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lamberts-lost-tooth
05-24-2008, 06:17 AM
Healthy McFadden seeks Steelers' starting spot
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, May 24, 2008

Coach Mike Tomlin has taken a simple approach to the OTA practices the Steelers are holding this month and in June: players nursing injuries, including minor ones, will watch more than they will participate.
"Have to," Tomlin said after practice Wednesday at the team's South Side facility. "The purpose of this is to get better, not get worse, so we'll have to exercise caution."

The Steelers have not had to handle Bryant McFadden with care during offseason practices, and that is telling of how good the cornerback feels physically after playing at times on two bad ankles in 2007.

If staying healthy is McFadden's top priority for the 2008 season, then supplanting veteran Deshea Townsend in the starting lineup has to rank No. 1A on his list of goals.

And time is particularly of the essence for McFadden, 26, since he is entering the final year of his contract.
The 6-foot, 190-pounder started nine games in 2006, but he played as a reserve/nickel back in all 14 games he dressed for last season.

McFadden suffered a high-ankle sprain in the fourth game of the season at Arizona. The injury forced him to miss three games, and when he returned to the field, he did so at less than full strength. He sprained his other ankle in the Steelers' 19-16 loss to the Jets in mid-November, and that proved to be another setback in what turned out to be a frustrating season.

"A lot of people probably didn't understand the pain I was going through playing with two sprained ankles," said McFadden, a second-round pick by the Steelers in the 2005 NFL Draft, "especially playing cornerback."

McFadden has the size and athleticism to excel as a cornerback, and he has shown flashes during his first three NFL seasons.

He had one of the more celebrated pass break-ups in recent Steelers history in January 2006, when he made a season-saving play in the end zone near the end of the Steelers' 21-18 upset of the Colts in an AFC Divisional playoff game.

The following season, McFadden tied for the team lead in interceptions (three) while getting a chance to start in place of the struggling Ike Taylor.

Taylor, however, is firmly entrenched at one cornerback spot, and the 32-year-old Townsend is the man to beat out opposite Taylor.

That means McFadden, who made just one interception in 2007, has to do more than just stay healthy to finally crack the starting lineup.

"I guess just be a difference-maker, make plays, do things that stand out and be consistent," McFadden said on what he needs to go to take the next step in his career. "Last year was kind of tough for me. I wasn't able to be myself like I usually am. I'm blessed to be out here every day running around with my teammates and having fun."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_569112.html

Galax Steeler
05-24-2008, 06:50 AM
It's good to see McFadden wanting to crack the starting lineup with our corners getting some age we need some one to step it up and take there place.

stillers4me
05-24-2008, 07:01 AM
Hey, Bryant.......I understand your pain!

I had a bad sprain last year it's taken an entire year for mine to feel normal again. My pilates reformer workouts really helped strengthen the whole ankle in all ranges of motion. I can't imagine both ankles going out.

KeiselPower99
05-24-2008, 10:43 AM
We need to do something about our corners. Deshea is gettin up there and Ike is on or off. Bryant is a FA and his agent is Drew Rosenhaus. So he will want big bucks. I would hate to think Anthony Madison and Willy Gay are gonna be our 2 and 3 corners soon.

lilyoder6
05-24-2008, 12:00 PM
high ankle sprains are a bitch,, it takes a while to fully recover...

but i hope he beats out deshea and get his contract and be's 1 of our starters 4 the yrs to come

paw-n-maul-u
05-24-2008, 02:57 PM
It would be nice to see Mcfadden finally take the spot. We need some new young faces on D. IMO, the playmaking ability and athleticism ... not to mention size and strength we'll get from mcfadden would outweigh the consistency we get with townsend.

In the end i think it would ultimately make up for the bumps in the road as a first time full time starter

Blitzburgh_Fever
05-24-2008, 04:03 PM
I hope McFadden doesn't have the "I could be a starter anywhere else" mentality. Rosenhaus will add fuel to that, but ugh. If he doesn't show flashes of genius this year and replace Townsend, then he's still a better nickelback than most teams have.

Boomerang
05-24-2008, 06:42 PM
Good luck to Mcfadden on the injury front and hope to see him pushingfor the cb position.

millwalldavey
05-24-2008, 07:07 PM
I hope he does push... Townsend is old and I think Taylor is lousy. Gay could develop into a bright spot.

19ward86
05-24-2008, 08:46 PM
i have a hard time believing he can be out townshend.

BettisFan
05-24-2008, 09:08 PM
townsend will start

GBMelBlount
05-24-2008, 09:50 PM
I hope he does push... Townsend is old and I think Taylor is lousy. Gay could develop into a bright spot.

Would love to see McFadden take over. Not sure why you think Taylor is "lousy." I think overall he played quite well last year.

lilyoder6
05-24-2008, 10:22 PM
i think taylor is one of the better corners in the league.. and i as well hope b mac replaces deshea.. he's to old and is a losing a step

Aussie_steeler
05-24-2008, 10:47 PM
Should be a good battle between Deshea and b mac particularly if b mac is playing for a future contract. If Deshea loses I could see some time at FS maybe??

Steel Buckeye
05-24-2008, 10:48 PM
I hope McFadden starts next year, I think he matches up well against taller receivers. Let's face it, Townsend sucks when matched up with tall receivers. He's a good player but he's too short and too old. I am a big fan of Bryant McFadden and I thought he should have been starting in place of Townsend since 2006. I think he and Ike should start with Deshea as the nickel and Gay as the dime back.

Rhee Rhee
05-25-2008, 05:18 AM
I would hate to think Anthony Madison and Willy Gay are gonna be our 2 and 3 corners soon.

i have no qualms about william gay being out starting CB... although i understand what your trying to say.

i always thought the main problem with mcfadden was his lack of tackling ability...

maybe we could morph deseha's wrap-up skills with mcfadden's ball skills... :thumbsup:

Galax Steeler
05-25-2008, 06:40 AM
i have no qualms about william gay being out starting CB... although i understand what your trying to say.

i always thought the main problem with mcfadden was his lack of tackling ability...

maybe we could morph deseha's wrap-up skills with mcfadden's ball skills... :thumbsup:

I really like gays playing skills I have no problems with him either.

Elvis
05-25-2008, 07:07 AM
We need to do something about our corners. Deshea is gettin up there and Ike is on or off. Bryant is a FA and his agent is Drew Rosenhaus. So he will want big bucks. I would hate to think Anthony Madison and Willy Gay are gonna be our 2 and 3 corners soon.
I look forward to seeing Willilam Gay get more playing time myself. The guy is always around the ball when he is in there playing and he may be a better pro than Bryant. I hope the steelers get what they need with these 2 being our starters for the next 10 years..
:tt02:

Edman
05-25-2008, 07:44 AM
Ike Taylor has been our most consistent corners besides Deshea. He is not "lousy".

millwalldavey
05-25-2008, 09:07 AM
Ike Taylor has been our most consistent corners besides Deshea. He is not "lousy".

In hindsight, I think I should replace "lousy" with "overrated". His flashes of brilliance are evened out by his gaffes over his time here. I think he was merely adequate last year, the year previous he was terrible.

I feel that the Steelers needs at Corner are possibly greater and more neccessary than those on the OL.

I really do not think he is worth the $$$ he makes.

GBMelBlount
05-25-2008, 09:32 AM
I'm looking at it like hopefully '06 was an "off" year for Taylor. Primarily mental mistakes & stone hands of course. He played well in 2007 imo and I've read some analysis of his play last year that indicates to me his time on the bench & the renewed faith Tomlin has put in him has paid off. I think he has the physical ability to be a true "shutdown" corner if he can continue to cut down on the mental mistakes.

lilyoder6
05-25-2008, 09:35 AM
i think he is worth the money.. we can legitalyy match him up 1 on 1 w/ the best wr and be fine w/ it all day... deshea will be a good nickel db to finish out his career.. he can also help gay out some more to get him into more playing time

LayinWoodley56
05-25-2008, 11:03 AM
I don't know I think B-mac has shown flashes but he's going to have to be consistent to take Deshea's spot... because that's one thing Deshea is, is consistent.

It worries me if B-mac does have a good year and breaks the starting line-up. I just have a feeling he's not one of those guys that will settle for a smaller but fair contract.

The Duke
05-25-2008, 01:15 PM
I feel that the Steelers needs at Corner are possibly greater and more neccessary than those on the OL.



really???

do you remember having the likes of chad scott in the secondary? the steelers have had some awful corners( some good like woodson though), and comparing those to the current ones this guys are like superstars, lol

yeah, Ike drops way too many ints, but he's constantly shutting out great receivers, especially those in the AFC North. that's why I'm happy we have him. and townsend is the definition of consistency at corner

as for B Mac I hope he improves and takes over Deshea, but he will have to be better than deshsea because all he gives us is consistency, if bryant brings consisitency and playmaking we'' have an awesome secondary.

I read one of the reason he didn't overtake deshea last year is his run support. is he bad? is he not as good as townsend?( he's been great at stopping the run) whatever it is he better improve. and change your agent, lol

paw-n-maul-u
05-25-2008, 01:46 PM
In hindsight, I think I should replace "lousy" with "overrated". His flashes of brilliance are evened out by his gaffes over his time here. I think he was merely adequate last year, the year previous he was terrible.

I feel that the Steelers needs at Corner are possibly greater and more neccessary than those on the OL.

I really do not think he is worth the $$$ he makes.

Ike definitely is not overrated or lousy. I'm pretty sure the steelers had the #1 rated pass defense until Ryan Clark wen out. And even then I think we we're #1 in that category until the patriots game.

Either way-Ike is our best corner, on what was at one point last year, the best pass defense, and still finished THIRD overall for pass defense ... I wish half our players were as lousy as Ike. And I especially wish our entire offensive line was as "lousy" as Ike.

THAT BEING SAID. We have a lot of bodies at offensive line. Take for instance ... If marvel smith went down again, we got a couple decent backups with starting experience ... we have a pair of possible starting centers. And a whole slew of interior lineman ... from Kemo, simmons, mahan, and even colon could all play guard and all have starting experience somewhere on the line.

On the other hand ... We don't have much depth at the position, although, I like Gay, and B-mac has shown some flashes (an injury would probably be felt a lot more than on the offensive line)

But look at the cowboys ... They are in a division that has three teams that love to air it out, Giants got weapons, Washington just stocked up on what was THREE possible first round WR's ... and Philly passes almost every play it seems.

That's why the cowboys have Newman, Henry, traded for pac-man, and STILL drafted a first round corner. I don't think Mike T has found his "corner" yet, or the guy he'd hitch his bandwaggon with. You would think a secondary coach would want to draft his own top notch corner and mold him his way.

Cleveland's got weapons ... Cincy has weapons, and baltimore is dearly trying to turn it around. You can never have too many good corners

The Duke
05-25-2008, 02:05 PM
. I don't think Mike T has found his "corner" yet, or the guy he'd hitch his bandwaggon with. You would think a secondary coach would want to draft his own top notch corner and mold him his way.



who knows, maybe william gay is that guy....

nice post paw-n-maul-u

Steeldude
05-25-2008, 02:43 PM
IMO, i place gay above mcfadden. pretty much all i have seen from mcfadden are PI penalties, blown assignments and lame taunting excercises.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-26-2008, 12:03 AM
McFadden is a better cover corner than Gay, but Gay a smarter player that has better technique. I hope McFadden has a breakout year, but you would think he would have won a starting job by now.

I guess we all forget he was something like the 11th corner taken in his draft year. Man....I was hoping for Courtney Roby or Kirk Morrison at that point.

Galax Steeler
05-26-2008, 03:35 PM
IMO, i place gay above mcfadden. pretty much all i have seen from mcfadden are PI penalties, blown assignments and lame taunting excercises.

I really like gay I would say he is going to be one of our future corners.

lilyoder6
05-26-2008, 03:54 PM
that would be nice to see gay to be a starter 4 the future.. he'll become a good player 4 us

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-26-2008, 04:54 PM
that would be nice to see gay to be a starter 4 the future.. he'll become a good player 4 us

Yeah, they compared him to a young DeShea Townsend when he was drafted. It would be nice if he became the nickel guy and eventually was able to start.

Townsend and Jason Simmons were drafted the same year and actually a couple young guys that contributed in the secondary for a few seasons. Be nice to see that again from some later round picks.

Vico12
05-27-2008, 12:38 PM
At the end of next season, McFadden will be a restricted or unrestricted free agent?

DACEB
05-27-2008, 01:04 PM
At the end of next season, McFadden will be a restricted or unrestricted free agent?

A RFA is a player with 3 or less yrs in the league, a URFA is a player with 4 or more yrs in the league. McFadden would be unrestricted.

I'm going off the top of my head, so correct me if I'm wrong.

lilyoder6
05-27-2008, 03:31 PM
rfa is either 3-4 yrs.. it's around than evryone else is unrestricted

Dino 6 Rings
05-27-2008, 04:15 PM
I've been a huge McFadden fan since he broke up the passes thrown by Manning in the Playoff Game after Bettis fumbled forcing Vanderchoke to line up for a long field goal.

+NuBbS+
06-22-2008, 12:08 PM
look at it this way...mcfadden is gonna start on one side. ike taylor on the other.
townsend at nickel...if im correct, william gay may make a run too due to his hard hitting and natural db abilities.