Pundits said Ravens wide receiver Mike Wallace was washed up after two down seasons in Miami and Minnesota.
After a quick start in Baltimore, Wallace found himself in the middle of a throng of over a dozen reporters Wednesday at his locker. And he wasn't too excited.
"I've seen the highs, and I've seen the lows, and I see how fast things can change on you," Wallace said. "Just like you guys sitting here talking to me; I don't buy into any of this."
Wallace owns all of the Ravens' touchdowns so far this season. He scored a 66-yarder against Buffalo in Week 1, then hauled in 7- and 17-yard scores in Cleveland to carry the comeback from 20 points down.
Wallace already has more touchdowns than he posted all last season in Minnesota (two). With 132 receiving yards so far, he's on pace for 1,056 yards.
It's all quite astonishing considering it's Wallace's first year with the Ravens, but he and quarterback Joe Flacco have built quick chemistry.
"I always say when you have good players, it is not that hard to make connections like that," Flacco said. "I think that Mike has gone out there and he has gotten a handful of opportunities. It has been up to him to win on those."
Flacco said Wallace won one-on-one battles on his first two touchdowns. The third was a case of him being in the right place at the right time, but it still counts for six points all the same. Flacco said Wallace is very confident, and that he wants to keep it that way.
"I want to keep him juiced up, keep feeding him the ball, and the more he continues to feel like that, it is going to be better for our team," Flacco said.
If Wallace does top 1,000 receiving yards, it would mark his first time at that milestone since 2011, when Wallace went to the Pro Bowl as a Pittsburgh Steeler. In 2010 and 2011, Wallace had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and scored 18 total touchdowns. They were his second and third years in the league.
At the time, it was easy to let the success get to his head. Wallace told former Ravens defensive end Chris Canty in "Ravens Report" that he had to grow up.
"I came in as a third-round pick. I got a lot of love once I started making plays," Wallace said. "Then you don't make a couple plays, and it all turns around on you."
Wallace said he doesn't have a problem with the ups and downs of attention; it's just part of NFL business. But it's clear that his rise and fall from grace, and now his potential rise again, has put a chip on his shoulder.
"[That chip] is going to be there until I finish and I'm done with football," Wallace said. "You could be here today, and the next week you could be gone. I just take it for what it is worth, and I try to enjoy the moment. Every single day I come to work, I enjoy it and try to have fun with my teammates."
Wallace said everything in Baltimore has worked out the way he hoped when he signed a two-year, reported $11.5 million contract this offseason. He's appreciated the team's workman-like attitude and how much fun it has at the same time. On his third team in three years, Wallace has finally found a home after leaving Pittsburgh.
"I've been on a team with some great guys so far – a lot of parts, a lot of camaraderie with guys just hanging together, putting it all on the line for each other, having each other's back," Wallace said. "That is what I wanted to be a part of."