View Full Version : Bires: 'Big Play' never quite fit Gay

12-08-2009, 06:19 AM
Bires: 'Big Play' never quite fit Gay
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Tuesday December 8, 2009 12:13 AM

It appears that an injury will do what Mike Tomlin should have done weeks ago: Get William Gay out of the starting lineup.

Easily the weakest link in a struggling Steelers defense, Gay became a starter after cornerback Bryant McFadden bolted to Arizona via free agency. But Gay’s days as a starter may soon be numbered.

After suffering a concussion late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s stunning loss to Oakland, Gay probably won’t play Thursday in Cleveland.

Instead, Joe Burnett will likely start. And if the rookie holds his own, he may keep the starting job for the rest of the season.

Though his nickname might be “Big Play, but neither Gay nor any other of the Steelers’ cornerbacks have made many big plays. In one of the great mysteries in the NFL this season, none of the Steelers corners have yet to intercept a pass.

What Gay is proficient at is making tackles. He leads the team with 78 solos. But it is not usually a good thing when a cornerback has that many tackles.

In Gay’s case, it’s because he’s tackling so many wide receivers who have beaten him to the ball on pass plays.

In recent weeks, it’s been obvious that teams are picking on the third-year pro. Even though Ike Taylor played poorly against the Raiders, he’s still a solid cover corner. So it only makes sense that teams would throw more in Gay’s direction.

Hopefully, Gay will recover fast from his concussion.

But time will tell if he gets back his starting job.

l Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher used to stay it over and over: “There’s a fine line in this league between winning and losing.”

Proof of that premise is the 2009 Steelers.

In five of their six losses, the Steelers have lost by three points.

Two of those losses were in overtime.

12-08-2009, 07:36 PM
Let's see how Joe Burnett can do starting. it's getting old the past few weeks seeing William and Ike continue to get burnt so often.