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hawaiiansteel
09-30-2011, 03:06 AM
Rookie CBs ready when Steelers need them

By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, September 30, 2011

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-09-29/0930SteelCBrownAP-a.jpg

The Steelers' starting defensive unit has received plenty of attention this season, in part, because it's the oldest in the NFL.

But it pitched a shutout against Seattle. And it forced a momentum-changing turnover in a 23-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Oft-scrutinized cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden are reasons the Steelers lead the NFL in pass defense, yielding 164 yards per game, even with McFadden missing the past two games with a hamstring injury.

McFadden's injury is one reason defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau takes a long look at the team's rookie cornerbacks third-round pick Curtis Brown and fourth-round selection Cortez Allen.

"They haven't been tested under fire, but they are making progress," LeBeau said Thursday. "Right now they're making plays on special teams, and that's a great indicator they have good motors and they have skills to find the ball in the open field all assets for good defensive backs."

LeBeau, though, would rather his rookie cornerbacks watch and learn when the Steelers face All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans at Reliant Field this Sunday.

So far, Brown leads the Steelers with three solo tackles on special teams. Also, he's made several key blocks to help spring punt returner Antonio Brown.

"Cortez is laid back and very mature," said safety Ryan Clark. "Curtis is 100 miles per minute and super quick. They are going to complement each other well.

"The fact that they understand their roles (on special teams) says a lot about their maturity. "They're top draft picks, and they want to play, but they understand that's their job right now."

Allen and Brown aren't expected to get significant playing time in the secondary this season, partly because pre-camp workouts were limited by the NFL lockout. Yet, they are soaking in as much knowledge as possible from the Steelers' veteran cornerbacks.

"Since we didn't have OTAs, we didn't have the opportunity to learn the system or get the reps we needed in camp," Brown said. "So we were forced to learn a lot in such a small time frame. What we can do is run and hit, especially on special teams."

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-09-29/0930CortezAP-a.jpg

Allen had to step in against the Colts when a stunned Taylor wobbled toward the sideline after banging his head on the field. Although Allen and Brown are playing mostly special teams, LeBeau is confident in their pass-coverage abilities if they are pressed into duty against the Texans.

"You never know how things will pan out," said the 6-foot-1 Allen from the Citadel. "We prepare as if we're going to get in or start. It's the kind of approach I always take."

Allen had to square up against Indianapolis Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne with Taylor on the bench. Then he stepped in at nickel back when Keenan Lewis limped off the field with cramps.

"I prepare myself knowing there's a possibility someone could go down," Allen said. "Sometimes you worry about your nerves, but I felt extremely confident out there."

Perhaps no one is as confident as Brown. The former Texas cornerback may have more difficulty harnessing his emotions than defending the Texans' receivers.

Brown's enthusiasm drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Seattle. Coach Mike Tomlin reprimanded him, but it did little to slow him down.

"Sometimes, the dog gets out," Brown said. "I just have to keep it clean between the whistles. I can't afford to lose my head. But I'm going back out there being feisty. Coach just tried to keep my head on straight."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1ZPQet8sk (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_759474.html#ixzz1ZPQet8sk)

Pahn711
09-30-2011, 04:37 AM
Cortez Allen got the nod to cover Wayne after Taylor wobbled off? I was under the impression that Brown was the more polished corner and that he would have been the first to go in, unless there was another injury Brown was already covering for.

I had no idea Allen got on the field, its substitutions like this that I wish the announcers would mention during the game.

steelblood
09-30-2011, 07:57 AM
This one from Paulk, makes me baulk.
"Oft-scrutinized cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden are reasons the Steelers lead the NFL in pass defense, yielding 164 yards per game, even with McFadden missing the past two games with a hamstring injury."

No. The reason we are number one is that we've played terrible QBs and McFadden hasn't played. McFadden's play has had nothing to do with the numbers. Nice try though.

Slapstick
09-30-2011, 09:03 AM
Even bad QBs can get the ball to open receivers...

With the exception of Ike biting on the double move vs. Pierre Garcon, he has played impeccably...

steeler_george
09-30-2011, 09:14 AM
This one from Paulk, makes me baulk.
"Oft-scrutinized cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden are reasons the Steelers lead the NFL in pass defense, yielding 164 yards per game, even with McFadden missing the past two games with a hamstring injury."

No. The reason we are number one is that we've played terrible QBs and McFadden hasn't played. McFadden's play has had nothing to do with the numbers. Nice try though.

I was thinking the same when I read that artical, add in the Baltimore more game where they ran on us at will, not needing to pass.


I had no idea Allen got on the field, its substitutions like this that I wish the announcers would mention during the game.

You need to start to start muteing your tv and listen to stan and crew over the radio or net.

LouSteel
09-30-2011, 09:47 AM
With the exception of Ike biting on the double move vs. Pierre Garcon, he has played impeccably...

You're absolutely right. Ike has been one of the bright spots on this D. I can't even imagine what we would've looked like without him.

Ghost
09-30-2011, 09:58 AM
I don't think the Steelers would lose a thing by putting either of the rookies out there over K. Lewis. At least get a look at how they handle their business.

RuthlessBurgher
09-30-2011, 10:11 AM
You need to start to start muteing your tv and listen to stan and crew over the radio or net.

Stan and crew? Stan Savran doesn't call games. Bill Hillgrove does the play-by-play with Tunch Ilkin as his color commentator and Craig Wolfley as the sideline reporter (although Wolf moved up to the booth recently when Tunch had to miss time due to his wife's recurrant cancer diagnosis).

ikestops85
09-30-2011, 10:15 AM
Cortez Allen got the nod to cover Wayne after Taylor wobbled off? I was under the impression that Brown was the more polished corner and that he would have been the first to go in, unless there was another injury Brown was already covering for.

I had no idea Allen got on the field, its substitutions like this that I wish the announcers would mention during the game.

I'm with you ... surprised that Allen got on the field before Brown. I also don't remember the announcers saying anything about Ike going off the field. I wonder if it was the sideline incident in the Seattle game that got Brown in the doghouse and that was the reason Allen got in.

I am glad to hear they both are doing well on special teams so we can jettison Battle and the other Allen. We need a couple of these young DBs to step up. If they don't we are really gonna suffer when Troy and Ike start on the downslope.

steeler_george
09-30-2011, 10:20 AM
You need to start to start muteing your tv and listen to stan and crew over the radio or net.

Stan and crew? Stan Savran doesn't call games. Bill Hillgrove does the play-by-play with Tunch Ilkin as his color commentator and Craig Wolfley as the sideline reporter (although Wolf moved up to the booth recently when Tunch had to miss time due to his wife's recurrant cancer diagnosis).

Yes Ruthless, thanks for correcting me again. But they rock!

aggiebones
09-30-2011, 01:47 PM
Brown is at best a STs ace and nickle corner.
Allen has more skills, but is raw and won't hold up to playing long time this year.

Maybe 1 of them makes the team next year.

Eddie Spaghetti
09-30-2011, 03:16 PM
Maybe 1 of them makes the team next year.

no way.

both of them will be on the roster next year. have you seen our CB depth?

steeler_george
09-30-2011, 03:38 PM
Both will be on the team, say good bye to Mac and Gay,a nd maybe Lewis if he doesn't turn it around later in this year and grab the starter from Gay or Mac.

Pahn711
09-30-2011, 03:52 PM
Brown is at best a STs ace and nickle corner.
Allen has more skills, but is raw and won't hold up to playing long time this year.

Maybe 1 of them makes the team next year.

If the coaches felt confident Allen was ready to replace Taylor in covering Wayne, I think you could be wrong about that. I mean, why didn't they put Lewis in instead?

Slapstick
09-30-2011, 04:26 PM
If the coaches felt confident Allen was ready to replace Taylor in covering Wayne, I think you could be wrong about that. I mean, why didn't they put Lewis in instead?


Allen had to step in against the Colts when a stunned Taylor wobbled toward the sideline after banging his head on the field. Although Allen and Brown are playing mostly special teams, LeBeau is confident in their pass-coverage abilities if they are pressed into duty against the Texans.

Allen had to square up against Indianapolis Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne with Taylor on the bench. Then he stepped in at nickel back when Keenan Lewis limped off the field with cramps.

Pahn711
09-30-2011, 05:57 PM
If the coaches felt confident Allen was ready to replace Taylor in covering Wayne, I think you could be wrong about that. I mean, why didn't they put Lewis in instead?


Allen had to step in against the Colts when a stunned Taylor wobbled toward the sideline after banging his head on the field. Although Allen and Brown are playing mostly special teams, LeBeau is confident in their pass-coverage abilities if they are pressed into duty against the Texans.

Allen had to square up against Indianapolis Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne with Taylor on the bench. Then he stepped in at nickel back when Keenan Lewis limped off the field with cramps.

"Then he stepped in at nickel back" implies (to me anyways) that this was later on in the game when Taylor was already back in. I don't think it was the same play (he can't be filling in for Taylor and Lewis at the same time), I mean would he be covering Wayne as the nickel back?