Tuesday afternoon when the free-agent receiver agreed to a two-year contract with the Ravens and immediately threw on a purple polo shirt.

"It feels weird being on the other side, but I'm all for it," Wallace said. "I just have to switch my whole mentality. I used to hate purple. Now I love purple."

Wallace admitted that the idea of someday playing for the Ravens was once foreign to him, but when he walked into the Under Armour Performance Center Tuesday morning the visit "felt right from when I walked in the building."

"I honestly never really imagined playing here," Wallace said. "You switch so fast that it's weird."

While Wallace played into the rivalry between the two teams, he still had admiration for the Ravens as an organization earlier in his career. He is close with former Ravens Michael Oher, Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith, and their experiences gave Wallace a glimpse at life inside the franchise.  

"It's a really stable, well-rounded organization," Wallace said. "I kind of already knew that, just from the outside with friends I already had here."

The Ravens are also quite familiar with Wallace.

In his eight games against the Ravens as a member as a member of the Steelers, Wallace caught 31 passes for 426 yards and a touchdown. No other receiver caught more passes or had more receiving yards against the Ravens during Wallace's four-year stint with Pittsburgh.

John Harbaugh is glad he'll now get to gameplan ways to incorporate Wallace into the offense instead of trying to figure out how to stop him.

"He's a complete receiver," Harbaugh said. "He's a big-play threat guy, and has been throughout his career. He's a player that can run all the routes. He's a blocker. And he's experienced. He's done it before. We've seen it up close and personal."

Wallace has only played one game against the Steelers since leaving Pittsburgh as a free agent. The Steelers held him to two catches for 19 yards in a win over the Dolphins.

Now Wallace will get a chance to face his old team twice a year, and will get a whole new perspective on one of the game's fiercest rivalries.

"It's going to be weird," Wallace said. "But I'm excited about it. I think it's a great opportunity for me."

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