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fordfixer
07-13-2010, 02:15 AM
Townsend prepares for life after football
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 90141.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_690141.html)

Veteran cornerback Deshea Townsend hasn't given up hope of returning to the Steelers in 2010.

Townsend, who turns 35 in September, was surprised when he wasn't retained for the upcoming season.

"I did kind of expect to be back, just to add some depth at the position," he said. "They know there's a player out there they don't really have to teach the system, that can come in and play."

Townsend, a fourth-round draft pick from Alabama who played 12 seasons with the Steelers, lost his starting job when he was converted to nickel back after the emergence of William Gay.

Since then, the Steelers have selected three cornerbacks in the past two drafts. They also reacquired former starter Bryant McFadden.

Those moves resulted in Townsend the oldest cornerback on the roster not being invited to return.

Townsend said he wouldn't mind playing for the Steelers again or any other team.

He started the final two games in 2009, grabbing an interception in the final game against Miami.

"Pittsburgh is home. You always want to be where you started," said Townsend, who has been working out with speed and conditioning coach Tom Shaw in Florida. "If something happens in training camp ... maybe. My agent said just stay in shape. I had some conversations (with teams). There's always going to be a need for a corner somewhere."

Townsend realizes he may have played his final NFL game. He said he's comfortable knowing he may have to get on with the rest of his life.

"I've always looked at the entire picture, understanding this game is not going to last forever. It's always been a business for me," Townsend said.

"I want to play one or two more years. But if it doesn't happen, I have a lot of other stuff going on with health care and doing a lot of work with my foundation."

Townsend developed a foundation that helps children who do not have health insurance and sponsors events that work with preventive care.

Townsend would like to remain connected with the Steelers. He said his extensive playing experience has prepared him for a scouting or front-office position.

Townsend's coaches considered him a coach on the field because of his ability to decipher the entire defense.

"I've always been the type of player when a young guy comes in, I try to give him everything I know to help make him a better player," Townsend said. "That's the same thing our coaches do. That could be a natural move for me."

While the possibility of becoming a coach appeals to Townsend, he has loftier goals.

"My ultimate goal is it would be great to be the next Kevin Colbert," said Townsend, referring to the Steelers' director of football operations who's in charge of personnel decisions.

"To be like Kevin, to be like (Baltimore's) Ozzie Newsome, a general manager who understands what type of players teams need and go out and find them."

hawaiiansteel
07-13-2010, 02:33 AM
I believe Deshea would make a great coach.

frankthetank1
07-13-2010, 07:59 AM
i would think deshea would be a great guy to have making personel decisions. who knows how to evaluate talent than a former player. i always liked deshea a lot

NC Steeler Fan
07-13-2010, 08:54 AM
I have always had a soft place in my heart for Deshea.

Every year at training camp you would always see him smiling and actively engaged with fans. He never looked away or looked distinterested and always appeared genuinely polite and enthusiastic to be around them.

My recollections of him on the field is that he certainly seemed dependable enough...I just wished he had more height and speed.

Oviedo
07-13-2010, 09:41 AM
I have always had a soft place in my heart for Deshea.

Every year at training camp you would always see him smiling and actively engaged with fans. He never looked away or looked distinterested and always appeared genuinely polite and enthusiastic to be around them.

My recollections of him on the field is that he certainly seemed dependable enough...I just wished he had more height and speed.

Deshea has been nothing but a class act. I also wish him nothing but the best. I would love for the Steelers to use him in a scouting capacity and if successful perhaps groom him to be more if those are his career goals.

flippy
07-13-2010, 11:00 AM
I have always had a soft place in my heart for Deshea.

Every year at training camp you would always see him smiling and actively engaged with fans. He never looked away or looked distinterested and always appeared genuinely polite and enthusiastic to be around them.

My recollections of him on the field is that he certainly seemed dependable enough...I just wished he had more height and speed.

Deshea has been nothing but a class act. I also wish him nothing but the best. I would love for the Steelers to use him in a scouting capacity and if successful perhaps groom him to be more if those are his career goals.

He way over performed expectations. He never had the skills to be more than a nickle back, but worked hard and got in the starting lineup.

To this day he was one of the best slot cover guys we've had in the burgh and I think he could add value, but there's just too many young promising corners that need to get on the field. And Ike, McFadden, and Gay are a good top 3 with tons of youth behind them.

His pick 6 versus Dallas 2 years ago is still one of my favorite recent plays.

SteelerNation1
07-13-2010, 11:57 AM
One of the most underrated Steelers maybe ever. He should have been a starter a lot earlier than he was. He played nearly 6 years w/o starting IIRC. I'll always respect Deshea because nearly every time I attended training camp, he was one of the guys to sign autographs for almost everyone. Kudos #26!

RuthlessBurgher
07-13-2010, 12:15 PM
I think the best tribute to how steady Deshea was over the years was that I never looked at him and said "Hey! That's Rod's number! Blasphemy!" He certainly was no Woodson talent-wise by any means, but he sure wore that number proud anyway.

SidSmythe
07-13-2010, 07:43 PM
DESHEA = Class Act and I agree w SteelerNation1 ... one of the most underrated Steelers of all time. I've said it a million times, if Deshea was 6'0 tall, he would get more recognition.

NorthCoast
07-16-2010, 09:50 AM
A player that knows how to prepare for games, rarely made mistakes, and achieved far more than most of us expected. Better than a journeyman, maybe not the talent of a superstar, but an NFL team needs plenty of these kinds of players if they are to be competitive year after year on the field.


Would love to see him come back as a DBs coach when he finally wraps it up.