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lamberts-lost-tooth
10-05-2007, 10:24 AM
Steelers' Colclough ready for another chance
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, October 5, 2007



This is how the 2007 season has gone for the Steelers' forgotten cornerback, Ricardo Colclough.
Colclough may finally see his first action under new coach Mike Tomlin as a result of No. 3 cornerback Bryant McFadden suffering a high ankle sprain in last week's loss against Arizona.

"It's not the way I want it to be, but that seems the only way for me to get on the field at this point," Colclough said.

McFadden, who missed the first two days of practice this week, is considered doubtful for Sunday's game against Seattle at Heinz Field.

High ankle sprains are to cornerbacks what separated throwing shoulders are to quarterbacks.
Colclough has been waiting for a chance like this one to prove himself. He was inactive for the first three games, then suffered a back injury that kept him inactive against Arizona.

McFadden's injury could box the Steelers' coaching staff in a corner regarding Colclough, a second-round draft pick in 2004.

Or not.

"It's on the coaches what they want to do, how they want to do it, how they want the rotation to go," said Colclough, who hasn't played since the third regular-season game of last season, a span of 17 games. "I'm just going to prepare myself like I'm going to be out there."

McFadden is Deshea Townsend's backup at right cornerback on this week's depth chart. Colclough, although he has been inactive all season, is listed along with Gay as the backup behind starter Ike Taylor at left cornerback.

Tomlin said that Gay, Colclough and Allen Rossum could see action in the secondary against Seattle, if McFadden is sidelined.

Rossum started six games at cornerback for Atlanta last season.

"They brought me in to return, and I want to have success with that first,'' said Rossum, who returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown in his third game with the Steelers. "If I get an opportunity to play defense, of course, I would relish that."

Rossum missed all of training camp with the Steelers. It takes years to fully absorb defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's complicated system, much less pick it up in a matter of weeks. It would be difficult for Rossum to unseat Colclough, who has been around LeBeau's system four years.

As for Gay, he made his biggest impression in preseason, when he was playing against fellow rookies like himself. He has played mostly special teams in the regular season, but McFadden's injury could change all that.

That leaves Colclough, a talented athlete who has struggled to find a role with the Steelers. His career took a tumble last season when he muffed a punt in a loss against Cincinnati and was immediately placed on injured reserve with a pinched nerve.

"A little bit of frustration sets in, but you can't let that get to you," Colclough said. "The coaches are going to make the decisions, they're going to put the people they want out there. All I can do is practice and play hard every day."

That, and make a play or two when he finally gets the opportuity.