PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers center Cody Wallace said there was no ill intent when he tried to scrounge for a loose ball at the bottom of a pile -- and instead ended up with more of Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks' posterior than either man cares to admit.
But Wallace certainly understood the ramifications after the kind of stuff that happens in the depths of a pile transpired into full view last Sunday at Heinz Field.
“He found (an) article and sent it to us like, ‘Yep, this might be bigtime,'" Steelers left guard Ramon Foster said with a chuckle. “He knew it was going to be a story, so it’s one of those things that you kind of laugh at and hope the fine isn’t real bad if that’s the case.”
Wallace has almost surely received the kind of mail that no NFL player likes to get from Park Avenue in New York. And the NFL might have fined him twice for his actions during the Steelers’ 34-28 loss to the Dolphins as Wallace was also flagged for unnecessary roughness near the end of the game.
Call it an eventful first NFL start for Wallace.
Before last Sunday he had also never played in -- or unwittingly starred in -- a video that went viral.
“I was trying to get under there, and unfortunately it came out to look that way and turned into what it is now,” Wallace said of the infamous play. “When he started kicking around I realized I wasn’t going to make it there.”
Starks had a different take from the end of the play in which he recovered a Ben Roethlisberger fumble. Suffice it to say, he didn’t think it was nearly as innocuous as Wallace.
“I saw two people and didn't know which one it was," Starks told reporters on Tuesday. "It's tough not to react. If I had done something, I would have gotten thrown (out). I'm glad I didn't know who it was, because it would have gotten ugly out there.”
Starks has heard plenty from his teammates about the end of the play since Sunday.
So has Wallace.
“He said he was trying to get the ball and I take his word,” Foster said. “It’s funny.”