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Old 05-12-2014, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

By Neal Coolong on May 11 2014

More than 150 players were drafted before the Steelers scooped up Arizona's Shaquille Richardson in the fifth round. What gives? Steelers secondary coach Carnell Lake suggests free agent additions may already have taken care of the issue.

Darqueze Dennard was there for the taking at 15. The Steelers said no.

They had Phillip Gaines on the board in the second round. Nope.

Pierre Desir was there in the third and then again in the fourth. Uh uh. Both times.

So what gives? Why tempt Terry Hawthornian fate and take another lanky corner in the fifth round? Wasn't it a position of need? BTSC's Dale Grdnic quoted Steelers secondary coach Carnell Lake saying the team had addressed the cornerback position before the draft.

"We've been fortunate in that we've picked up some players as free agents -- Antwon Blake is one -- really fast and aggressive corner that I liked coming out last year,'' Lake said. "We were fortunate to grab him in free agency, and he's been productive for us last year. (And) Brice McCain, who I've had a chance to see on the field the past couple weeks.

Whether McCain - Pro Football Focus's worst cornerback in football last season - can contribute this season will be determined through the offseason program and training camp, but there is something to be said about leaning on veteran players adapting to the system quickly as opposed to a highly drafted rookie who is starting essentially from scratch.

This exact scenario is why it's difficult to focus on drafting a position as opposed to a player. There is little doubt Ryan Shazier is a better athlete than Dennard. The fact Dennard didn't end up being taken until the 24th overall pick is at least somewhat of a reason to justify he, in fact, would have been the reach pick, not Shazier - whose agent was reportedly on the phone with the Cowboys when the Steelers took him. The Cowboys were on the clock immediately after the Steelers.

As much as we liked Phillip Gaines, we figured he would go somewhere between the second and third rounds - and he went to Kansas City with the 87th overall pick, 10 picks before the Steelers. (He also went ahead of Lindenwood's Pierre Desir... just sayin'.)

If any cornerback from this draft ends up being the comeback argument to any future Richard Sherman proclamation of singular greatness, fine. The Steelers haven't had an All-Pro level cornerback since Rod Woodson anyway.

Depth is needed, but maybe Lake is right; they already brought in the players they needed.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...14-cornerbacks
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

good article the thing is .. we draft dennard, he makes little to no impact next year.. everyone screams bust why didnt we take an lb who could play from day 1..

front office never wins no matter who they draft
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

Yeah, maybe they already brought in the players they needed......aaaaaaand maybe they didn't. Antwon Blake certainly has the speed, but he's 5'9". Brice McCain can run, but oops, look, he's 5'9" too. I can see either of these guys down in the slot on the Welker types, but they sure as shit ain't gonna take on Megatron. So, you've got an old corner whose salary you just cut from 7 mil to 2 1/2 mil (which means you told him he ain't got it anymore, and he believed you) on one side, and a corner who was shaky at times last year on the other. I guess maybe Gay is their ace in the hole? Let's us bow our heads and pray that Richardson turns out to be the steal of the draft.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

What I think it says the most about, is there belief in Antwon Blake. I think everyone kind of forgot about him as an option. We saw at the end of last season, that Ike can still be a #2, just not shadow Jordon and Megatron. So they didn't need a prospect to come in and be thrown in the fire. Shaq has a year to learn and fight Gay to start or be the Nickle in 2015. While Blake can step up as needed this season.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

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Originally Posted by SteelerJT View Post
What I think it says the most about, is there belief in Antwon Blake. I think everyone kind of forgot about him as an option. We saw at the end of last season, that Ike can still be a #2, just not shadow Jordon and Megatron. So they didn't need a prospect to come in and be thrown in the fire. Shaq has a year to learn and fight Gay to start or be the Nickle in 2015. While Blake can step up as needed this season.
Yeah, well, let's just hope Gordon's suspended for the first 6 weeks. I think that's our best bet.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

Time will tell if the Steelers old "Defense by Cushion" will be able to carry a team to a superbowl victory again with the way the league has the rules setup

IMO, I think it would be better to start hoping our Offense can start dominating
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

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IMO, I think it would be better to start hoping our Offense can start dominating
THAT is a much more likely scenario than "the corners we have on our roster are enough". I can see the offense putting up 450 points this year.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

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Originally Posted by SteelerJT View Post
What I think it says the most about, is there belief in Antwon Blake. I think everyone kind of forgot about him as an option. We saw at the end of last season, that Ike can still be a #2, just not shadow Jordon and Megatron. So they didn't need a prospect to come in and be thrown in the fire. Shaq has a year to learn and fight Gay to start or be the Nickle in 2015. While Blake can step up as needed this season.
Allen
Taylor
Gay
Richardson/Blake
Blake/Richardson
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

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Allen
Taylor
Gay
Richardson/Blake
Blake/Richardson
Shamarko thomas also has the ability to play nickel or dime corner, we are actually pretty well off at CB depth wise. No 'star power', but allen / ike as the #1 and #2 isn't the worst of scenarios to be in.

the upgrade at FS (getting rid of ryan clark) will improve our pass defense greatly
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Analyzing Steelers decision to pass on cornerback until Day 3

Guys,

I keep telling you, this draft was about shoring un the middle of the D, not corners and WRs. If we are getting pressure on the QB, unlike what we've seen since 2010. We have corners. What we don't have is an abundance of outside linebackers that are worth slightly more than a clump of farts.
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