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83-Steelers-43
05-30-2007, 11:41 PM
Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Deshea Townsend is the Steelers' starting right cornerback until further notice.

If 2007 is going to be season that Bryant McFadden finally replaces Townsend in the lineup, McFadden's going to have to prove he's equally stout against the pass and run. McFadden also needs to influence his coaches, who consider Townsend to be another coach on the field.

McFadden is a second-round draft pick entering his third season, which means he should be right on schedule to become a starter. Teams don't draft players in the second round to stand on the sideline.

"Since Day 1, that was my first initiative -- to improve and show everybody that I'm capable of being that guy, being that starter," McFadden said.

McFadden played in all 16 games last season, making nine starts. He filled in for an injured Townsend and also climbed the depth chart when former coach Bill Cowher played musical chairs in the secondary and didn't start left cornerback Ike Taylor for five games.
McFadden, known as B-Mac to teammates and coaches, led the Steelers with three interceptions and had 12 passes defended last season.

He left enough of an impression that defensive backs coach Ray Horton promised an open competition during training camp.

But McFadden seems solidly behind Townsend on the depth chart, with Ricardo Colclough, a second-round draft pick in 2004, also in the mix at right cornerback.

"Nothing's etched in stone. Every year, I approach it like I'm a new guy trying to win a job," said Townsend, who's been a full-time starter since the middle of the 2003 season.

Horton appreciates McFadden because of his youth and upside. He's six years younger than Townsend, and his body has endured less wear and tear. Plus, he's shown that he's a capable player.

"B-Mac's done a fantastic job since his rookie year," Horton said. "He's an up-and-coming player who's big and strong and fast."

Conversely, Horton speaks of Townsend with respect.

The Steelers like that there are no surprises with Townsend, who had two interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles and 13 passes defended last season.

"He understands how to play. He knows every position," Horton said of Townsend, who turns 32 the day before the Steelers' opener at Cleveland. "Teams say they're going to attack this guy, but at the end of the day, he's going to win more than he loses."

During voluntary workouts at the team's South Side facility, Townsend's experience apparently has left a bigger impression with coaches than McFadden's potential.

However, that doesn't mean McFadden can't or won't change those impressions if he continues to follow the learning curve from his rookie season.

"B-Mac's been coming off the bench, but he has the talent of a starter," agent Roosevelt Barnes said of his client. "It's just a matter of them putting him in the starting lineup. When he plays, he makes plays."

When McFadden doesn't play, it's usually because of Townsend, who's still standing as the Steelers' starting right cornerback.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_510246.html

jjpro11
05-31-2007, 12:43 AM
i thought he was pretty much a lock to start this year.. its ike i'm worried about. mcfadden, smith, and parker were the only positives that came out of that season.

ben2hines=6
05-31-2007, 01:12 AM
i think this is just a tool to keep mcfadden motivated, the coaching staff would have to be complete morons to start deshea over him

Galax Steeler
05-31-2007, 04:05 AM
I think McFadden will wind up being in the starting lineup.

Livinginthe past
05-31-2007, 06:35 AM
I remember the Patriots were sniffing around Townsend about this time last year before the Steelers re-signed him.

Saying that, some of our 'scrap heap' projects haven't worked out great in the DB corps in recent years.

SteelerWatch
05-31-2007, 07:28 AM
Considering the best CB in New England not named Asante over the last few years was a wide receiver, townsend would have been an immediate improvement. :)

I've been waiting for McFadden from the start. Townsend is smart, but the average wideout today can burn him easily. He's okay covering a team's #2 or #3, but if he has to line up over a #1 he's toast. B-Mac has all the tools and he's a great hitter, too. He's a great compliment to Ike. Townsend would make an excellent nickel back because they generally cover more of the underneath stuff and clog up the middle of the field.

Livinginthe past
05-31-2007, 08:41 AM
Considering the best CB in New England not named Asante over the last few years was a wide receiver, townsend would have been an immediate improvement. :)



Not to get too far off-topic but New England conceded an NFL low 10 passing TD's last year and came 4th in INT's (24). :wink02:

SteelerWatch
05-31-2007, 09:53 AM
Hey, you've taken us out of the postseason more than once since 2000. I gotta take my shots whenever I can :)

Livinginthe past
05-31-2007, 10:02 AM
Hey, you've taken us out of the postseason more than once since 2000. I gotta take my shots whenever I can :)

Fair enough :toofunny:

stlrtruck
05-31-2007, 12:02 PM
I remember the Patriots were sniffing around Townsend about this time last year before the Steelers re-signed him.

Saying that, some of our 'scrap heap' projects haven't worked out great in the DB corps in recent years.

I don't want to be a name dropper but it is LITP :flap: and the patsies, so how did Chad Scott turn out for you guys?

onthebus36
05-31-2007, 12:11 PM
I've been waiting for McFadden from the start. Townsend is smart, but the average wideout today can burn him easily. He's okay covering a team's #2 or #3, but if he has to line up over a #1 he's toast. B-Mac has all the tools and he's a great hitter, too. He's a great compliment to Ike. Townsend would make an excellent nickel back because they generally cover more of the underneath stuff and clog up the middle of the field.

I agree. I think McFadden will start and Townsend will be a great nickel back. He's a pretty good hitter and has had some memorable sacks over the years. He's also got great football smarts and I think he could be a DB coach after retirement.

This is definitely an area where I completely trust Tomlin.

SteelerWatch
05-31-2007, 12:59 PM
He's also got great football smarts and I think he could be a DB coach after retirement.

Funny you'd mention that, I was thinking the same thing when I wrote that post. He's the kind of brain you want to keep in the game long after he retires, much the same way we did with Darren Perry and has been done with our new QB coach Ken Anderson. There are players who are humble motivators, there are players who are very good at their position, and there are players who are intelligent above and beyond the requirements of the game. When you find one who has all three, you make him a position coach. Troy is the same way and I would be surprised if he doesn't end up as a position coach when he retires (which will be in about 35 years, right? :wink02:)

Elvis
05-31-2007, 02:03 PM
I am Not sold on McFadden as of right now, of course Townsend isnt going to improve that much since being he is already 32 years old or atleast he will be in a few months. If he hasnt hit that pro-bowl status by now, most likely he isnt going to get there... By the way everyone, this is just my opinions, I am not a Steelers or NFL insider..:wink02:
:tt02: