"First of all, in my opinion, he's a coward. I never want a guy on my team like that to walk out on your band of brothers. Forget the things that don't happen in the game. Say, you don't get the ball a lot, or you mess up and they pull you out. Forget all that. It's about playing for your brothers."Maurkice Pouncey, on Mike Wallace
In a television interview with CBS 4 in Miami, the twins shared their thoughts on the way Wallace ended the regular season when he was benched for the second half after a sideline altercation in the Dolphins' Week 17 loss to the New York Jets.
"First of all, in my opinion, he's a coward," said Maurkice Pouncey, who was teammates with Wallace for three seasons in Pittsburgh from 2010 to 2012. "I never want a guy on my team like that to walk out on your band of brothers. Forget the things that don't happen in the game. Say, you don't get the ball a lot, or you mess up and they pull you out. Forget all that. It's about playing for your brothers."
Neither player referred to Wallace by name in the interview. Dolphins players and coaches have been mum on the exact reason for the benching, and these were the first public comments that provided some insight.
Maurkice Pouncey posted an Instagram message later Tuesday night to stress that he wasn't referring to Wallace specifically but was rather speaking "on a general situation."
Now I see why Marshawn Lynch gives the media short phrases! https://t.co/2bD6rYe8Pn— Maurkice Pouncey (@MaurkicePouncey) March 17, 2015
The benching incident turned out to be the beginning of the end of Wallace's tenure in Miami. He was traded last week, along with a seventh-round pick, to the Minnesota Vikings for a fifth-round pick.
"I think the offseason is a time to speak your mind," said Mike Pouncey, who was teammates with Wallace the past two seasons in Miami. "Obviously our organization felt a way about some guys, and they got those guys out of our football team. I think it was the right move for everybody, because at the end of the day, if everyone is not on the same page, you're not going to win football games. It takes 11 [players] and not 10. So I'm glad that we moved on from that, and I just can't wait to see where we go from here."
Wallace led the Dolphins in receiving yards (862) and touchdown catches (10) and was second in receptions (67) last season. He tweeted that he wasn't bothered by the comments of the Pouncey twins and that they know him personally.
Mike and Maurkice are my lil bros man... Maurkice was speaking on a general situation Not my situation media can do whatever they want!!!— Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) March 17, 2015
But that's my guys 💯 they both Knw ME Personally!! No man could ever call me a coward from the biggest to the smallest guy!!' I have— Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) March 17, 2015
Always held my own... I usually don't get into all of this but that's my friends that's the only reason I'm addressing it— Mike Wallace (@Wallace17_daKid) March 17, 2015