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11-14-2011, 06:01 AM
News & Notes: Gay happy with bounce-back performance
By Mike Bires mbirestimesonline.com | Posted: Sunday, November 13, 2011 9:01 pm

CINCINNATI -- William Gay was in no mood to brag about his game-saving play.

"If you watch the film, we just all-around played some good football," he said. "We played some good defense, bottom line. We played Dick LeBeau defense."

Gay, who's had his shares of ups and downs during his five seasons as a Steelers cornerback, sealed Sunday's 24-17 win in Cincinnati with a late fourth-quarter interception.

On second-and-9 from the Steelers' 25, Gay stepped in front of an Andy Dalton pass intended for wide receiver Jerome Simpson. Gay made the catch at the 19 and returned it 12 yards. The Steelers then ran out the clock.

Last week in a 23-20 loss to the Ravens, Gay was beaten by rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith on a 26-yard game-winning TD pass with just eight seconds left to play. On that play, free safety Ryan Clark admitted that he should have helped Gay but Gay took full responsibility.

"You've got to put it behind you," Gay said. "We lost last week. We won this week. Now it's time to move on from this game. We have to move into the bye week and get some rest and the comeback and watch some film of Kansas City."

"That's football," coach Mike Tomlin said of Gay's bounce back this week. "Hopefully, it's not as big a swing as you (in the media) let on. He is a professional corner and that comes with the territory."


Hines Ward caught a pass for 10 yards in the first quarter but that was the only ball thrown to him. In fact, Ward hardly played after the Steelers' second possession.

Was Ward still showing the concussive effects of a hit he took last week in Baltimore?

"No, I think he was ready to go," Tomlin said. "We were just looking at some personnel groups and looking at ways we wanted to attack those people. We'll do that from week to week.

"It may not be any indication of his participation moving forward. It's just an indication of his participation today."

Ward did not start the game. Instead, it was Antonio Brown who got to start at wide receiver with Mike Wallace, while Jericho Cotchery was used in most three-receiver sets.

Ward, the Steelers' all-time leading receiver and holder of 15 franchise receiving records, missed the Oct. 30 game against New England with a sprained ankle.


Veteran tight end Heath Miller may have had worse games since the Steelers took him in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. But after his experience Sunday, he couldn't think of any that compared to his performance Sunday.

On the bright side, Miller set up the Steelers' second touchdown by making an 18-yard catch on a third-and-10 play from the Bengals' 20-yard line. However, on that play, he was drilled by free safety Reggie Nelson.

The officials didn't flag Nelson for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty but the NFL may fine Nelson for hitting a defenseless receiver.

"Fortunately, I was able to hang on to the ball and keep the drive going," Miller said.

However, Miller had more problems later including a bobbled pass that led to an interception and an offensive pass interference penalty.