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fordfixer
01-27-2010, 04:19 AM
Steelers' Townsend 'can still be a starter'
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10027/1031274-66.stm

In a season in which the secondary had problems preventing big plays and making even the simplest ones, the Steelers had to turn to one of their most reliable players to help ease the chaos.

After watching cornerback William Gay struggle and eventually lose confidence in his first full season as a starter, Deshea Townsend was thrust back into a role he hadn't performed in nearly two seasons -- starting opposite Ike Taylor.

Townsend, a 12-year veteran who had spent most of the past two seasons as a nickel back, started the final two games at left cornerback for Gay, primarily because opposing teams were picking on Gay with more than modest success. But even that switch didn't produce instant results or prevent more coverage breakdowns.

Townsend gave up a 30-yard touchdown to Ravens tight end Todd Heap in a Week 15 victory against Baltimore and got caught out of position on pass plays of 22 and 34 yards the following week in Miami, the latter for a touchdown.

But, he did come up with the first interception by a Steelers cornerback this season, even if it did take him 16 games to do so. And, in his opinion, he convinced the coaches he can still be a starter in the National Football league.

"I think I showed them I can still be a starter," he said.

The Steelers are not counting on Townsend, who will be 35 in September, being a starter next season. Nor are they sure he will even be around. But he has played a valuable role as a nickel back who lines up in the slot in passing situations and also lines up at safety in some of their specialty packages.

Still, Townsend is an unrestricted free agent, and the Steelers are preparing to move on if he chooses to sign with another team. When they drafted cornerback Joe Burnett in the fifth round last year, they proclaimed him a defensive playmaker who could be a valuable nickel back.

But the Steelers believe Townsend wants to return, and they will take him at a reduced rate, though there will be no urgency to re-sign him.

Depth is not an issue at cornerback -- at least not right now. The Steelers used two picks in last year's draft to help shore up the position when they took Keenan Lewis with one of their three third-rounds picks and Burnett with one of their two fifth-round picks.

But making plays is most certainly an issue, especially after the Steelers went 15 games without an interception by a cornerback this season. Curiously, it was Townsend who ended the drought with a second-quarter interception in the season finale in Miami. Taylor, who dropped what would have been a big interception in the loss in Kansas City, added another against the Dolphins.

Don't be surprised if those shortcomings prompt the Steelers to seek a cornerback in the early rounds of the draft.



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10027/10 ... z0dnbN6oYj (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10027/1031274-66.stm#ixzz0dnbN6oYj)

Oviedo
01-27-2010, 09:37 AM
Deshea is Deluding himself if he still thinks he is a quality starting CB.

MeetJoeGreene
01-27-2010, 11:13 AM
Deshea is Deluding himself if he still thinks he is a quality starting CB.

I Definitely agree with your Deduction

RuthlessBurgher
01-27-2010, 11:19 AM
We are Desperate for a Decent Defensive Back.

Oviedo
01-27-2010, 11:25 AM
We are Desperate for a Decent Defensive Back.

We need the Defensive Coord to Develop the Defensive Backs we drafted last year versus thinking a drafted rookie will Devinely step in a solve problems in his overly complex Defensive scheme which clearly Defies learning and therefore stifles the Development of young Defensive players.

We are seeing the results of an overly complicated scheme on our Defense

Jooser
01-27-2010, 11:34 AM
Re-signing Townsend won't be priority for Steelers

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on January 27, 2010 9:19 AM ET

Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend says he showed his coaches he "can still be a starter."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that the team remains unconvinced. Townsend replaced William Gay in the starting lineup late in the season, but the team doesn't want him back in that role again.

Townsend will turn 35 in September and the Steelers are prepared for him to leave in free agency. They will be in no rush to re-sign Townsend and it sounds like he'll compete for a nickel back role if he returns.

Pittsburgh's secondary had problems in 2009, but they have plenty of young bodies after drafting Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett last April. Now the Steelers just need those two, and veterans like Gay and Ike Taylor, to step their game up.

I doubt he's even on the roster next year.

flippy
01-27-2010, 11:47 AM
if he can cover slow 50 year old WRs that are shorter than 6 foot tall, then sure.

Oviedo
01-27-2010, 12:04 PM
Re-signing Townsend won't be priority for Steelers

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on January 27, 2010 9:19 AM ET

Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend says he showed his coaches he "can still be a starter."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that the team remains unconvinced. Townsend replaced William Gay in the starting lineup late in the season, but the team doesn't want him back in that role again.

Townsend will turn 35 in September and the Steelers are prepared for him to leave in free agency. They will be in no rush to re-sign Townsend and it sounds like he'll compete for a nickel back role if he returns.

Pittsburgh's secondary had problems in 2009, but they have plenty of young bodies after drafting Keenan Lewis and Joe Burnett last April. Now the Steelers just need those two, and veterans like Gay and Ike Taylor, to step their game up.

I doubt he's even on the roster next year.

For Burnett and Lewis to step up their game they would actually have to be on the field. Never saw Lewis. Burnett had his ups and downs and many will label him a bust after the dropped INT in the Raiders game but the difference between him and the others is that he broke on the ball and put himself in the position to make the play. That is something I did not see alot from the other DBs.

I'm all for grabbing a couple of DBs in this very deep draft at that position, but I don't want to commit to the kneejerk reaction that many on the board are running to with using the #18 pick for a DB. Logic:

1. Very deep for DBs through Rounds 3 and 4. Probably the deepest DB draft at both CB and Safety with most of the talent be rated in the Round 2 to 3 range.
2. Unlikely any rookie DB drafted in the 1st Round plays in LeBeau's defense until 2011, maybe 2012, if there is no CBA

feltdizz
01-27-2010, 01:38 PM
I agree Ovie... Thank goodness the FO is more patient then we are...

we would have a new player every week if the board was in charge of personnel.

stlrz d
01-27-2010, 09:25 PM
We are Desperate for a Decent Defensive Back.

We need the Defensive Coord to Develop the Defensive Backs we drafted last year versus thinking a drafted rookie will Devinely step in a solve problems in his overly complex Defensive scheme which clearly Defies learning and therefore stifles the Development of young Defensive players.

We are seeing the results of an overly complicated scheme on our Defense

Were you cryin' those blues last season when our D was #1 pretty much across the board...on their way to winning the title?

phillyesq
01-27-2010, 11:09 PM
We are Desperate for a Decent Defensive Back.

We need the Defensive Coord to Develop the Defensive Backs we drafted last year versus thinking a drafted rookie will Devinely step in a solve problems in his overly complex Defensive scheme which clearly Defies learning and therefore stifles the Development of young Defensive players.

We are seeing the results of an overly complicated scheme on our Defense

McFadden contributed as a rookie. Rookies need to earn their way onto the field. Lewis not playing is as much an indictment of him as it is of Lebeau.

How many corners step in and play well as rookies? Not many that I can think of. Corners seem to take time to develop.

Woodley contributed as a rookie, and started after his first year. Hampton, Kendrell Bell, etc. Players who earn their way onto the field have contributed in this defense.

costanza2k1
01-27-2010, 11:30 PM
We are Desperate for a Decent Defensive Back.

We need the Defensive Coord to Develop the Defensive Backs we drafted last year versus thinking a drafted rookie will Devinely step in a solve problems in his overly complex Defensive scheme which clearly Defies learning and therefore stifles the Development of young Defensive players.

We are seeing the results of an overly complicated scheme on our Defense

Were you cryin' those blues last season when our D was #1 pretty much across the board...on their way to winning the title?


I think he was doing it just to distribute the pain across the board. Before O started to rip into the D everyone was all over BA...he was just playing a game and putting blame on Dick when no one wanted to.

pfelix73
01-28-2010, 12:43 AM
We need better CB's on this team- that's just reality. We've needed help back there for years. If there's a CB there worthy of the 18th pick- you take him. No second thoughts. It's time to upgrade the secondary.

:tt1

hawaiiansteel
01-28-2010, 02:26 AM
We need better CB's on this team- that's just reality. We've needed help back there for years. If there's a CB there worthy of the 18th pick- you take him. No second thoughts. It's time to upgrade the secondary.

:tt1


I don't think there will be a CB worthy of the 18th pick available but there are lots of CBs that provide good value in Round 2...I couldn't agree with you more though, it's definitely time to upgrade the secondary otherwise no 4th quarter lead will ever be safe.

RuthlessBurgher
01-28-2010, 10:25 AM
We need better CB's on this team- that's just reality. We've needed help back there for years. If there's a CB there worthy of the 18th pick- you take him. No second thoughts. It's time to upgrade the secondary.

:tt1


I don't think there will be a CB worthy of the 18th pick available but there are lots of CBs that provide good value in Round 2...I couldn't agree with you more though, it's definitely time to upgrade the secondary otherwise no 4th quarter lead will ever be safe.

Exactly. There is one CB that is worthy of the 18th pick (Haden) and he will likely be gone in the top 10. Then there is a jumbled mass of guys who will all have 2nd or 3rd round grades.

If you want to use your first pick to upgrade your secondary, the logical choice is FS Earl Thomas. Otherwise, improve your team at another position and wait until the next round or two to upgrade your secondary.

ikestops85
01-28-2010, 01:40 PM
We are Desperate for a Decent Defensive Back.

We need the Defensive Coord to Develop the Defensive Backs we drafted last year versus thinking a drafted rookie will Devinely step in a solve problems in his overly complex Defensive scheme which clearly Defies learning and therefore stifles the Development of young Defensive players.

We are seeing the results of an overly complicated scheme on our Defense

McFadden contributed as a rookie. Rookies need to earn their way onto the field. Lewis not playing is as much an indictment of him as it is of Lebeau.

How many corners step in and play well as rookies? Not many that I can think of. Corners seem to take time to develop.

Woodley contributed as a rookie, and started after his first year. Hampton, Kendrell Bell, etc. Players who earn their way onto the field have contributed in this defense.

I have to agree with you ... I can't think of 1 defensive player who as a rookie I thought should have gotten a starting job. There is not 1 time that I can remember that I thought "damn, we would be so much better if only that rookie so-and-so was playing".

Woodley was a good pass rusher as a rookie and he got playing time but he was learning a new position and should never have been a starter. None of this has anything to do with how complicated our defense is. It has to do with the quality of the starters we have on defense.

We b itch and moan about some of our players on defense but we are spoiled. For the most part our supposed "bad" players would be "good" on most teams in the NFL. Why insert a rookie into the lineup who WILL make rookie mistakes when you have a solid vet in front of him? The steelers give the rookie a chance to learn the system first before being thrown into the fire. It's a nice way to break players in and given the success of the defense its hard to argue against it.