Mike Wallace might only have two practices under his belt, but he is feeling good and is confident he will be right where he needs to be on Sunday night when the Steelers open the season against the Denver Broncos.
"I am getting there," said Wallace right after the team's Wednesday afternoon practice. "I am not where I want to be yet. Come Sunday I will be. I have a couple more days to warm it up. I think I am doing pretty good."
Wallace said that Monday's practice gave him a chance just to get a feel for things, but now he is getting into his comfort zone as game preparation heats up.
"The first day was really exciting, just to be back out there," said Wallace. "Today I felt more comfortable, back to myself. I feel like I am picking up the offense well. I am not worried about what I have to do. I know what I have to do. It felt a lot better today than it did on Monday."
Without training camp or the preseason Wallace hasn't had full contact yet, but that isn't something that will be on his mind Sunday night.
"I'm not really waiting for a big hit," said Wallace. "Hopefully it never comes but if it does, it does. I'll get back up. I'll be fine. I'm not really looking forward to a big hit or waiting for a big hit. Whenever it happens, it happens. I just have to be ready when it is time. I think I will be fine."
What will be on his mind, though, is starting the season off strong. The Steelers lost their season opener last year to the Baltimore Ravens and he knows the importance of getting off to a fast start this year.
"We can't wait for something to happen," said Wallace. "We have to get out to a quick start because we don't want to lose our opener. We want to be the ones on the winning side. From the start of the game, we have to get it going.
"Last year, the Baltimore game, we started off slow and we couldn't fight back. This year we have to start off fast and keep going the whole time. We can't start slow. We can't afford it at this point."
While the team is starting off fresh this year, Wallace still wants to eradicate the bad feeling from losing to the Broncos, 29-23, in overtime in the playoffs last year.
"We're excited to go back because we have to redeem ourselves," said Wallace. "We know exactly what happened last year. We've been waiting for this for nine months now. I'm excited, and I know the whole team can't wait to get there."