View Full Version : Gay wants to earn towel, starting job

05-28-2009, 12:40 AM
Gay wants to earn towel, starting job

Posted May 27, 2009 4 :46 PM

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... epressbox/ (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/viewfromthepressbox/)

A black, rectangular hand towel has been a part of William Gay's ensemble during Steelers offseason workouts. It says "Big play #22," and it was given to the third-year cornerback by veteran safety Ryan Clark -- with the understanding that it can be repossessed at any time.

"I'll wear it just as a reminder that I have to go out there and make plays," Gay said, "because if I don't they're going to take the towel away from me."

Gay has the inside track to the starting job that opened up when Bryant McFadden signed with the Arizona Cardinals in March. What the Steelers have to like about Gay, who showed plenty of promise in 2008 while starting when McFadden was injured, is the approach he is taking to the upcoming season.

The reason: it really isn't any different than the one he took as a rookie when he was simply trying to make the Steelers as a late-round draft pick out of Louisville.

"I'm taking the approach of going out and working hard like I'm a nobody," said Gay, a fifth-round pick in 2007, "and just go out there and take it because I don't want (the starting job) given to me."

McFadden told Gay after he signed with the Cardinals, "There's your opportunity. Take full advantage of it."

Gay plans to do just that, and he will train with starting cornerback Ike Taylor among others in Orlando after the Steelers put a wrap on offseason practices in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, he'd rather not answer to "Big Play Willie Gay," one of several nicknames with which he has been tagged. The moniker was given to Gay by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson while the two were teammates at Louisville.

And Gay's point is that he got the name for what he did in college, not the NFL.

"I don't like to be called that just to be called that," Gay said. "They can call me that after I make a big play."

05-28-2009, 03:23 PM
Go Gay!