Attitude On Display For Cody Wallace In Season Finale

By Matthew Marczi

Pittsburgh Steelers center Cody Wallace has been a nice surprise since an injury to Fernando Velasco thrust him into the starting lineup during the final stretch of the regular season.

Nobody really seemed to entirely understand why the team had brought him in after final roster cuts were made, but he’s answered a lot of questions in the last few games, and perhaps earned some fans.

Although he’s currently a free agent, having signed a one-year contract, I certainly  believe he’s played well enough to earn a new contract in Pittsburgh, if not somewhere else. The Steelers could use the depth, especially with Maurkice Pouncey coming off an ACL tear about a year removed by the time the 2014 season starts.

The biggest thing we’ve learned about Wallace watching him play the last few weeks is that he’s got a nasty streak to him and isn’t concerned about who he’s going up against, because he believes that he belongs and can play with anybody.

That’s what you see here on this off-the-play block on Ahtyba Rubin. He antagonized Rubin so much that he earned a shove at the end of it. Last week it drew a penalty, though he wasn’t as lucky this week.

This running play late in the first quarter follows a similar theme. Though his block wasn’t directly in the ball carrier’s path, he none the less gave his full effort as he walked Rubin down the field.

Wallace’s block on nose tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen early in the second quarter helped free Le’Veon Bell for one of his biggest plays of the day on a 15-yard carry up the middle.

Generally, you don’t count on your third-string center to be able to handle a block on a nose tackle one-on-one, and this particular effort wasn’t the cleanest you’ll see, but he sealed off Kitchen enough to allow Bell to get through, and then he finished the block, which you always like to see.

Wallace smartly held close on this play, staying with defensive end Brian Sanford in order to seal off the alley for Bell, which resulted in a seven-yard carry up the middle. It looked like he was supposed to go out to pick up the linebacker, but when he went outside, Wallace did the right thing and stayed inside.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • steeltown

    Would love to see Wallace retained for the next 2-3yrs

  • dgh57

    Oh the possibilities with Embernasty and Wallace intrigues me for we need some more nastiness up front to help our run game out!

  • srdan

    He sure got some fans! +1

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I personally really liked Wallace after seeing him play. He played with a chip on his shoulder…and that I like. In fact, he may have outplayed Velasco. I would love to see a stat comparison there.

    I think we have some stuff to work with for our line and am encouraged that we aren’t settling for a coach.

  • cp72

    Yep I like my Johnny Walker black, my women blond, and my center mean and nasty.

  • Callentown

    He actually seems a bit stronger than Pouncey who is a better athlete, but love the brawling style. Hope he stays around..

  • Michael Pearce

    Yep, I love Wallace and hope he is resigned.

  • treeher

    Love the attitude as long as he doesn’t hurt the team with penalties.

  • Chad H

    Can’t agree with ya anymore. He deserves a roster spot.

  • pittsburghjoe

    I have said it a million times and will continue to bang on the drum regardless of how infuriated it makes the Pouncey sympathizers!! Pouncey is utterly overrated and was easily replaced by not one, but TWO guys off of the street. I’m not going to say cut pouncey, but rather let him play his contract out and say goodbye by not tendering him an offer for an extension. In the mean time, try to sign Wallace and/or Velasco to a cheap multiyear deal. At a minimum you have great depth at a very cheap price with the potential of one of them taking over as started down the road.

  • Steve

    Wallace is a road grader and is 29 yrs old and lacks pass blocking as was shown on some gifs on this board.

  • Jazz

    Amen Brother! I agree with you 100%! Pouncey had one great year, his rookie season, the last time Pittsburgh went to the SuperBowl. I wouldn’t worry about resigning Pouncey just yet, they have much more pressing needs on Defense.

  • Firebug

    Cody Wallace joined the Steelers running and hasn’t stopped since. He stays on his blocks and keeps moving until the whistle is blown. He is not just a big body taking up space, he is athletic, quick and relentless with attitude.