Steelers need to bench Levi Wallace
I was happy when the Steelers announced that they had signed Levi Wallace to a deal during the 2022 offseason. While not an elite player, he got a relatively cheap deal and was a fine starter for the Bills. While I didn’t want him covering a top receiver every week, I was fine with him being the second or third cornerback on this team.
His steady play was evident last year, as he was a strong starter who had his best season as a pro. I was expecting a lot of the same this year, but that hasn’t been the case through two games. He was below average against the 49ers and was abysmal against the Browns on Monday.
What has really been an issue is his run defense. While never a huge thumper, Wallace was, again, consistent as a run defender, wrapping up and not allowing the big play. That hasn’t been the case this season, as he has taken poor angles and has failed to regain that consistency from a year ago.
This isn’t to say his pass defense has been great either (it hasn’t), and overall he appears to be a weak link in the secondary. Joey Porter, the team's second-round pick, looked great in the offseason and has shown some good coverage skills in limited playing time. He is the logical replacement for Wallace.
The only issue with that, on paper, is that Wallace and Porter have been playing the opposite sides. I certainly don’t want to move Porter around, so perhaps Patrick Peterson, who has also struggled, could make the move to Wallace’s side. No matter the way, Wallace needs to find some more time on the bench and Porter needs to see the field soon.