Mike Wallace feels he's a better receiver now than when he was in Pittsburgh

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- When you think of Mike Wallace's top moments, they were the times he outraced cornerbacks and chased down deep passes launched downfield by Ben Roethlisberger.

So, has Wallace lost any of that speed four years removed from his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers?

"I’ve probably run about 10,000 post routes and go routes since when I first came into the league, so maybe just a step, a half a step," Wallace said. "But I can still get it done."

Wallace's mission in his first season with the Baltimore Ravens is not to show he's still a fast receiver. It's to prove he's a better one.

After leaving Pittsburgh in free agency, Wallace caught a career-high 73 passes from Ryan Tannehill with the Miami Dolphins in 2013 and matched a personal best with 10 touchdown catches in 2014. But the 2015 season was a disastrous one which saw him produce career lows in catches (39), receiving yards (473), yards per catch (12.1) and touchdowns (2).

The perception is Wallace is on the decline at the age of 29. He believes he's an improved receiver after years of practicing against the likes of cornerbacks Ike Taylor in Pittsburgh, Brent Grimes in Miami and Xavier Rhodes of the Minnesota Vikings.

"I think I’ve gotten better, even though [the] numbers don’t say so," Wallace said. "I think I’ll get better this year, and I’ll show some people I have a lot up my sleeve."

Wallace has won over his teammates during the spring workouts. When asked what players impressed him this offseason, safety Eric Weddle immediately pointed at Wallace.

And Weddle sees Wallace as more than a deep threat. He complimented Wallace on his route running and ability to come down with the contested 50-50 balls.

"There’s a reason why he was one of the best wide receivers in the league a few years ago," Weddle said. "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.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh raved about Wallace's football intelligence and how quickly he picked up Baltimore's offense.

"You can do anything with him," Harbaugh said. "He goes deep, he comes across, he runs routes [and] has good hands. I think he’s just done a tremendous job as an all-around receiver, and I think he’s going to be a big part of what we’re doing this year.”

When Wallace signed a two-year, $11.5 million deal ($4.5 million guaranteed) with Baltimore in March, he said he joined the Ravens because they have a proven quarterback in Joe Flacco. This offseason, he talked about how the Ravens give him the best opportunity to succeed because of their aggressive play-calling style.

His projected impact on the Ravens has grown during the past month because of the knee injury to former first-round pick Breshad Perriman. The hope is for Perriman to return some time in training camp, but there are no guarantees given his slow recovery last year.

"I welcomed the challenge even before Breshad got hurt," Wallace said. "That’s my guy; I envisioned us both making plays and us both being a threat for this team. So, my plans don’t change."