DAVIE – Mike Wallace doesn’t shy away from the expectations placed on him as the new featured receiver for the Miami Dolphins. But he’s also the first to admit he doesn’t know exactly what to expect in 2013.
So much is uncertain, so much is unfamiliar to Wallace in his new city, with his new team. But Wallace is thankful that the Dolphins’ season-opener is against the Cleveland Browns, a team he’s very familiar with from his Pittsburgh days.
Wallace is thrilled about the opportunity to line up against Browns cornerback Joe Haden.
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“I know it is going to be a long battle all day long. I’m going to sleep early and I hope he goes to sleep early because it is going to be a long day,” said Wallace, a two-time Pro Bowl receiver who signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Dolphins this offseason. “I’m excited because [Haden is] a guy where you can really [gauge] where you’re at.
“He’s a upper echelon cornerbacks where you can see if you’re ready or not,” said Wallace, who caught six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown in the three preseason games he played this past month. “I feel ready, but we’ll see on Sunday."
Wallace expects to be shadowed by Haden, whom he’s had a rivalry with since their days competing against one another in the SEC. Wallace, who played at Ole Miss, remembers scoring a 77-yard touchdown against the former Florida Gators standout back in 2007, when Haden was a rookie.
“We go way back,” Wallace said. “Joe is a great player. The thing that makes Joe a great player is he’s real confident. He’s confident in his abilities. He’s going to look sweet. He’s going to wear all white. He’s going to where orange shoes. He’s going to amp himself up. That’s half the battle. When you look good you play good. He’s going to feel good about himself, but I’m going to come out even sweeter.
“I’m going to really wear all white,” Wallace said, referring to the color of the Dolphins’ road uniforms. “I’m going to have my swag out too so he better be ready on Sunday.”