View Full Version : Cornerbacks could be rotating again

11-25-2006, 08:34 AM
By Mike Prisuta
Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Steelers could be poised to start their third combination at cornerback in three games when they take on the Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore.
Deshea Townsend, who worked as an extra defensive back last Sunday in Cleveland while trying to work around a sprained ankle suffered Nov. 12 against New Orleans, said Friday he'd start against the Ravens as long as his ankle feels as good as it did during yesterday's practice.

"I should get back in there," Townsend said. "It just all depends on how I feel. But I feel fine so I'll be out there playing."

Bryant McFadden, who started in Townsend's place Sunday, also is anticipating starting against the Ravens.

"I've practiced with the first group all this week, but you never know until that day comes," McFadden said.

Townsend and McFadden starting together would relegate Ike Taylor to third-cornerback status. Taylor has started every game at left cornerback, including the Steelers' 38-31 victory over the Saints.

Taylor had said he'd been demoted the Wednesday before the Saints game and that he was told he'd have to "fight his way back," but wound up starting, anyway.

Taylor and Townsend have started seven of the Steelers' first 10 games together.

McFadden, who normally plays in six-defensive backs sets, started for Townsend last Sunday and against Kansas City on Oct. 15 and Atlanta on Oct. 22 while Townsend recovered from a hamstring injury.

Townsend has worked as the third cornerback when he hasn't been starting.

McFadden said the constant fluctuations in the starting lineup at cornerback of late shouldn't affect the defensive secondary as a group.

"We have a great feel," he said. "This is my second year playing with all the guys. I kinda have a great feel for them and I kinda feel as though it's the same thing, vice-versa. No matter what the situation we already know what we can expect out of each individual."