It's been about eight months since Mike Wallace has practiced with his teammates, but on Monday he was on the field going full tilt, the first practice he was allowed to participate in since signing his tender offer on Aug. 28.
"I finally get to be back with the guys, playing football instead of watching it," said Wallace. "It felt funny to watch football. Just to be back with them it was fun, I love it.
"It feels good to be back with my teammates and be out there just learning the offense. I like where I'm at, but I still have a way to go. It's fun being with these guys. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
Wallace stayed on the field after most of his teammates headed in to the locker room, getting in some extra work and playing a little bit of catch-up for the time he missed.
"I felt good. I just have to get in the football way," said Wallace. "I surprised myself by how good I did as far as the plays. It's cool. I am getting there. I can't wait to put pads on."
While he was holding out, Wallace spent time not just working with Coach Tom Shaw in Orlando on his conditioning, but also studying his playbook, helping him as he adjusts to Todd Haley's offense.
"I have been studying it," said Wallace. "I have a good grasp of it. It's just running the plays off of it. I am getting there. I like where I am at.
"The main thing is the timing aspect of it, just getting back to knowing what Ben (Roethlisberger) likes, what I like. It's not going to be hard because we have been together so long. It's just a new offense. He just has to make sure I know what I am doing. I did pretty good today but it was only one day, we have a long way to go."
Wallace also worked with receivers coach Scottie Montgomery last Friday and Saturday, going over the playbook to be prepared for Monday's practice and it paid off.
"He gave me a big jump with that," said Wallace. "Coach is always a good person about that. He loves working anyway. He didn't want me to go home. He was in there keeping me working. He had me go downstairs, get some fluid, and come right back up. Those days, those hours, really helped and I appreciate that."
The main adjustment he still has to make is to the terminology. And that is something that will come with time and repetitions.
"As far as the plays, once you're in the NFL, I think stuff starts to run together," said Wallace. "I think it's just really terminology. Of course, you have a couple different plays but I just feel like terminology is the main thing. Once I get that down. I'm good. I like where I'm at right now. They're doing a really good job of getting me up to speed."
If there is anyone that benefits from the team having an extra day of practice this week, it's definitely Wallace.
"I don't know about the other guys, but I needed today to get acclimated to get a good feel before we start going hard, bullets flying," said Wallace. "It was good day for me."
Wallace hasn't been told whether or not he will play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, he just knows he has to keep preparing for whatever is asked of him.
"I don't think they're going to tell me," said Wallace. "I just go where the coaches tell me to go. I'm just happy to be out there so I'll run all day until they tell me to come off. I don't have a problem with that. I need the extra work anyway."