Frustrated Mike Wallace playfully repeats that he 'needs the rock'

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Off to the quietest start of his nine-year NFL career, wide receiver Mike Wallace delivered an animated, yet playful, message inside the Baltimore Ravens locker room on Wednesday.

Keeping a smile on his face, Wallace made it clear that he "needs the rock." He repeated those words seven times in a four-minute chat with reporters.

"Of course, when you play wide receiver, you're always tempted to throw your helmet when you don't get the ball," Wallace said. "There's a certain way to go about things. I talked to my coach. We'll get it done. We'll make it happen."

Wallace has two catches for 15 yards in the first two games of the season. He's only been targeted four times, which ranks sixth on the team and behind No. 3 tight end Maxx Williams (five targets).

This isn't the way Wallace envisioned the first two weeks following his first 1,000-yard receiving season in five years.

"It's early in the season. It's no reason to overblow things," Wallace said before waving his finger at reporters. "But, at the same time, need that rock. I need the rock. We're going to be patient because we have a good thing going. That's all that matters. As long you're winning football games, we all know that's first and foremost when you play football. Never forget -- we need the rock. At wide receiver, you always need the rock."

During one point in the interview, Wallace turned to safeties Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson from across the locker room and asked them whether he should go off because of the lack of catches. Weddle and Jefferson shook their heads no.

Wallace, who ranked second on the Ravens with 72 catches last season, was asked if there is a certain level of frustration.

"Of course. I play wide receiver," Wallace said. "I don't play to block. But at the same time, when you're winning, it makes it all good. It's always masked when you're winning. As long as we're winning, we're good. I'm going to find ways to make plays. I will make plays."

Quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown an NFL-worst nine completions to wide receivers this season. So, Wallace isn't the only one who has had limited chances.

Wallace said he really hasn't messed with Flacco -- yet.

"Y'all tell Joe when you see him, 'Give me the rock,'" Wallace said.

Flacco said he's had conversations with Wallace about the amount of passes thrown his way but he wouldn't describe any of the talks as being negative.

"Everybody wants touches, but at the end of the day, Mike knows how it is," Flacco said. "I think there is a trust there."

A major reason why there have been few passes to Wallace and the rest of the wide receivers has been the way the games have unfolded. Baltimore has outscored teams by a combined score of 38-7 in the first half, which has meant Flacco has been primarily handing the ball off after halftime.

"When you're [up] 17, 20 points, you already know going into halftime that it's going to be kind of slim coming into the second half," Wallace said. "Our defense is kind of a curse for us right now. They're so good that it's killing us on offense. At the same time, don't forget to give me the rock."

Wallace's motivation last year was to show he could be a 1,000-yard receiver again. After accomplishing that, he entered this season with his sights set on being more consistent.

In the first eight games, Wallace totaled 39 catches for 614 yards (10th in the NFL), a 15.7 yards per catch average and four touchdowns. In his final eight games, his receptions (33), yards (403), yards per catch (12.2) and touchdowns (none) all declined.

The Ravens picked up Wallace's $5.75 million option in March, and the expectation was he would become Flacco's primary target after wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. retired and tight end Dennis Pitta suffered another hip injury.

But two games into his contract year, Wallace only has catches of eight and seven yards.

"As long as we keep winning ... I could have 16 catches on the year honestly as long as we win the Super Bowl," Wallace said. "But if we don't win the Super Bowl, we need the rock."