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Mike Wallace: I've gotten better since leaving Steelers

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The Baltimore Ravens are counting on free-agent pickup Mike Wallace to bring a downfield element to their passing game -- and the veteran wideout doesn't plan to disappoint.

"I think I've gotten better, even though (the) numbers don't say so," the 29-year-old Wallace said of his career since leaving the Steelers in 2013, per ESPN.com. "I think I'll get better this year, and I'll show some people I have a lot up my sleeve."

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Wallace acknowledged that he's lost "maybe just a step, a half a step" of speed after running "about 10,000 post routes and go routes" since joining the NFL in 2009. He's certainly gained his share of doubters, though, after crumbling to earth with the Vikings last season, posting career lows in catches, receiving yards, yards per catch and touchdowns.

Part of the problem in Minnesota was a run-oriented offense that rarely pushed the ball downfield. That shouldn't be an issue with Joe Flacco at the controls in Baltimore, where Wallace fills the void left by former Ravens deep threat Torrey Smith. The early reviews certainly are positive.

"There's a reason why he was one of the best wide receivers in the league a few years ago," said Ravens safety Eric Weddle. "Because he's talented, he can run fast, he's committed, he's eager. He's eager to prove himself, he's motivated. You get a guy like that, it makes for a great season for him and for this team."

With coach John Harbaugh noting that "you can do anything" with Wallace on the field, it's apparent Baltimore -- in need of stability at the receiver position -- will use its new pass-catcher in ways that could mirror his old role with the Steelers. If he clicks with Flacco, Wallace is well positioned for a comeback campaign in 2016.

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