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Cody Wallace Boosted His Resume Against The Packers


By Matthew Marczi

It’s no secret that both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers had their fair share of success in the running game against one another, chiefly through their rookie running backs—Le’Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy, respectively.

The weather conditions, certainly, played a factor in not only the frequency with which both teams ran, but also the degree of success that they had. But it also speaks to some quality blocking up front. Steelers third-string center Cody Wallace had his best game so far in this regard.


It was Wallace’s block on inside linebacker A.J. Hawk late in the first quarter that led to the first of Bell’s explosive plays, bursting up the middle of the field for a 22-yard gain. Bell used his blocker well to move the linebacker to the left, allowing a large cutback to right of center. Wallace did a nice job of keeping the path clear.

Wallace displayed some surprising strength later on the drive as the Steelers were driving down the field and nearing the goal line. He took on nose tackle B.J. Raji one-on-one and was able to get some push, cutting off backside pursuit on a run to the right that helped set up the team’s first touchdown two plays later.


Later, on the next drive in the early portions of the second quarter, Wallace was tasked again with coming out to pick up the inside linebacker Hawk, which he was able to do, allowing Bell to squeeze past his back side for a five-yard gain.

Wallace helped the Steelers close out the first half with a field goal on a 10-yard run by Bell that put Pittsburgh in position for Shaun Suisham. He once again went up against Hawk, but this time the linebacker rushed at the snap and Wallace was forced to pick him up with a running start.

He did, however, and turned him easily out of the hole to allow Bell to get through for another first down. Wallace really had Hawk’s number on several occasions throughout the Steelers’ victory.

Overall, it was a nice showing for Wallace, who came into this season as a veteran reserve, having never started a game. He’s now getting a chance to acquire some real in-game starting experience for the first time in his career, and he’s been doing well with it overall, all the while adding to his value in free agency, whether that ends up in Pittsburgh or elsewhere.

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About Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Alan Felicia

    Oh Great, here comes the “we want Wallace starting over Pouncey” debate!

  • DrakePirate

    I think this has been a great silver lining to our usual disastrous OL injury parade … at least we have appeared to develop some good depth for our OL if nothing else and hopefully we can keep one of them.

  • CW

    Hopefully the Steelers can lock up Pouncey long term and get Wallace and Velasco signed as backups at center and guard. Would be nice to finally not have to worry about the offensive line for a while.

  • Jollyrob68

    That’s already happened. Pouncey can’t stay healthy.

  • Jollyrob68

    Honestly, Pouncey hasn’t stayed healthy enough to warrant being locked up long term.

  • Alan Felicia

    Hold up, before his ACL injury — due to a freak accident — Pouncey has only missed 3 regular season games and the Super Bowl. Your talking like his missed seasons like Willie Colon or Aaron Smith!

  • Alan Felicia

    Pouncey has missed a total of 3 regular season games since 2010 rookie season(1 game last year, 2 games in 2011, and he missed Super Bowl XLV). Obviously, this year’s injury was due to accidentally chop block from Decastro.

  • Chad H

    No just quality starts by a back up. Hopefully earned himself a roster spot next year. Makes going into the draft not focusing on OL as much and getting defensive guys.

  • kakello34

    Wallace looks like a mauler. Could give Foster a run for his money at guard next year. At the least he looks like a good backup interior lineman

  • Michael Pearce

    Well, at the least it gives us a choice of backup centers to resign this offseason. I was hoping we got Velasco on the cheap, but seeing how capable Wallace is we can pick the most affordable one. I’m not sure its going to be worth breaking the bank to give Pouncey his second contract. If that is the case, I hope we keep both Velasco and Wallace this year and make that decision the following year. Velasco could come much cheaper than Pouncey and grades out at center just as good as Pouncey(Wallace could backup either one). With our cap situation this year and for a few years to come, it just might make sense to go with Velasco and Wallace and let someone else make Pouncey the highest paid center in the NFL.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Not true, any street guy will do just fine. The steelers already effectively replaced him with two average joe’s. If 2 street players can effectively replace you, your services are no longer needed. Ok, maybe I am being harsh. Lets just say he is no where near as valuable as some people think. And by the way, I really dont care about his inflated pro bowl appearances. He is of minimum value to the team, period.

  • pittsburghjoe

    The accidental chop block shows the man (Pouncey) has bad situational awareness. And for that matter, both on the field and off…as illustrated by the “free hernandez” hat.

  • Alan Felicia

    “bad situational awareness”?? Are you serious? So Pouncey should have been aware that Decastro was going to block him low accidentally from behind? You must smoking something FIERCE right now!! Puff, puff, Pass!
    Bad situational awareness?? Un-freaking-believable!
    Seriously dude, if you’re hating on Pouncey for supporting a college teammate, then keep hating! I got no argument!
    But, please stop making stuff up — Bad Situational Awareness? I literally fell off my chair laughing from that statement!! LOL!

  • alex

    i still say if we wanna have any chance at signing Hayward AND Worilds, we gotta get some $$$ relief somewhere…and with this young line playing a full season together and growing without Pouncey, i think we really need to sign Velasco and Wallace…

    they show allotta promise under the pressure of 2013!

  • mlc43

    Well, I’m not going to go crazy like some of the posts and start spouting that Pouncey sucks and he’s injury prone. I will only agree that he is becoming less essential to the Steelers future considering the price tag he’s going to demand. Also, OL isn’t always about the individual talent of the player, but how well the OL works together as a whole. While I don’t think our OL is spectacular by any means, I do think it has shown surprising potential.

  • Alan Felicia

    Dude, we get it, you don’t like Pouncey b/c he wore a hat to support a college teammate!
    By the way for the record, with 2 average Joe’s at center, the team started 0-4 and currently 7-8 for the year.
    With Pouncey in the lineup, Pittsburgh is 32-16:
    2010 (rookie) season: 12-4 and went to the Super Bowl (lost without Pouncy)
    2011 season: 12-4
    2012 season: 8-8

  • pittsburghjoe

    Dude, do you have a picture of Pouncey on your nightstand or just the fat head on the wall?

  • Alan Felicia

    Actually, have poster of Rod Woodson and Ben Roethlisberger.
    How about you, bad situational awareness?

  • pittsburghjoe

    Well, um…I dont have pictures of men on my wall.

  • Alan Felicia

    With 3 different average Joe’s at center, the team started 0-4 and currently 7-8.
    With Pouncey in the lineup, Pittsburgh is 32-16:
    2010 (rookie) season: 12-4 and went to the Super Bowl (lost without Pouncy)
    2011 season: 12-4
    2012 season: 8-8

  • mlc43

    Using win loss records to support an argument on any player other than a QB and the occasional RB is a little over the top. I don’t entirely agree with pittsburghjoe, but we all watched our team and know that Pouncey isn’t responsible for all the wins, nor is he responsible for all the losses.

  • mlc43

    I’ll repost this, too.

    Using win loss records to support an argument on any player other than a
    QB and the occasional RB is a little over the top. I don’t entirely
    agree with pittsburghjoe, but we all watched our team and know that
    Pouncey isn’t responsible for all the wins, nor is he responsible for
    all the losses.

  • Alan Felicia

    Then I guess I’m a True Pittsburgh Steeler Fan! Two of the best players to ever wear the uniform.
    By the way, can you give us a definition of bad situational awareness. We need to laugh some more! LOL!

  • pittsburghjoe

    Umm, you mean support of a killer or “alleged” killer I should say.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I would hate to see Pouncey’s performance on a second contract. He strikes me as the type of guy that would hang it up after he gets paid.

  • Alan Felicia

    No, but according to Joe, the team can just replace anyone with an average Joe and still be productive. IMHO, talent wins and Pouncey is one of those talents. Just like Mike Webster was a talent during the 4 Super Bowls in the 70s and Dawson was a talent when Cowher’s teams were winning in the early to mid 90s.

  • mlc43

    C’mon now. You’ve been pushing Alan’s buttons and trolling on Pouncey, but lets not get too crazy.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Well said

  • mlc43

    I have never been as sold on Pouncey as a lot of people have. I honestly feel like he’s a bit overrated. I would never put him in the category of Webster or Dawson. Again, I don’t think Pouncey is a terrible player by any means. I just wonder if he’s really worth the money he will demand.

  • Alan Felicia

    You know what, I totally agree. It all depends on the player. This is my argument with Worilds. A lot of fans are arguing to sign him at any cost, yet I really believe Worilds is totally motivated by a huge contract! Just look at his stats. His been inconsistent since the day he was drafted and all of sudden in his contract year, BOOM!

  • Alan Felicia

    Like I said before, in regards to his college teammate, I have no arguments. Keep on hating him for that not his on- the-field abilities. I do the same thing with Roethlisberger. I’m a big fan of Roethlisberger’s on-field accomplishment, in fact a huge fan as I mentioned. I don’t agree with his past, vulgar histories off the field.

  • dgh57

    Just wondering if you at the time, you thought the same way about DeCastro when he went down last year as you do Pouncey this season? Right now I’m leaning toward you weren’t thinking that way.

  • Don2727

    That last GIF was a play I noticed during the game that really impressed me..I say the best course of action would be to try to keep BOTH Cody and Valasco..Valasco to back up the injury prone Pouncey and Wallace to challenge Foster for Lt. guard next season. No?

  • Don2727

    Remember..Pouncey’s injury this year was a freak accident caused by his own player…

  • dgh57

    It would be nice if there could be some kind of a performance base incentives that could be written into these contracts written now days as I worry about Worilds also.

  • dgh57

    It depends on whether Velasko and/or Wallace are resigned after this season. If one is resigned Pouncey’s price tag comes down, if both then maybe he’s gone. I see us signing only one of them since Pouncey is signed for next year and maybe move Embernate to backup LG. They have some options there in the interior OL so only time will tell what happens.

  • Rick M

    Full marks to Wallace. He’s done a great job as a third-string center.

    Re: Pouncey and a future long-term contract, I just can’t get that Washington pre-season game out of my mind. Barry Cofield made him look like a turnstile multiple times. Right or wrong, I’m not sold that he’s an elite center and worth big bucks. Pro Football Focus had him rated as something like the 12th best center in the league – for whatever that’s worth. In my mind, it’s a very tough call as to Pouncey’s worth long-term. Given the alternatives – Wallace or Velasco (once healthy) – it’ll be an interesting call by the Front Office.

  • Rick M

    Excellent point. I thought he missed more games than that.

  • Rick M

    On this one I disagree with you, sorry. There were a lot of other important guys in the line-up in 2010 and 2011 (Hampton, Harrison, a younger Keisel and Clark, etc.) Attributing the Won-Loss record to any one player seems misleading to me.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I have no problem with Decastro. I do think we will be fine without Pouncey. I definitely would not trust him on a second contract. I think he is the type that would get fat and happy.

  • dgh57

    Well it seems to me if one guy suffers from situational awareness when he gets injured then (if I remember right) as happened to DeCastro when Gilbert fell into his legs then DeCastro must suffer from the same thing.

    I don’t have any problem with Pouncey because coming into this season I thought he and DeCastro would of worked good together in the middle of our OL elevating each others play. Pouncey is signed for next season so I don’t see him going anywhere. If we end up going with Velasko/Wallace next year I’m good with that also it’s just a slimmer chance of that happening.

  • Steve

    Never had a problem with how Cody Wallace run blocks, it is his pass blocking that is suspect and must be worked on.

  • Steve

    Worlds had a good second half of this season but gets hurt a lot. He has never did much before this year.

  • sean mcmartin

    Sign the healthy O-linemen and focus on Defense in the draft.

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