After Mike Wallace caught a Joe Flacco pass and sprinted up the field for a 54-yard gain about midway through the fourth quarter, the veteran receiver walked immediately to the sideline. He waived off the congratulatory attempts of safety Eric Weddle and a few other teammates. He then spiked his helmet to the ground before settling at the end of the Ravens' bench.
It seemed like an odd reaction to picking up a key fourth-quarter first down. However, Wallace acknowledged after the game that he was frustrated that he hadn't been more involved in the game plan up to that point.
"I'm a baller and I want to get the ball," Wallace said. "I'm emotional. That's the way I play. I just want to be involved, that's all. That's the way we play. That's the way Steve [Smith Sr.] plays. That's the way I play. That's the way Kamar [Aiken] plays. It is what it is."
Wallace was all smiles after the game as the Ravens held on for a 27-26 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to improve to 8-6. He denied any issues with the coaching staff and said the way the Ravens' coaches allow players to express themselves was one of the reasons why he signed with the team this past offseason.
Wide receivers coach Bobby Engram quickly went over to speak with Wallace after he headed to the bench following his long reception.
"Our coaches have no problems with the way we play," Wallace said. "It's just fiery. We want to win. We've got desire and we know any time we get the ball, we can make it happen. That's the way I play. I feel I can score any play - the same with the rest of my teammates. That's why I came here, so I can do that type of stuff and it won't be a problem. If I do that on another team, it could be a problem. But over here, it's no problem. That's the reason I came here for those types of situations."
Wallace caught two balls for 60 yards against the Eagles and was targeted five times. Only Smith, whom Flacco targeted seven times, had more balls thrown in his direction. For the season, Wallace has 64 catches on 106 targets for 963 yards and four touchdowns. He's 37 yards away from his first 1,000-yard season since 2011 when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.