Mike Wallace has been a Viking for just a few months, yet he has already found an easy way to bond with his new quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, off the field.
The wide receiver said he has invited Bridgewater over to his place a few times during OTAs and minicamp to continue establishing their relationship by playing NBA 2K15.
“I hit him up [Wednesday] to ask what he was doing and told him to come through to play the game,” Wallace said. “He came through last week too. We’ve linked up at the crib a couple of times, about three or four times already since I’ve been here and just vibe. You can talk a little bit about football but really just getting a connection and a bond. On the field, it’s going to come naturally.”
It’s been Wallace’s focus to establish a relationship off the field with Bridgewater based off the chemistry he had with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during his first four seasons in the NFL. Wallace said Roethlisberger planned out gatherings and events so the two could connect when he first started in the league. He felt that relationship translated on the field. Wallace finished two of those four seasons with over 1,000 yards receiving.
“[Dolphins quarterback] Ryan Tannehill is more to himself, but Big Ben was more like Teddy but different too,” Wallace said. “…[Roethlisberger] tried to take us along on his wings. Now that I’m older, I’ve got to initiate it sometimes. Teddy is probably the most easy going one. It’s easy to approach him and talk to him.”
Why 2K15, and not, say, a football game like Madden?
“I’m the best in the world at 2K for sure, bar none,” Wallace said.
Wallace will embark on a nice little vacation over the next month before reporting to training camp on July 25. As he travels abroad to places like Jamaica this summer, he’ll bring his iPad with him to review the playbook and film from the offseason. Wallace said he wants to learn other receiver positions so he is capable of moving around in offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s offense.
“This is the point where you come in, get comfortable with the offense, learn the plays,” Wallace said. “Now when we come back to training camp, it’s full go. I’ve got to be ready.”