The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Buffalo Bills‘ cornerback, Levi Wallace earlier this off-season. You can probably go ahead and pencil in Wallace as the Steelers CB2. He’s a very solid outside guy that has started in all 52 career games that he has appeared in. Wallace, in his four years with the Bills, posted 6 career interceptions, 30 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery, 219 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 2 QB Hits.
The cornerback spoke with the media after Day 2 of OTA’s and answered a few questions.
Wallace was asked how he’s been adjusting to the Steelers’ defense:
“I think it’s a little newer, you know what I mean? The first time I’ve moved teams, but it’s been good thus far. I think the team has embraced me. The DB room is a great group of guys. And yeah, just learning the scheme, new plays and stuff. So, just getting to the groove, feeling my way through the defense.”
Wallace was then asked, “For a guy who has been in the league, are OTA’s even more valuable for you this year?” Wallace responded:
“Yeah. You know this is the time where you start training your eyes, you know what I mean? The way you’re looking at these specific coverages. So, for me, it’s big. Whereas the Bills, you know I was in the same defense for four years. I can run that with my eyes closed. It’s challenging, but it’s fun at the same time just learning new plays.”
He was then asked what he loves about the Steelers’ secondary.
“I love how together everybody is thus far that I’ve learned. Just the grittiness that they play with. They’re always trying to be on the same page. They over-communicate, which I really love. And there’s no egos in the room, which I can really appreciate. It’s been good. Great group of guys.”
Wallace was then asked, “How much of a difference does that make when you say there’s no egos in the room?”
“Makes the biggest difference.” Wallace said. “You know, you go to the goal that we’re just here trying to win. And then, we all support each other. I think I learned that specifically during 2020 during COVID where guys are in and out. You never know who’s playing, who’s up, who’s sick, who’s down…”
Wallace continued with something very head coach Mike Tomlin like… a Tomlinism if you will?
“The standard has to be the standard. Whoever’s starting, whoever’s backups, even third string, you never know that week. And so I think I’ve learned that, that’s the biggest lesson knowing that everyone’s on the same page. Everybody wants everybody to be successful and kind of go from there.”
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) November 3, 2021
Wallace was then asked about the communication aspect and the value of it during OTA’s.
“I think the biggest thing for me is learning new signals. Everyone learns the same defense, the same play calls, and stuff. It’s all about the communication and the verbiage of the plays. And so, for me that’s the biggest thing coming to this defense. And I’m picking up pretty well, but there’s always some tweaks that you can continue to learn from.”
When asked about what he likes about Steelers’ new defensive coordinator, Teryl Austin‘s defense so far, Wallace responded:
“It’s a little bit different. It’s unique, but I love how he is as a play caller thus far. And I love the defense that he has. He’s also just a really great person to talk to, ask questions to, easy to communicate with. So I definitely appreciate that.”
Wallace elaborated on the uniqueness of the Steelers’ defense:
“You want me to give out the plays, huh?” Wallace jokingly said with a smile and a laugh. “I’m just playing, it’s just a a little different. I think it’s different and unique for me because I’ve just came from a whole different system. And so just learning it and seeing the ins and outs and how I can be successful in the defense when I go out there and make my opportunities. And asking questions and just seeing how he sees it through his eyes to give me the best chance, so I can appreciate that.”
The reporter asked Wallace, “He (referring to Austin) is a real teacher, too, isn’t he?”
“Absolutely. He breaks it down. His door is always open for me and for the rest of the guys. too. So, it’s easy to communicate with him and ask him, you know what could I have done better here? And he could give you the truthful answer. The same with the rest of the coaches, too, even [Secondary] Coach [Grady] Brown.”
Check out the entire interview here!