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Old 02-10-2014, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Cortez wants what Ike had

Cortez wants what Ike had
By Mike Prisuta

Cortez Allen would like the challenge of covering the opponent's best receiver each week of a season

As cornerback Ike Taylor’s role changed during his 11th season with the Steelers, third-year cornerback Cortez Allen contemplated how his responsibilities might someday likewise be altered.

The Steelers got away from specifically assigning Taylor to the opposition’s best receiver as the 2013 season progressed, and as that was happening Allen looked forward to someday assuming that role if called upon.

“Of course,” he confirmed. “I’ve always liked to challenge myself. I’ve always wanted that challenge just to see how I match up. And it’s always fun to go against talent like that.

“Ike’s done it before me. Hopefully, one day I’ll be in that position to be the level of player that he is. It’s a day-by-day process. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him and the guys around me.

”Wherever I am in the defense, wherever they see fit, what’s best for the team, then that’s where I’ll be. I’ve never been a guy who said, ‘I want to play on this side or that side.’ We’re both capable of playing either side. And we’re both capable of playing anybody we face.

“It’s always us. It’s never them.”

Allen learned and experienced a great deal in 2013. And he addressed where he’s been and where he’s potentially headed.

Playing cornerback at the NFL level, whether it’s boundary corner, field corner, shut-down corner or sub-package corner, is another world from The Citadel. It’s all about technique, all the time.

“Where people get into trouble is you beat yourself a lot. Whether it’s your eyes, technique; a lot of times when people fall short on plays, it’s something that can be corrected, something that can be fixed. As long as we stay consistent and focused, I think we’ll be all right.”

During the 2013 season, Allen started eight games and played in 14 around an ankle injury that sidelined him in September and relegated him to reserve status for a stretch thereafter.

He accepted whatever was thrown at him as part of “life’s changes,” and because of “my history at The Citadel, things like that.”

“That’s part of the game, part of life. Being able to keep your mind-set on what you need to get done and then if you attack those things, you’ll be all right. But you’re going to go through ups and downs, and it’s expected.”

The personal highlight for Allen was a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown on Dec. 22 at Green Bay.

Lowlights included Allen sitting at his locker on multiple occasions after games and accepting responsibility for poor tackling, most notably against Minnesota in London and vs. Miami at Heinz Field.

“I’m still trying to get better, trying to be as consistent as possible, trying to correct little things. There’s always room for improvement, but I think I’m making good strides in the right direction.

“I feel like I’ll never be satisfied as far as where I want to be. As long as I can keep tackling, keep playing close, keep running, I’ll be all right.”

Allen characterized his second interception of 2013 and the fourth of his career as “great, historic,” given its Lambeau Field backdrop.

“Two of the most historic teams in our game and my first pick-six at that field, it’s pretty special. It was a great experience.”

But there was no “Lambeau Leap” or any other punctuation after Allen had found the end zone.

“It happened so fast I didn’t think about doing anything. Plus, I’m not much of a celebration guy.”

Allen outlined his offseason agenda just before the regular season ended.

“Evaluate myself and begin the process of attacking what I need to improve. Talk to Coach (Mike) Tomlin and Coach Lake (defensive backs coach Carnell) and see what I can improve in the offseason and go from there.

“There’s so much room for me to grow.”

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Old 02-10-2014, 06:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

I want that, too.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

Good to hear that Allen is eager to rise to this challenge. Let's just hope he shows that he can consistently match up with the opposing team's best receiver week in and week out
Originally Posted by teegre View Post
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Wins are a team statistic, not a quarterback statistic.

Winning big will not earn a team two wins, nor will winning ugly give a team only half a win.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

Allen has not been the same since his injury. He is noticeably slower. Unless we get more heat from the front 7 on the opposing QBs, Cortez is going to have issues. Of course, if our front 7 can't crank it up, the whole secondary is going to look like crap.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

Allen bounced back in a tremendous way the last handful of games this past season. Holding an All Pro receiver without a catch signifies this. If he stays healthy and continues his development, he's going to be a great player in our secondary. The key for him is to stay healthy though.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had


You may want to look at the Green Bay game again. One play in particular is I think is the last kick off return Where S. Thomas makes a saving tackle. Guess who's trailing??? Either he was dogging it, or he was just being left in the dust.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

I like Allen, I think he is a solid #2 CB and can be part of this defense for a long time if he can stay healthy.

Still need somebody on the other side with some swag. Allen should take some summer courses as Swaggin U.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

Draft Justin Gilbert! Give opposing QB's SOME kind of fear to throw the ball out there. Right now, our secondary don't frighten anyone. Allen is good, but he ain't no Dog, and neither was Ike, IMO. Ike was a good "system" CB, but we need somebody to make QB's think twice before throwing it, and I think Gilbert can be that guy!
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

as long as he doesn't inherit his stone hands lol
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cortez wants what Ike had

NOT THE HANDS!!!!!!!!!!
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