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View Full Version : Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB


tony hipchest
11-03-2012, 03:21 PM
the word is getting out.... lewis is a pretty good cb.

In a scene that similarly has played out numerous times in the 20-odd years they've known each other, Mike Wallace sat in a folding chair in front of his locker Thursday after practice, playfully busting the chops of childhood friend and teammate Keenan Lewis -- standing just a few feet away -- for getting beat that afternoon in practice.

Lewis, in perfect coverage, had a deep ball snagged over his head by Toney Clemons, who was playing the role of stud New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks -- right in front of team owners Dan and Art Rooney II.

"I was saying he was getting better until he got soup ate off his head -- in front of the owners -- both of 'em," Wallace smiled. "He got soup ate off his head -- a guy jumped over him and caught the ball. Took the ball from him. It got real nasty. I felt bad for him."

Wallace continued.

"We go way back like an old man's hairline. I've known Keenan since we were 5 or 6 -- he's been the same guy. He's been the same snotty-nosed little guy since I met him," Wallace said, laughing about his former O. Perry Walker High School teammate who grew up 10 minutes away from him in New Orleans. "I never really liked Keenan to tell you the truth."

Lewis just shook his head at Wallace, as if he has been hearing this kind of thing forever.

But then Wallace dropped his voice to a near-whisper.

"That's my guy, man. He's getting better every day. I see the progression for him every single day when he comes to work. He's a top-notch corner. He had to wait his turn and he's doing a really good job right now."

Lewis, in his first year as a full-time starter, is a large part of why the heavily scrutinized Steelers pass defense is the top-rated unit in the NFL heading into a game Sunday against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Lewis' three pass breakups last week against the Redskins helped hold rookie phenom quarterback Robert Griffin III to his worst game as a pro. Two others against the Bengals included a dazzling deep ball swat of what would've been a near certain touchdown to receiver A.J. Green.

His career-high four breakups were among the team's few defensive highlights in a loss at Tennessee. Throw in a forced fumble against Philadelphia and consistently solid run support throughout the season for good measure.

Lewis is humbly nonchalant about his play.

"I've been doing OK. I've been doing a decent job. Some things I need to improve on, that I'm working on every day in practice," he said in his thick New Orleans drawl. "It's like anything -- once you repeat doing the same thing, and get more and more experience you should get better."

That game experience has made all the difference for Lewis, who played extensively as a nickel back a year ago and was named a starting cornerback this year.

"He's continued to grow," defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. "I thought he played well last year and anticipated him steadily improving in the next three or four years, and that's what we're seeing."

Fellow New Orleanians and secondary mate Ryan Clark agrees.

"He's an extremely hard worker," Clark said. "What Keenan is doing, challenging receivers, being physical, constantly having the correct fit in the run defense, constantly being in the right place in coverage -- he's doing what he has to do to be prepared for those situations.

"But ... you have to be in them first. What's happened for Keenan is a gradual acclimation to being a starting corner in the NFL and now he's getting a better handle on not only the physical demands of it, but the mental and emotional demands as well."

Giants receivers Nicks and salsa-dancing Victor Cruz will further test him. But Lewis said facing teammates Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders -- and Wallace -- in practice have hastened his development.

The hyper-competitive Wallace and Lewis have pushed each other since childhood, and while each admits they've made the other better -- conflicting stories emerge from a still-contested footrace between the two 2 years ago.

Neither Lewis nor Wallace will concede defeat.

Wallace's take: "He lost. He said I cheated. I still won, after he tried to knock me out of my lane. This guy has never been faster than me -- only in his dreams can he beat me. He can't even catch me there."

"He tried to get me disqualified by running in my lane," Lewis said. "He won't admit the truth."

Either way, they hope the friendly rivalry continues for years in the NFL.

"You never get this opportunity in life and we got lucky to get it," Wallace said. "We don't take it for granted. We know that it's a blessing every day. That's why we've got to continue to get better so we can stay with each other for a long time."


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/steelers-lewis-develops-into-top-notch-cb-660438/#ixzz2BBmbJVal

SteelersCanada
11-03-2012, 03:55 PM
I think Lewis and Adams have made the most progress from early in the season to this point. Lewis looked like he was confused and lost early, and Adams was a marshmallow. There was talk whether or not we should be starting Allen over him, too, and now he's made huge strides and looks like a legitimate corner in the NFL. Give him another couple of years and he could be one of the best. He just needed time to develop and the confidence to make plays - he's accomplished both this year.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-03-2012, 04:18 PM
I was pimping Lewis back in his draft year and was happy that we got him. A bit disappointed that its taken him this long to contribute, but I'm happy to see him with the confidence and play this year. Nothing to go but up.

Sadly, if he was able to pick off that ball thrown at him vs the Titans, the Steelers may be 5-2.

tony hipchest
11-03-2012, 04:33 PM
I was pimping Lewis back in his draft year and was happy that we got him. A bit disappointed that its taken him this long to contribute, but I'm happy to see him with the confidence and play this year. Nothing to go but up.

Sadly, if he was able to pick off that ball thrown at him vs the Titans, the Steelers may be 5-2.you were on it from the get go! i got to see him in his final college game vs shady mccoy and PITT in what was my first big conference collegiate game in the sun bowl. the 3-0 game on new years eve was possibly the most boring football game ever. :laughing:

his drop vs the titans reminded me of our 6th round draft pick dropping the one vs raiders in '09. we ended 9-7 and missed out on the playoffs in a 3 way tie.

i hope lewis' drop doesnt prove to be as costly, but thats certainly a glaring play you can look back on when a season ends [prematurely].

regardless, he certainly seems to be turning into the upgrade from townsend and gay, we all been waiting for the last 5-7 years.

Steelersfan87
11-03-2012, 06:17 PM
5th rounder, actually, Joe Burnett.

I'm not a college football buff and won't pretend that I creamed my pants or anything when they drafted him, but I was always a fan of Lewis and always sort of felt that he hadn't quite been given his fair chance to succeed. He struggled to get playing time on defense because he was making mistakes on special teams, meaning it was tough for him to get a helmet on game day. Then the whole Denver incident. He stepped up big time last season though and proved that he'd always had the talent. Carnell Lake really did a great job with him beyond simply giving him the opportunity. I thought that they should have moved Lewis to the starting position around midseason last year, because, as he's proving again, he's strong in run support (better than Ike and Gay) as well as in preventing yards after the catch, which he led the league in last season. I'm really glad to see him doing well as a starter now. I just hope the Steelers can keep him without jeopardizing other areas of the team next year with him being an UFA.

tony hipchest
11-03-2012, 07:04 PM
yeah... "smokin" joe burn it. showed promise but never got out of the doghouse after that play. i know the giants picked him up, but dont think he is on a roster any more.

the silver lining with lewis' dropped int vs tenn is he rebounded very nicely the next 2 weeks. that is passing a huge test. another big test lies tomorrow.

Hawaii 5-0
11-03-2012, 08:53 PM
yeah... "smokin" joe burn it. showed promise but never got out of the doghouse after that play. i know the giants picked him up, but dont think he is on a roster any more.


Edmonton Eskimos moving cornerback Joe Burnett to the 'hot corner'

BY GERRY MODDEJONGE EDMONTON SUN
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 01, 2012

http://storage.canoe.ca/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297333484015_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=650x

Edmonton's Joe Burnett, left, and Chris Thompson celebrate Burnett's touchdown during the second half of the Edmonton Eskimos game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Commonwealth Stadium on Aug. 10.

EDMONTON - A head injury to Rod Williams has left the Edmonton Eskimos switching things up in their backfield.

With the all-star cornerback on the injured list following last week’s loss to the Montreal Alouettes, CFL interception leader Joe Burnett will find himself playing the hot corner Friday.

The field cornerback will move over to Williams’s boundary side, while Pete Ittersagen will make his CFL debut in Burnett’s regular spot.

“Back in the secondary, you should be able to know each position,” said Burnett, who leads the league with six picks in his first CFL season while being the Eskimos primary kick returner. “The big adjustment is you get a little bit more action, so I’ve got to prepare myself to be ready to go.”

The top receivers in the league line up on the boundary side of the field, although Stampeders slotback Nik Lewis will not dress Friday.

“One of the guys from B.C., (cornerback Dante) Marsh came up to me and said, ‘Joe, you want to get on the boundary. That’s where the playmakers are at,’ ” said Burnett, who hadn’t met Marsh before shaking hands after their last game at Commonwealth Stadium. “That was just some advice from a veteran, to me.

“This game here is more importantly just coming out here and playing solid defence, playing our assignments and trying to get a win.”

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/11/02/edmonton-eskimos-moving-cornerback-joe-burnett-to-the-hot-corner

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-03-2012, 09:12 PM
Nice pickup on Joe Burnett in the CFL ..5-0!! Seahawks CB Brandon Browner was another guy in the CFL after being a standout at Oregon St. I think Ricardo Colclough is also playing in Canada.

steelfury02
11-03-2012, 10:05 PM
Colclough gave me a strokely!

Hawaii 5-0
11-03-2012, 10:11 PM
Colclough gave me a strokely!

and to think we traded up for him in the 2nd round...:banging:

Atlanta Dan
11-04-2012, 08:14 AM
[B]Edmonton Eskimos moving cornerback Joe Burnett to the 'hot corner'

So which team wins the Grey Cup is going to come down to who wins the showdown between Joe "Shutdown" Burnett and Limas "No Money" Sweed?

Riders sign kicker Boreham and receiver Sweed to practice roster

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/football/cfl/boreham-back-riders-sign-kicker-boreham-and-receiver-sweed-to-practice-roster-175844951.html

austinfrench76
11-04-2012, 02:28 PM
Browner should have been a Steeler! But, Lewis has been good this year! Hope he continues...

3rdandlong
11-04-2012, 04:43 PM
In the Giants' first two possessions Lewis already has 3 tips. Could this be his coming out game?

Hawaii 5-0
11-06-2012, 01:42 AM
Post-Giants thoughts

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 04, 2012

The Steelers didn't necessarily need a signature victory at this point in the season, but they got one Sunday against the Giants.

By beating the defending Super Bowl champions on the road, the Steelers announced their presence with authority to the rest of the NFL.

The Steelers are a team to be reckoned with.

And the Steelers didn't just win this game; they dominated it.

Holding that offense to 182 total yards and 13 points is the kind of effort you can hang your hat on.

If not for some questionable defensive penalties - a pass interference on Keenan Lewis and a supposed helmet-to-helmet hit call on Ryan Clark in the end zone - the Steelers would have given up less than that.

More importantly, the Giants had three possessions in the fourth quarter and went three-and-out in all three.

@ Speaking of Keenan Lewis, he played yet another outstanding game.

Everyone has been talking about who the Steelers need to re-sign this offseason as they head into free agency.

Lewis might now be at the top of that list.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

Terminator
11-06-2012, 06:59 AM
He's been doing great this year. So far, I am impressed by what I am seeing. The only issue I see with him right now is that he seems to really push the limit on pass interference.

teegre
11-06-2012, 09:14 AM
He's been doing great this year. So far, I am impressed by what I am seeing. The only issue I see with him right now is that he seems to really push the limit on pass interference.

I have no problem with that. He's testing the waters: "Is this okay?... no. How about this?... no. Well, what about this?... yes... sweet."

I have a problem with his tackling on running plays... or, lack thereof. But, if i can't have both, I'd prefer he be a good cover guy (which he is).

lotas
11-06-2012, 09:49 AM
He may be the best corner we've seen in quite a while. Ike Taylor is pretty consistent, but by no means is he the all-star corner that jumps up and bats away balls at the last minute. At least not without pulling a PI penalty

We've already seen that from Lewis many times, and he's still developing.

That play on Sunday where he was going to blitz, recognized he wasn't going to get there, and jumped up and deflected the pass? That was a great mental play, and he saved a 1st down.

steeltheone
11-06-2012, 10:10 AM
He may be the best corner we've seen in quite a while. Ike Taylor is pretty consistent, but by no means is he the all-star corner that jumps up and bats away balls at the last minute. At least not without pulling a PI penalty

We've already seen that from Lewis many times, and he's still developing.

That play on Sunday where he was going to blitz, recognized he wasn't going to get there, and jumped up and deflected the pass? That was a great mental play, and he saved a 1st down.

Ike Taylor has played the position very, very well for years. He has covered and shut down MANY number 1 wideouts from the other team, FOR YEARS!

Lewis ( 4th season) is doing good and i really hope it continues...a much needed big surprise this year! Lets just hold off on anointing him yet!

EbonySteel86
11-06-2012, 10:16 AM
Lewis&Clark have been the biggest playmakers on this defence so far. Very impressed with Lewis play right now....VERY impressed!

steelfury02
11-06-2012, 10:19 AM
you know what other Lewis and Clark were big time players?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Lewis_and_Clark.jpg

PhantomJB93
11-06-2012, 11:28 AM
you know what other Lewis and Clark were big time players?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Lewis_and_Clark.jpg

Lol that's exactly what I thought when I read that post

MasterOfPuppets
11-06-2012, 11:53 AM
Colclough gave me a strokely!
uh.....TMI dude ...:toofunny:

MasterOfPuppets
11-06-2012, 11:57 AM
you know what other Lewis and Clark were big time players?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Lewis_and_Clark.jpg
wonder which one was "SACIN UP" ...one of em was that baby daddy...:toofunny:
http://www.kshs.org/exhibits/blc/graphics/sacagawea.jpg

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-06-2012, 12:06 PM
Lewis ( 4th season) is doing good and i really hope it continues...a much needed big surprise this year! Lets just hold off on anointing him yet!

I will not anoint anybody yet. Especially a CB in the NFL. Look at DRC, Namdi and Meangelo Hall and how they have fallen.

I'll say that Keenan Lewis was a solid man to man CB at Oregon St and played opposite Brandon Hughes. Many thought Hughes was the better college CB, but I always thought Lewis had better size and physicality for the NFL. Good to see it coming thru.

austinfrench76
11-06-2012, 02:42 PM
Lewis has been very good so far. It actually looks like it's puting more pressure ion Ike as teams are going away from Lewis instead of Ike. I hope that Ike and Taylor keep improving and that Lewis doesn't get the "I'm an ALL PRO attitude". It's nice to have a couple of good CB's and good Nickel and Dime CB's as well. It has been a while!

Steelersfan87
11-06-2012, 03:02 PM
I have a problem with his tackling on running plays... or, lack thereof. But, if i can't have both, I'd prefer he be a good cover guy (which he is).

I disagree. He's in fact been strong against the run. If I recall correctly, he had two tackles for loss on running plays against he Bengals, for example. He's a better tackler than Taylor is.

steelfury02
11-06-2012, 03:18 PM
the Colclough comment was actually a Myron Cope quote - but it is some disturbing imagery

Thomas Jefferson was the real frontiersman - boldly going where no colonist had gone before :flap:

http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs5/i/2004/307/e/f/Thoma_Jefferson__Pimp_Daddy_by_Shiba_Aku.jpg

Fire Arians
11-06-2012, 03:20 PM
lewis has been solid all seasson. if he would hold on to the ball he'd be a realistic candidate for pro bowl (and we'd be 7-2).

he seems to have the same problems ike had early in his career. good at batting balls away but not much of a ball hawk

teegre
11-06-2012, 04:19 PM
I disagree. He's in fact been strong against the run. If I recall correctly, he had two tackles for loss on running plays against he Bengals, for example. He's a better tackler than Taylor is.

I remember those plays... but, alas, I have also seen quite a few others.

I remember against the Raidahs, watching him whiff on the Run-DMC scamper (although, so did the rest of the team).

On a 4th down play against PHILY, I saw him stand there, while McCoy was wobbling and had no where to go... and Lewis merely reached his arms out, to try & stop McCoy... as opposed to drilling his shoulder into McCoy's mid-section.
Result: first down.

Et cetera.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-06-2012, 05:06 PM
I disagree. He's in fact been strong against the run. If I recall correctly, he had two tackles for loss on running plays against he Bengals, for example. He's a better tackler than Taylor is.

I don't think he is a better tackler than Taylor, but he is a physical corner that does well in run support.

There was one reception by Nicks I think that was a simple 10 yard hook and Lewis hesitated and Nicks turned and went around him. Taylor normally closes on WR's and tackles them before they can make a move.

Lewis is learning and getting comfortable.

Riddle_Of_Steel
11-06-2012, 05:37 PM
Lewis is still learning the starting role, but seems to be catching on quickly. he has started to look like a bonefied playmaker the last two weeks. Timmons is right on the cusp too.

dreegking
11-07-2012, 03:11 PM
I love his length and he is truly getting more confident and capable. Tackles much better than I anticipated. I see his trajectory very, very similar to Ike T.

Hawaii 5-0
11-07-2012, 03:20 PM
I love his length

you do, huh? :chuckle:

Steelersfan87
11-07-2012, 03:54 PM
If you like his length, you should take a gander at Cortez Allen's length.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-07-2012, 04:02 PM
this thread needs to get shut down before you guys get caught in the shower dropping soap.:panic: