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Old 05-30-2007, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Deshea Townsend is the Steelers' starting right cornerback until further notice.

If 2007 is going to be season that Bryant McFadden finally replaces Townsend in the lineup, McFadden's going to have to prove he's equally stout against the pass and run. McFadden also needs to influence his coaches, who consider Townsend to be another coach on the field.

McFadden is a second-round draft pick entering his third season, which means he should be right on schedule to become a starter. Teams don't draft players in the second round to stand on the sideline.

"Since Day 1, that was my first initiative -- to improve and show everybody that I'm capable of being that guy, being that starter," McFadden said.

McFadden played in all 16 games last season, making nine starts. He filled in for an injured Townsend and also climbed the depth chart when former coach Bill Cowher played musical chairs in the secondary and didn't start left cornerback Ike Taylor for five games.
McFadden, known as B-Mac to teammates and coaches, led the Steelers with three interceptions and had 12 passes defended last season.

He left enough of an impression that defensive backs coach Ray Horton promised an open competition during training camp.

But McFadden seems solidly behind Townsend on the depth chart, with Ricardo Colclough, a second-round draft pick in 2004, also in the mix at right cornerback.

"Nothing's etched in stone. Every year, I approach it like I'm a new guy trying to win a job," said Townsend, who's been a full-time starter since the middle of the 2003 season.

Horton appreciates McFadden because of his youth and upside. He's six years younger than Townsend, and his body has endured less wear and tear. Plus, he's shown that he's a capable player.

"B-Mac's done a fantastic job since his rookie year," Horton said. "He's an up-and-coming player who's big and strong and fast."

Conversely, Horton speaks of Townsend with respect.

The Steelers like that there are no surprises with Townsend, who had two interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles and 13 passes defended last season.

"He understands how to play. He knows every position," Horton said of Townsend, who turns 32 the day before the Steelers' opener at Cleveland. "Teams say they're going to attack this guy, but at the end of the day, he's going to win more than he loses."

During voluntary workouts at the team's South Side facility, Townsend's experience apparently has left a bigger impression with coaches than McFadden's potential.

However, that doesn't mean McFadden can't or won't change those impressions if he continues to follow the learning curve from his rookie season.

"B-Mac's been coming off the bench, but he has the talent of a starter," agent Roosevelt Barnes said of his client. "It's just a matter of them putting him in the starting lineup. When he plays, he makes plays."

When McFadden doesn't play, it's usually because of Townsend, who's still standing as the Steelers' starting right cornerback.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_510246.html
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

i thought he was pretty much a lock to start this year.. its ike i'm worried about. mcfadden, smith, and parker were the only positives that came out of that season.
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Old 05-31-2007, 01:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

i think this is just a tool to keep mcfadden motivated, the coaching staff would have to be complete morons to start deshea over him
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Old 05-31-2007, 04:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

I think McFadden will wind up being in the starting lineup.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

I remember the Patriots were sniffing around Townsend about this time last year before the Steelers re-signed him.

Saying that, some of our 'scrap heap' projects haven't worked out great in the DB corps in recent years.
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

Considering the best CB in New England not named Asante over the last few years was a wide receiver, townsend would have been an immediate improvement. :)

I've been waiting for McFadden from the start. Townsend is smart, but the average wideout today can burn him easily. He's okay covering a team's #2 or #3, but if he has to line up over a #1 he's toast. B-Mac has all the tools and he's a great hitter, too. He's a great compliment to Ike. Townsend would make an excellent nickel back because they generally cover more of the underneath stuff and clog up the middle of the field.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

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Considering the best CB in New England not named Asante over the last few years was a wide receiver, townsend would have been an immediate improvement. :)
Not to get too far off-topic but New England conceded an NFL low 10 passing TD's last year and came 4th in INT's (24).
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 05-31-2007, 09:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

Hey, you've taken us out of the postseason more than once since 2000. I gotta take my shots whenever I can :)
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

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Hey, you've taken us out of the postseason more than once since 2000. I gotta take my shots whenever I can :)
Fair enough
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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' McFadden waiting in the wings

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Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
I remember the Patriots were sniffing around Townsend about this time last year before the Steelers re-signed him.

Saying that, some of our 'scrap heap' projects haven't worked out great in the DB corps in recent years.
I don't want to be a name dropper but it is LITP and the patsies, so how did Chad Scott turn out for you guys?
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