View Full Version : Ed: Keenan Lewis Predicts Pro Bowl for Himself

05-24-2012, 08:39 PM
Ed: Keenan Lewis Predicts Pro Bowl for Himself


Good afternoon,

The Steelers ended their first week of spring practices today, their third straight day of the permitted 10 (not counting minicamp).

Ben Roethlisberger, who did not practice today, said the new offense is making “progress.’’

“We’re getting there. I figured three days in week one, we’ve made some progress.”

Coach Mike Tomlin told Roethlsiberger to take the day off so he stood behind the offense with a copy of the practice script and basically watched.

“Mental reps,’’ is what he called his day. He said it had nothing to do with his previous sore arm or ankle.

“It was nice having the script on me and seeing everything, and it gave me more time to talk to coach during [practice].”

He said he was “trying to look at everything and talk to players and try to get an understanding what everybody’s doing on every play.”
What happens if rookie Mike Adams goes through training camp and cannot cut the mustard at left tackle?

Trai Essex? Jonathan Scott, who opened their last season, or Marcus Gilbert.

Gilbert was pegged to be the left tackle this season right up until the Steelers drafted Adams on the second round. Gilbert played left tackle at Florida his final year and both he and Tomlin have called it his more natural position.

“I’m naturally the left,’’ said Gilbert, who was put there in his rookie training camp.

“When they moved me over to the right tackle, it took me a week or two to get back in the groove. I got the hang of things. It’s all about preparation and repetition.”

Keenan Lewis either will regret the day he said this or live up to it, but today he predicted he would make the Pro Bowl this year, his fourth with the Steelers. Of course, first he’ll have to win the job at left cornerback that is open.

“Watch out,” Lewis said, “this is going to be a big year right here.”

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/i...wl-for-himself (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/116487-ed-keenan-lewis-predicts-pro-bowl-for-himself)

05-25-2012, 02:46 AM
Steelers cornerback Lewis sees chance

By Mark Kaboly - Tribune-Review
Published: Friday, May 25, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=2BeBT 4CBThukwPxGmOlS4c$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYtS73fq$hpbQDu KtGKSYuYrWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

You can count Keenan Lewis’ NFL starts on one finger.

And if not for the Steelers starting last year’s Sunday night game in Indianapolis with three defensive backs, he wouldn’t even have that on his resume.

But what Lewis lacks in experience, he makes up for with bravado.

Three days into organized team activities, Lewis isn’t talking about competing with second-year players Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown for the left cornerback position. Keenan Lewis is talking Pro Bowl.

“Pro Bowl and help my team win the Super Bowl,” Lewis said after being asked what he expects from himself this year. “That’s where I am going. I am going to be there.”

No Steelers cornerback has made the Pro Bowl since Rod Woodson in 1997. Before that, you have to go back to 1982 when Mel Blount made the last of his five appearances. Woodson and Blount went on to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lewis has one career interception.

“I am expecting a whole lot out of Keenan Lewis,” cornerback Ike Taylor said. “Around here, the expectations are sky high for him.”

The Steelers released Bryant McFadden during the offseason and weren’t interested in bringing back free agent William Gay. Instead, they were comfortable giving Lewis every opportunity of securing the starting job while having options behind him in Brown and Allen.

However, Lewis doesn’t plan to relinquish the starting job.

“I can’t let them take it,” Lewis said. “Like I told you, I am going to the Pro Bowl, so I have to be out there.”

Lewis, who is heading into his fourth year, signed a restricted free-agent tender in April that will pay him $1.26 million for the upcoming season. Lewis will be an unrestricted free agent next year, making this year even more important for him.

“This year is huge or me,” Lewis said. “I have a contract coming up and I have the opportunity to start. I am the starter, and I am taking it one day at a time trying to get better.”

Lewis was drafted in the fourth round out of Oregon State in 2009. After a rookie season in which he rarely saw the field, Lewis showed promise during training camp two years ago that earned him a preseason start in Denver. After getting called for two personal foul calls in the first half, Lewis was benched. He then entered coach Mike Tomlin’s doghouse after the game when Lewis broke a glass-encased sign heading to the locker room.

Lewis made the team but was inactive for four of the first five games and was relegated to 43 total defensive snaps the entire year. Last year, Lewis was a key ingredient in the Steelers’ top-ranked passing defense. Lewis played cornerback as Gay pushed over to nickel back during their sub-package defenses. Lewis played more than 400 snaps despite being credited with only one start.

“Last year helped out a lot, but I considered that more of a free-style kind of playing,” Lewis said. “We would usually just go man-to-man. Now, I am trying to see what the linebackers are going to be at so I can get some steals.”

Steals means interceptions, and that’s something the Steelers struggled with a year ago. They picked off only 11 passes (Green Bay led league with 31), with their cornerbacks contributing only five.

“I am out here working, but I am really trying to get my mind prepared,” Lewis said. “That’s why I am out here talking to guys like Troy (Polamalu) and Ryan (Clark). They are helping me out telling me where I need to be and how to get better.”


05-25-2012, 05:56 AM
Hopefully, for Keenan, not an Anthony Smith moment.

05-25-2012, 06:52 AM
He was asked what he expects for himself...he didn't guarantee a victory against anyone...

If there's a DB who doesn't want to be the best, does he belong in the NFL?

05-25-2012, 09:16 AM
He was asked what he expects for himself...he didn't guarantee a victory against anyone...

If there's a DB who doesn't want to be the best, does he belong in the NFL?

I agree
Hope he proves me wrong b/c before last year I thought he had no business in the NFL

05-25-2012, 01:32 PM
It would just figure if he finally put it all together during his 4th season (a contract year).

I predict he will fill the same role as last year as a sub-package, backup guy. I think Allen and Brown will play quite a bit.

05-25-2012, 01:57 PM
Then who will start on the other side?

05-25-2012, 02:34 PM
Hopefully, for Keenan, not an Anthony Smith moment.

You mean being lied about in the press?

I agree. Hope not.

05-25-2012, 02:52 PM
Always aim for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars...

Lewis should predict starting job before Pro Bowl trip

by The Sports Jags
May 25, 2012

The Steelers wrapped up their first round of OTAs yesterday so now all of the yinzer curmudgeons that can’t stand football in May can go back to solely listening to the local media talk about how great the Buccos are doing.

All-in-all it seemed like a pretty solid first go around with the team. The running backs seemed pretty pumped to be more involved with the offense, Trai Essex could end up starting and Marcus Gilbert wants Mike Adams’ job too (left tackle is his dream job). None of that may be as monumental to you as the Bieber tour dates are to James Harrison but they’re still worth mentioning. But bigger than all that was Keenan Lewis predicting that he’s going to make the Pro Bowl this year.

Keenan. Nooo. You’ve got to love his confidence, but maybe he should be more worried about winning the starting job before he books the Kapua suite. It’s going to be really hard for Lewis to make the Pro Bowl if he doesn’t even win the starting job, which appears to be his to lose right now.

Lewis was taking first team reps this week but you have to think that Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown have just as good a shot to start if they come into this season the way they left last year. Right now, Allen looks like the nickel guy and Brown looks like he’ll be on special teams again but the team has only been together three days.

Considering that the last two starting corners the Steelers have had not named Ike Taylor have been William Gay and Bryant McFadden, you have to think Lewis should be able to hold his own just as well if not better than those two. Ike seems to have a lot of confidence in Keenan too, not to mention expectations. But if Keenan’s Nostradamus move does pan out, he’ll make the Pro Bowl even before Ike.

The last Steeler corner to go to Hawaii was Rod Woodson back in 1997. That’s some pretty heavy company to include your name with before you even win the starting gig, Kennan. Ike has been one of the better shutdown corners in the NFL over the last two or three years and he’s never been a Pro Bowler because he doesn’t pick balls off. There’s no chance the Lewis is making the Pro Bowl in his fourth year in the league and maybe his first year as a starter if he doesn’t create turnovers (he had 1 INT as the nickel back last year).

It wouldn’t even be a total shocker if Keenan stayed at the nickel position when this year opens either considering how well he played it last year. Allen and Brown both look ready to contend for the CB2 job and you know they’re going to make Lewis work for it, and according to out Madden 12 rankings, Brown has more potential than any of the Steelers corners not named Ike…just sayin’.

It’d be great to see the Steelers’ secondary play well enough again this year to finally send a corner back to the meaningless Pro Bowl but the first mistake Lewis makes on the field, the first thing on reporters’ minds is going to be his Pro Bowl premonition. Is that what he wants? The last time someone in the Steelers’ secondary made a bold prediction was Anthony Smith, and we all saw how well that worked out.

Maybe Smith’s big mouth just has us being cynical with DB’s predicting the future but we just would’ve prefered that Keenan predict he’s going to be a starter before he’s going to be an All Star…hope we’re wrong.

Original Story: http://thesportsjags.com/lewis-should...

06-10-2012, 03:57 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers Player Profiles: CB Keenan Lewis

by Rebecca Rollett on Jun 8, 2012


This is the third article in the series about players who will help to define the Steelers' 2012 season. The first, covering SS Troy Polamalu, can be found here. The second, covering RB Isaac Redman, can be found here.

"After two seasons of battling injuries, Lewis had a healthy senior campaign, establishing himself as one of the most physical cornerbacks in the West. His work ethic and team-first attitude saw him perform at a level that has professional scouts feeling that he will quickly emerge as one of the National Football League's elite pass defenders."

Thus begins the NFL pre-draft scouting report on Keenan Lewis. Unfortunately, the optimistic conclusion wasn't warranted, at least not yet.

Drafted in the third round in 2009, Lewis saw little action on the field, and a back injury eventually put him on the Reserve/Injured list.

Lewis was healthy for the 2010 season, but the only thing he did quickly was enter Mike Tomlin's doghouse. During preseason Game Three against the Denver Broncos, he made some mistakes, which was not a good start. He then got mad and picked up two personal-foul penalties, which was really not good. To top it all off, he smashed the glass around a sign on his way back to the locker room, causing Tomlin to hold him up as an example of "young and dumb." Not a propitious beginning to the season.

He spent a lot of time on the bench that season. He was inactive for Weeks 1, 3, and 4; 5 was the Bye week. He was also inactive for Weeks 6, 9, and 13 - 15. On the bright side, Lewis was not on the injury report for essentially the whole year. It may not have seemed like the bright side to him at the time, but he was never riding the pine because of an injury.

After Week 15 he was on the roster for every game, including the Super Bowl. However, he only got about 40 snaps the entire season, and the bulk of them were in the Oakland game when the Raiders were beyond help, even from friendly Steelers fire.

During the post-season Lewis had only one play sufficiently notable to make it into the NFL game summaries. Early in the second quarter of the Ravens-Steelers Divisional game, Lewis was awarded an Illegal Block in the Back penalty, negating seven yards of Antonio Brown's eleven-yard punt return. (Lewis was hardly the only, or worst, offender in the early part of the game. I still haven't gotten over Cory Redding walking into our endzone because NOBODY COULD BE BOTHERED TO FALL ON THE BALL. I'm not bitter, though. Had the Steelers lost the game it might be a different story.)

This was, I'm sure, not the path Lewis envisioned for himself when he was drafted, or, for that matter, the path the Steelers envisioned when they drafted him. But Lewis decided to take his fate into his own hands. When the Steelers lost Defensive Backs coach Ray Horton to the Arizona Cardinals, they hired former Steeler DB Carnell Lake. Determined to make his mark before it was too late, Lewis went to talk to his new position coach. As Lake tells it,

I have a soft spot for Keenan. Keenan was a 3rd round pick three years ago, but never really played much. When I came on board he was like a little sad puppy.

He came to me in July and said 'I'm glad you're here, Coach; whatever I can do, I want to help, and if you have any extra time can you work with me?' And so we started working together after practice. The guys already had double practices on those days, and yet he still wanted to do more. This made me feel that he might be something special.

He's big—over six feet tall. I'm six feet tall, and he's a little taller than I am. He's just as fast as the other DBs, so how come this guy's not playing? I started asking some questions, and they would say 'He's not this, he's not that.' I decided to just work with him and decide for myself whether Lewis had what it took or not. I wanted to see that he got a shot.

Keenan has been playing better every week, and last week he sealed the deal against Kansas City with the interception. I was walking past the guys saying 'good job' and so on, and Lewis grabbed me, gave me a hug, and said 'I love you, Coach!'...That was my first great experience as a coach here.

Carnell Lake appeared to have made an enormous difference in the play of the Steelers' secondary last season, although the jury is still out as to exactly what the greatly improved pass defense can be attributed. There are plenty in Steeler Nation who won't really be believers unless the secondary can put up similar numbers this coming season against a tougher lineup of quarterbacks. But whatever the case may be generally for the DBs, there is no question that Keenan Lewis greatly improved last year. He credits Lake for the improvement, and said he is probably the best coach he ever had.

The departure of William Gay, also for Pittsburgh West, leaves the second cornerback position open, and is generally considered to be Lewis's to lose. But he has a couple of second-year players breathing down his neck.

Curtis Brown had accumulated the most special teams tackles last season until an injury in December sidelined him for the remainder of the year. Cortez Allen saw an increasing amount of time on the field toward the end of the season, and comes into the 2012 season with game experience and familiarity with Dick LeBeau's complicated defense.

It's good to have competition, but it sounds as if Keenan Lewis doesn't really need it. He has set his sites higher than just winning the number two corner position. Lewis declared to Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette that he will make the Pro Bowl this season. If he does, it would be surprising, but I don't think anyone would be complaining.

This season it is critical for someone to step up to the plate and not just play but play very well in the spot opposite Ike Taylor. If Keenan Lewis can finally fulfill the promise the NFL scouts saw in him back in 2009, the Steelers will be set. If he falters and none of the youngsters behind him can fill the spot either, the Steelers' defense is going to struggle.

Fortunately Lewis is smart, hard-working and determined. (The scouting report also noted "Lewis not only excelled on the football field, but also received recognition for his success in the classroom, earning Academic All-Pac 10 Conference honors as a senior.") With Coach Lake at his side, and if he stays healthy, the Steelers' pass defense just might have another banner year.


06-10-2012, 09:01 AM
My main reservation about Lewis is that his lower body projects the sense of being spindly. I think that could lead to less strength and stability around the knee. Cortez Allen does seem more well put together. I do think Lewis does have ball skills and can get up, so he could get some picks. But he would have to have an awesome campaign to go to the Pro Bowl. Because he has not had any really big moments as a player and is basically not on the radar screen for the Pro Bowl. A player usually needs a good season to establish himself and get known before he makes the Pro Bowl.

06-10-2012, 01:35 PM
He was asked what he expects for himself...he didn't guarantee a victory against anyone...

If there's a DB who doesn't want to be the best, does he belong in the NFL?

Normally, I tend to consider this type of bluster as immature. But I agree with you here. I like the fact that Lewis realizes that "this year is huge for me". I think so many people (not just football players, but us in general) don't seize the moments when we are presented with them. We tend to think that we have opportunities come along all the time. Or sometimes we don't even see them. But in this case, Lewis realizes it. I think Isaac Redman has a similar if not bigger, moment in front of him. He (Redman) can really set-up the course for the rest of his life in this next football season. Come to camp in the best shape of his life, come hungry, and come looking to make his name in the National Football League...

If he can do that this year, he will reap the fruits of that labor well beyond his football career, even if he doesn't do that much more after that. At worst, he can go back and be a local legend, and at least say that he was that good at one time in his life. (Unlike those who can only say they were in the NFL for a bit.)

Lewis has that same chance.

Do I think Lewis will make the Pro Bowl this year? No. Do I expect him to ever be at that level? I'd be pleasantly surprised, but no. I do like though, that he realizes the moment in front of him this year.

06-10-2012, 04:40 PM
Dear Mr Lewis,

You cant go to the ProBowl if you're in the SuperBowl. So your statement conflicts itself. And I'm not so sure you're better than Allen and Brown.

06-11-2012, 12:45 PM
Dear Mr Lewis,

You cant go to the ProBowl if you're in the SuperBowl. So your statement conflicts itself. And I'm not so sure you're better than Allen and Brown.

He can still be selected to the pro bowl even if he can't go. I'm sure that would be okay with him. And why not give this guy credit for having the right attitude to want to come in and win the job and be one of the best. He'll have every opportunity to prove himself. Lord knows we need him to do everything he' predicting.