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01-24-2011, 06:52 AM
Gay makes most of start
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By: Andrew Chiappazzi
Beaver County Times
Monday January 24, 2011 12:04 AM

PITTSBURGH — William Gay looked down and saw the football lying in a patch of green space. Football 101 teaches players to fall on a loose ball to avoid risking handing the ball right back by trying to pick it up.

But that’s not what went through Gay’s mind.

“Don’t fall on it. Get it and try and do something with it,” Gay recalled. “We want to score on defense. I knew guys were running to the ball, so I knew I’d have some blockers and just try to get into the end zone.”

Gay did just that, scoring from 19 yards. The play started with Ike Taylor sacking Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez to force the fumble, and Gay heaped all the credit onto Taylor and his teammates.

“It was all him. It was all Ike,” Gay said. “The pressure on the defensive line (helped), and the coverage in the back meant (Sanchez) had to hold the ball. So, Ike did a great job not only getting the sack but knocking the ball out.”

The play was a little bit of redemption for the fourth-year corner, who earned his first true start of the season in place of the injured Bryant McFadden. Gay and McFadden had split time in 2008, leading Gay to become the full-time starter when McFadden went to Arizona in 2009. But he became a target for opposing quarterbacks and drew the ire of fans, prompting the Steelers’ to bring McFadden back to shore up the secondary.

But with his abdominal injury still acting up to an extent, McFadden moved into a third-down role, pushing Gay into the spotlight.
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“It was all on B-Mac,” Gay said. “If he wasn’t able to go, he told me he’d let me go in and he’d come in on third down.”

As for McFadden, he didn’t register anything on the stat sheet, but he wanted to ensure he’d be on the field with his fellow defensive backs.

“I know I’ll be a little sore tomorrow,” McFadden said, “I wanted to be a little more physical, but I played a little differently tonight. It’s just something I had to deal with, and I understood that. A shot wasn’t going to be able to help this injury.

It was a somewhat unexpected revival of an old recipe. Gay filled in for an injured McFadden during the Steelers’ Super Bowl run in 2008, and it was that experience that helped push Gay into the starting role. But no matter the role, the two corners said their focus is solely on taking advantage of any role they’re given.

“It’s just the type of guys we are. One thing about our secondary is we’re a very unselfish group,” McFadden said. “We have a saying, ‘One person makes a play, we all make a play,’ and that’s how we play as a group. That has a lot to do with our success.”

And if not for a heads-up play by Gay, McFadden and the rest of the Steelers’ might be reserving tee times instead of heading to Dallas.

“Getting this opportunity in six years of going to my third Super Bowl, it’s an honor.” McFadden said.

01-24-2011, 07:02 AM
Gay has been strong the last 6 games or so. Last year and early in the year this year he was a giant hole in the def.
Playing great and always swarming around the play, like a little troy

01-24-2011, 07:05 AM
i have been saying all year that Gay is playing good ball. personally i would like to see him get more time to see how much more he improved from last season when he really sucked

01-24-2011, 08:16 AM
Heads up play by Ziggy Hood. He saw the faster guy coming (Gay) and let him get the ball. Then went on to block.

Congrats to Gay for the TD. He has played better this year.

Ike's play was huge.

01-24-2011, 08:27 AM
Very smart play by Gay to pick up the ball and run, instead of just falling on it. You see it so many times when defenders will just fall on the ball and not try and get some more yards. Then the offense comes out and does nothing with the turnover. And that turnover for a TD proved HUGE in this game.

01-24-2011, 09:51 AM
I've been guilty of Bashing Gay in the past. He has stepped up lately... That was a huge play yesterday!! :applaudit:

El Nino
01-24-2011, 09:54 AM
Gay has been strong the last 6 games or so. Last year and early in the year this year he was a giant hole in the def.
Playing great and always swarming around the play, like a little troy

he's been playing good all year imo. he's definitely making up for his poor play last year

01-24-2011, 10:06 AM
As Tomlin called him, "Big play Willie Gay!"