Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

  1. #1
    Legend fordfixer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    State of confusion
    Posts
    7,680

    On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Push former starter McFadden down depth chart

    Friday, October 07, 2011

    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11280/1180323-66-0.stm


    For all their problems through four games this season, from injuries to lack of production to their inability to stop the run, the Steelers' traditional Achilles' heel is growing stronger.

    Cornerback has quietly developed into a competent position. It also will see the first definitive change in starters on the team this season.

    Bryant McFadden, who had resumed his starting role at left cornerback after the Steelers got him back in a trade from Arizona last year, has apparently dropped from starter to No. 4 cornerback.

    Although McFadden has practiced the past three weeks and his hamstring injury has healed, William Gay will make his fourth start at left cornerback Sunday. When they move to the dime defense, it will be Keenan Lewis again joining the secondary as the third cornerback and not McFadden.

    Coach Mike Tomlin made it pretty clear Tuesday when asked if McFadden will return to his starting job.

    "I like what's going on with some of the men," Tomlin answered.

    The Steelers have the top pass defense in the NFL, as measured by their league-low 157.5 yards passing allowed per game. One reason they may be up there in pass defense is because they are way down there in run defense at No. 22.

    Yet coordinator Dick LeBeau talks highly of the job Gay and Lewis have done on the other side of the phenomenal play of cornerback Ike Taylor, who has allowed about half a dozen pass completions over him, none significant.

    "They've done real well, obviously, our pass numbers reflect they've done a good job," LeBeau said.

    "We have to get more interceptions, we're not turning the ball over enough and that includes getting some fumbles and some picks."

    The Steelers are in the unique position of having the top pass defense and being the only team in the NFL without an interception. They have one turnover, James Harrison's sack/fumble that led to Troy Polamalu's 16-yard touchdown return against the Colts.

    Gay has been with the Steelers five seasons and he started for them in 2009 after McFadden fled to Arizona as a free agent. They reacquired McFadden in a trade and he won his job back last season.

    The intrigue here is the improvement of Lewis. He seemed lost at times in his first two seasons after the Steelers drafted him in the third round in 2009. He has ideal size at 6 feet, 208 pounds, good speed and was a four-time Academic All-Pac 10 at Oregon State. He made a nice play on Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones to deflect a deep pass away on third down in the fourth quarter Sunday to force a punt that gave the offense one last chance to tie it from midfield.

    "The older you get, you have to grow at this position," Lewis said. "Rarely do you find too many college corners to come in and be starters right away. I just sat back and learned."

    Said LeBeau: "We drafted him fairly early so we always had high hopes for him in terms of athleticism and the ability to see the ball and play the ball. He's coming on really well right now. I think it's all in front of him now."

    Line swaps

    There could be more changing of the guard coming Sunday, literally. Starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu did not practice again because of a chronic knee problem. Coordinator Bruce Arians said if he cannot play, Doug Legursky would start at left guard and Ramon Foster at right.

    If Kemoeatu does play, Arians said the right guard would come down to Foster or Legursky, who missed the past game with a shoulder injury.

    There's also the chance that Max Starks, signed Tuesday, could replace Jonathan Scott as the starting left tackle, Arians said.

    Big Ben back

    The only injured player who returned to practice was quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and he went through a full practice.

    If both Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring) and Mewelde Moore (ankle) cannot play Sunday because of their injuries, the Steelers would have to sign rookie John Clay from their practice squad as the No. 3 back behind Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. And that would mean having to release someone to make room for Clay on the 53-man roster.

    It won't be difficult, however. As they have done in the past, the Steelers can release a player Saturday and re-sign him to their 53-man roster Monday. If Moore, for example, isn't going to play because of his injury, he could be the one they release. Clay then suits up for a game, Moore loses no money because he collects a paycheck for having been on the roster by Wednesday. And, on Monday, the Steelers could re-sign Moore and release Clay and sign him back to the practice squad.

    The circumstances will change in two weeks when, after the sixth week of the NFL season, all released players must pass through waivers. So, in this example with Moore, the other 31 teams would have to pass on his waivers before he became a free agent and be eligible to re-sign with the Steelers.

    Quick hits

    • Center Maurkice Pouncey was fined $7,500 for his late hit in Sunday's game that resulted in a personal foul penalty.

    • Ziggy Hood said he will start at left defensive end Sunday for Aaron Smith. Hood has started the past two games at right defensive end in place of injured Brett Keisel, who has returned to practice this week and will start Sunday.


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11280/11 ... z1a4f5SVOx

    Molon labe

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell



    American metal pimped by asiansteel
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you 1. Jesus Christ, 2.The American G.I., One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

  2. #2
    Pro Bowler D Rock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    2,327

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Ike Taylor didn't turn it on until his third season either. There is still plenty of hope for Keenan Lewis.

  3. #3

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Fantastic, our pass coverage improves and the run defense goes to hell. Guess its too much to ask to be solid at both.

    My other thought would be....how much of their perceived improvement can be attributed to the fact that opposing teams don't have to throw as much to move the ball?
    Some people subscribe to a permanent stasis of wishful thinking. They like to believe the world is made of marshmallows and filled with butterflies. I don't.

  4. #4

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Quote Originally Posted by Pahn711
    Fantastic, our pass coverage improves and the run defense goes to hell. Guess its too much to ask to be solid at both.

    My other thought would be....how much of their perceived improvement can be attributed to the fact that opposing teams don't have to throw as much to move the ball?
    I was kind of thinking the same thing. In the preseason, we all assumed that corner would be the weak link on defense. We get good play out of the assumed weakness, and now the supposed strength, the front 7, gets gashed left and right.

    I think part of the factor in the ranking, aside from teams just running over the Steelers, is that they haven't played a good passing offense. Flacco and the Ravens were probably the best they saw; Jackson, the Indy QBs, and the Texans without Andre Johnson are not exactly the pats* or the Pack.

  5. #5

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq
    I think part of the factor in the ranking, aside from teams just running over the Steelers, is that they haven't played a good passing offense. Flacco and the Ravens were probably the best they saw; Jackson, the Indy QBs, and the Texans without Andre Johnson are not exactly the pats* or the Pack.
    Yeah you are right, this is a great topic to revisit after the Pats game. I still think Gay or Lewis (maybe even both) will have a setback and get exposed, paving the way for McFadden to start again.
    Some people subscribe to a permanent stasis of wishful thinking. They like to believe the world is made of marshmallows and filled with butterflies. I don't.

  6. #6
    Hall of Famer
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,779

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Quote Originally Posted by Pahn711
    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq
    I think part of the factor in the ranking, aside from teams just running over the Steelers, is that they haven't played a good passing offense. Flacco and the Ravens were probably the best they saw; Jackson, the Indy QBs, and the Texans without Andre Johnson are not exactly the pats* or the Pack.
    Yeah you are right, this is a great topic to revisit after the Pats game. I still think Gay or Lewis (maybe even both) will have a setback and get exposed, paving the way for McFadden to start again.
    I thought Gay and Lewis played well so far. Maybe Lake has to do something with it. If they can hang on with Pats and Brady then i think Steelers CB position might become their strength which will be a pleasant surprise.
    Steelers Draft
    Rd 1: Mike Evans - WR
    Rd 2: Kyle Van Noy - ILB/OLB
    Rd 3c: Philip Gaines - CB
    Rd 4: Taylor Hart - DE
    Rd 5: Justin Ellis - DT
    Rd 5c:Xavier Grimble -TE

  7. #7
    Legend
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    13,461

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Quote Originally Posted by Pahn711
    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq
    I think part of the factor in the ranking, aside from teams just running over the Steelers, is that they haven't played a good passing offense. Flacco and the Ravens were probably the best they saw; Jackson, the Indy QBs, and the Texans without Andre Johnson are not exactly the pats* or the Pack.
    Yeah you are right, this is a great topic to revisit after the Pats game. I still think Gay or Lewis (maybe even both) will have a setback and get exposed, paving the way for McFadden to start again.

    The Pats expose a ton of DB's.. It would be a shame for the coaches to give McFadden a starting position because of the Pats game.

  8. #8
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Where the Rubber Meets the Road (in NEPA)
    Posts
    21,493

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by Pahn711
    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq
    I think part of the factor in the ranking, aside from teams just running over the Steelers, is that they haven't played a good passing offense. Flacco and the Ravens were probably the best they saw; Jackson, the Indy QBs, and the Texans without Andre Johnson are not exactly the pats* or the Pack.
    Yeah you are right, this is a great topic to revisit after the Pats game. I still think Gay or Lewis (maybe even both) will have a setback and get exposed, paving the way for McFadden to start again.

    The Pats expose a ton of DB's.. It would be a shame for the coaches to give McFadden a starting position because of the Pats game.
    The Pats game should be shootout. They are really struggling to rush the passer and their DB's can't seem to cover anyone either. If their old pass rush can't get to Ben (sounds like such a ridiculously foreign concept right now, doesn't it?), he should be able to hit Wallace/Brown/Sanders all over the place in the secondary.

  9. #9
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Hawaii 5-0
    Posts
    15,212

    Re: On the Steelers: Gay, Lewis grow into roles

    B Mac odd man out for now

    October 11th, 2011

    It would be a stretch –- and we’re talking Casey Hampton in a pair of spandex here –- to say the Steelers have an embarrassment of riches at cornerback.

    But William Gay and Keenan Lewis have played well enough over the last month that Bryant McFadden is the odd man out for now in the Steelers’ secondary.

    A nagging hamstring injury sidelined McFadden for three games after he started the season opener. He played sparingly last Sunday with Gay starting a fourth game opposite Ike Taylor and Lewis serving as the nickel back.

    And it doesn’t sound like McFadden is in line to get a lot of snaps Sunday against the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.

    When coach Mike Tomlin used the words “pretty close” in reference to McFadden, he was referring to the seventh-year veteran’s health, not a return to the starting lineup.

    “We’re not going to fix it if it’s not broken,” Tomlin said at his weekly news conference. “We like what the other guys have done in the interim. B Mac has done a nice job of working while he’s waiting for his opportunity to re-insert back into the rotation and to me those are all good issues to have.

    “We’ve got a reliable, veteran corner that we know is capable of playing good football that’s moving closer to 100 percent health and we’ve got some young guys that have answered the call in the interim and showed us that they’re really capable of playing salty football.”

    – Scott Brown

    http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/201 ... aM.twitter

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •