"I have been overlooked a lot of times, but I continue to come back and make plays," said Mike Wallace. "I really do not care what anybody says." (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
A year ago, one of Mike Wallace's early impressions as a free-agent acquisition with the Ravens did not go very well as the wide receiver failed the team's conditioning test before the start of training camp.
That was not a problem Wednesday when veterans reported to camp as the 29-year-old Wallace passed the test and will be available for Thursday's first day at the Ravens' practice facility in Owings Mills. But Wallace could not resist taking a jab at the media when asked Wednesday afternoon about his health.
"I'm feeling great, man," he said. "I just passed my conditioning test, so you all can stay off my back this year. So I'm feeling good. I'm feeling great actually."
Wallace's initial failure might have raised a few eyebrows, but he passed the test on his next attempt and did not miss any practice sessions. And ultimately, the development was a blip on the radar screen as he led last season's offense in receiving yards with 1,017 and finished second in receptions with 72 and touchdown catches with four.
Still, when asked what he learned from last year's failed try, Wallace replied: "A whole lot. I learned I better not fail again. I was like, 'Man, listen, I will die out there on that field before I fail it again.' I practiced it like three times a week. So I was ready. I'm happy. Nothing can break my spirit right now."
In related news, according to the NFL's transaction wire, rookie defensive end Patrick Ricard passed his physical. That means that the undrafted free agent out of Maine could be removed from the team's physically unable to perform list and be available to practice Thursday.