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View Full Version : Rookie CBs ready when Steelers need them


ricardisimo
09-30-2011, 03:24 AM
I find it interesting that Cortez Allen - not Curtis Brown - came in for both Ike and Keenan.

The Steelers' starting defensive unit has received plenty of attention this season, in part, because it's the oldest in the NFL.
But it pitched a shutout against Seattle. And it forced a momentum-changing turnover in a 23-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Oft-scrutinized cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden are reasons the Steelers lead the NFL in pass defense, yielding 164 yards per game, even with McFadden missing the past two games with a hamstring injury.
McFadden's injury is one reason defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau takes a long look at the team's rookie cornerbacks — third-round pick Curtis Brown and fourth-round selection Cortez Allen.
"They haven't been tested under fire, but they are making progress," LeBeau said Thursday. "Right now they're making plays on special teams, and that's a great indicator they have good motors and they have skills to find the ball in the open field — all assets for good defensive backs."
LeBeau, though, would rather his rookie cornerbacks watch and learn when the Steelers face All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans at Reliant Field this Sunday.
So far, Brown leads the Steelers with three solo tackles on special teams. Also, he's made several key blocks to help spring punt returner Antonio Brown.
"Cortez is laid back and very mature," said safety Ryan Clark. "Curtis is 100 miles per minute and super quick. They are going to complement each other well.
"The fact that they understand their roles (on special teams) says a lot about their maturity. "They're top draft picks, and they want to play, but they understand that's their job right now."
Allen and Brown aren't expected to get significant playing time in the secondary this season, partly because pre-camp workouts were limited by the NFL lockout. Yet, they are soaking in as much knowledge as possible from the Steelers' veteran cornerbacks.
"Since we didn't have OTAs, we didn't have the opportunity to learn the system or get the reps we needed in camp," Brown said. "So we were forced to learn a lot in such a small time frame. What we can do is run and hit, especially on special teams."
Allen had to step in against the Colts when a stunned Taylor wobbled toward the sideline after banging his head on the field. Although Allen and Brown are playing mostly special teams, LeBeau is confident in their pass-coverage abilities if they are pressed into duty against the Texans.
"You never know how things will pan out," said the 6-foot-1 Allen from the Citadel. "We prepare as if we're going to get in or start. It's the kind of approach I always take."
Allen had to square up against Indianapolis Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne with Taylor on the bench. Then he stepped in at nickel back when Keenan Lewis limped off the field with cramps.
"I prepare myself knowing there's a possibility someone could go down," Allen said. "Sometimes you worry about your nerves, but I felt extremely confident out there."
Perhaps no one is as confident as Brown. The former Texas cornerback may have more difficulty harnessing his emotions than defending the Texans' receivers.
Brown's enthusiasm drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Seattle. Coach Mike Tomlin reprimanded him, but it did little to slow him down.
"Sometimes, the dog gets out," Brown said. "I just have to keep it clean between the whistles. I can't afford to lose my head. But I'm going back out there being feisty. Coach just tried to keep my head on straight."

Read more: Rookie CBs ready when Steelers need them - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_759474.html#ixzz1ZQEU1Oj0) http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_759474.html#ixzz1ZQEU1Oj0

smheart78
09-30-2011, 07:58 AM
I can only hope that these two progress and make it as starters on this team, they seam to be earning it. Good Stuff

Brett Cottrell
09-30-2011, 08:40 AM
Here's to hoping...

Wallabeast17
09-30-2011, 10:11 AM
Interesting it says when Ike was out for a few plays, he played the #1 corner against Reggie Wayne....Hmm that says a lot of this kid they must see something in him which is why im glad we drafted him, i seemed to be really pushing for him during the draft

tmacsteelerfan
09-30-2011, 10:58 AM
Oh, how I hope this pans out. I see a lot coming from Cortez being a forth round pick out of the Citadel. We all know how the Steelers along with the Packers and Patriots know how to draft for the future, and I see a lot of hope in these two.

cloppbeast
09-30-2011, 12:27 PM
what happened to Butler? I thought he had promise....

Fire Arians
09-30-2011, 12:33 PM
if even one of them can become a solid starter, i think it with strengthen the secondary a lot. we are just one good cover corner opposite of ike from being a dominating secondary

DanRooney
09-30-2011, 01:50 PM
Playing rookies? Get the **** outta here... :chuckle:

SteelKid212
09-30-2011, 03:43 PM
i look for great things from these two kids for years to come :drink:

ricardisimo
09-30-2011, 04:26 PM
what happened to Butler? I thought he had promise....
The article makes it sound like he pulled a Keenan Lewis and worked his way into Tomlin's doghouse. At some point Tomlin might want to consider cutting these guys a little more slack. Lewis might be a starter by now.
if even one of them can become a solid starter, i think it with strengthen the secondary a lot. we are just one good cover corner opposite of ike from being a dominating secondary
I think both of them will be competent. It's just surprising when the later-round picks develop faster, just like what happened with Woodley and Timmons.

Fire Arians
09-30-2011, 04:39 PM
The article makes it sound like he pulled a Keenan Lewis and worked his way into Tomlin's doghouse. At some point Tomlin might want to consider cutting these guys a little more slack. Lewis might be a starter by now.

I think both of them will be competent. It's just surprising when the later-round picks develop faster, just like what happened with Woodley and Timmons.

honestly i think brown will be the better of the two, but cortez is ahead of him on the depth chart because of maturity. brown already got flagged for not being able to keep his emotions in check, a good way to get into tomlin's doghouse

ETL
10-01-2011, 02:49 PM
agree with all. i am hoping that Allen and Brown become fixtures in our defense for a long time. that will allow us to focus on OL for upcoming drafts

Steelerfreak58
10-01-2011, 02:58 PM
Let it be true! That D needs to get a lot younger and faster in spots.

LVSteelersfan
10-01-2011, 10:03 PM
Yet William Gay continues to get the start in McFadden's absence. I think it is a crime that Pouncey is the only 1st rounder to be a starter his first year while we have such handicaps with players like McFadden and Gay who are mediocre at best. Put them out there under fire and see if they can hold up. I don't see how they could be that much worse than Gay.

ETL
10-01-2011, 11:49 PM
Yet William Gay continues to get the start in McFadden's absence. I think it is a crime that Pouncey is the only 1st rounder to be a starter his first year while we have such handicaps with players like McFadden and Gay who are mediocre at best. Put them out there under fire and see if they can hold up. I don't see how they could be that much worse than Gay.

I know it would be quite dreamy that every draft pick automatically attained all the knowledge and instinct that is accumulated with experience. You know, the double moves that pros WRs do, the things that the Ravens like to do, the things that the Bengals and Browns like to do and other things like playing run supports and defending against reverses and knowing how to play zone in LeBeau's system.

Dude, unless you are Harry Potter and use the "Ridiculous" spell - there is no way a rookie that did not have OTAs will get everything that is needed to start at CB. You claim that you don't see how "they could be that much worse than Gay." Well so far, Gay has not given up a long TD or any TD for that matter. If you start an inexperienced rookie, I assure you that you will quickly see "how much worse" it could be.

I appreciate your frustation and agree with you that we need to get our rookie CBs the experience needed to contribute and contribute quickly - however, I think the Steelers coaches are doing that well by giving these guys measured doses of playing time and not throwing them out there to start.

tony hipchest
10-02-2011, 01:29 AM
i dont know why people scoff at the idea of NOT starting rookies in their defense (especially mid rounders).

so far it has worked out great for philly and clay matthews little brother ( for those who dont know, or cant smell the sarcasm- mini clay started at mlb, was shifted to the weakside, and finds his ass sitting on the bench in week 4).

i love it when it takes a failed experiment to learn what the steelers already know.

ricardisimo
10-02-2011, 02:26 AM
Yet William Gay continues to get the start in McFadden's absence. I think it is a crime that Pouncey is the only 1st rounder to be a starter his first year while we have such handicaps with players like McFadden and Gay who are mediocre at best. Put them out there under fire and see if they can hold up. I don't see how they could be that much worse than Gay.
McFadden has barely played at all, but Gay has played quite well, so I don't know what the hell you're talking about. Please illuminate here how you know more about Gay's three performances than the coaches or the rest of us.