Cody Wallace fined twice by the NFL

PITTSBURGH -- Cody Wallace's first career start proved to be a costly one.

The NFL fined the Pittsburgh Steelers center a total of nearly $18,000 from last Sunday’s game against the Dolphins for two separate incidents, including one in which he hit Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks in the groin at the bottom of a pile.

Starks had recovered a Ben Roethlisberger fumble and Wallace engaged in the kind of activity that frequently happens at the bottom of piles. But his transgression happened in full view, and a video of it went viral.

It cost Wallace $7,875 for unnecessary roughness, and a late hit near the end of the game cost the fourth-year veteran $10,000.

A couple of other Steelers tidbits:

  • Troy Polamalu might not have the best hair in the Steelers' locker room anymore. Or even in the defensive backs’ meeting room. The Steelers signed safety Ross Ventrone to their practice squad, and Ventrone rivals Polamalu in one area: he has a healthy head of hair, and his locks flow out of the back of his helmet. Ventrone was with the Steelers during training camp and preseason practice. He is a local product, having played his high school ball at Chartiers Valley in suburban Pittsburgh.

  • Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been named the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year. The award, named after the late, great Chicago Bears running back, recognizes excellence both on and off the field, and there is one winner from every team. The overall winner will be announced before the Super Bowl in February. Roethlisberger, who became the Steelers’ all-time leader in touchdown passes last Sunday (213) is active in a number of different charities. His eponymous foundation has donated grants to police and fire departments that exceed $1 million. Roethlisberger is also active in Make-A-Wish of Greater Pennsylvania, and his foundation recently donated $30,000 to the organization.