With uncertainty as to who will open the season as the starting quarterback, OTAs are a key time for the team's receivers to get their timing down and establish a comfort level with the quarterbacks.
Mike Wallace, who is in his second season, is especially focused on working with whoever will replace Ben Roethlisberger while he serves a six-game suspension. Wallace worked with Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon during his rookie year and early in the offseason, but is now trying to get accustomed to Byron Leftwich.
"I want to learn how he throws the ball, where it's going," said Wallace. "He and Ben throw different, but they are both really good quarterbacks. Being here and learning from him, how he throws and getting the chemistry going is real helpful.
"I have been playing with those guys, except for Byron. But he has a strong arm. There is a little adjustment, but he can get it done. He has a strong arm."
Wallace's comfort level this offseason is much greater than a year ago when he was a rookie just getting his feet wet.
"It's a lot easier to just to go out and play instead of worrying about what is hot, what routes I have, making sure I am in the right formation," said Wallace. "When I hear a play now, I am going straight to the line and I have the play. It makes everything easier. It seems like I came so far in the offense and learning more about coverage and everything. Just being in the system with Hines (Ward) for a year, he taught me everything. Now looking at it it's so much easier to just go out and play."
He can sympathize with rookie wide receivers, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, who are going through what he did a year ago.
"I tell them don't worry about it," said Wallace. "I laugh because I know what they are going through. BA (Bruce Arians) is going to get on them and ask them what they are doing. I have to tell them keep their head up and keep on studying. That's the main thing. There is going to be a lot on you at first but it gets easier as time goes on."
Wallace made a huge impact on the Steelers offense his rookie season playing in all 16 games and finishing with 39 receptions. Wallace started five games when the team lined up in a three-receiver set and finished the year tied with the team lead for six touchdown receptions en route to winning the team's rookie of the year honors. With Santonio Holmes traded to the New York Jets, Wallace is looking forward to taking his game to the next level with an opportunity there.
"It gives me the opportunity to step up and make plays," said Wallace. "I had planned on making plays any way, but I will have a bigger role and I am up to the challenge and will make sure I do everything I can and not let anybody down."