While Pittsburgh Steelers center Cody Wallace certainly filled in admirably this season for injured starter Maurkice Pouncey, he certainly had his issues over the course of the year and especially when it comes to penalties.
In total, Wallace was flagged 13 times this season and that’s the most penalties for a Steelers offensive lineman since guard Willie Colon was flagged 13 times in 2008. Wallace’s 13 penalties also appear to be the most by a center this season.
Of Wallace’s 13 penalties this season, 7 were for holding, 3 were for false starts and 3 others for unnecessary roughness. Additionally, 7 of his penalties this season are labeled as being drive-stallers.
During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to talk about Wallace’s 3 pre-snap penalties that he has incurred this season with his latest one coming this past Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
“Some of it has to do with working on a silent count in opposing venues when you’re working on a silent count often times it’s rhythm,” said Tomlin. “There’s some coordination there and sometimes he’s a guy that’s identified because he’s the guy that touches the ball, but it may be a group mechanical thing. We’ve got to work to minimize that in this game. Downs are going to be tough enough to win, not only losing 5 yards prior to the down.”
Interesting enough, just 3 of Wallace’s 13 penalties have come on the road this season so perhaps that bodes well for the upcoming Wild Card game away against the Cincinnati Bengals.
While Wallace has been a penalty-machine of sorts this season, he’s also been reliable when it comes to playing time as not only has he started all 16 games this season in place of Pouncey, he’s also played all but 2 offensive snaps. Additionally, the Steelers averaged 4.38 yards per carry on runs up the middle this season and that was 8th-best in the league when it comes to that specific direction.
Wallace signed a three-year, $3.48 million contract in 2014, so expect him to be back next season as the backup to Pouncey.