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Old 11-03-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

the word is getting out.... lewis is a pretty good cb.

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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/...#ixzz2BBmbJVal
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

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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.

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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

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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



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/2012/11/0...the-hot-corner
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

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.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Lewis develops into top-notch CB

Colclough gave me a strokely!
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:11 PM   #10
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Colclough gave me a strokely!
and to think we traded up for him in the 2nd round...
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