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Thread: CB Curtis Brown entering pivotal third year with 2013 Steelers

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    CB Curtis Brown entering pivotal third year with 2013 Steelers

    Curtis Brown entering pivotal third year with 2013 Steelers

    By SteelCityRoller on Mar 24 2013



    If recent Steelers trends continue, the 2013 season will either make or break the third-year player's career in Pittsburgh.

    Evidently, the Pittsburgh Steelers make up their minds on retaining their own draft picks by Season 3.

    Recently departed Mike Wallace had posted three respectable seasons before becoming a restricted free-agent in his fourth - 2012. Wallace expected the team to offer him a long-term contract worthy of his services, based on his production so far. Whether or not the team actually offered him such a deal regardless of size has never been confirmed.

    In the end, he was offered an RFA tender compliant with the terms of the CBA, which would require a first-round draft pick as compensation should another team attempt to sign Wallace away. The tender was worth $2.742 million for one season. His 2013 base salary is significantly less, although technically his new deal matched early projections.

    Judging by the fact no confirmed offers were made by Pittsburgh once Wallace became a unrestricted free-agent, the team had already made up its mind before 2012 ever happened.

    Keenan Lewis also recently signed with a new team after becoming a starter in his fourth and final season in Pittsburgh. If reports of the situation are accurate, the Steelers made no attempt to re-sign the cornerback, even after the Saints placed their winning bid. Perhaps the team made up its mind on Lewis in his third season, where he was inconsistent at times as a nickelback.

    Even though Lewis was a starter in his fourth season, the team had already decided they needed to keep looking in Lewis' third year, when they drafted both Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown. When Ike Taylor broke his ankle late in 2012, Allen was promoted from his nickel duties to interim starter opposite of Lewis. The team created more takeaways with Allen in the lineup than they had all year without. This is how the team expects their players to earn their place.

    Lewis did not make such an impact in his third year, but he did play well enough to at least have a chance to start in year-four. However, when second-year player Allen out-performed fourth-year Lewis, the team had no reason to prolong the Lewis experiment.

    With Allen entering his third-year as a starter, he will be playing to retain his new role while establishing his next contract's value. His fellow draftee cornerback Brown is playing for much, much more.

    Brown, because of Lewis' departure, would have become the team's nickel back by default. Unfortunately, he had the same opportunity to prove himself as Allen over the past two years, since the pair was drafted in 2011 - especially over the course of the end of last season. While Allen's performance left the team feeling comfortable in parting ways with Lewis, all Brown's performance inspired was the signing of William Gay.

    In only his third year, Brown will have to not only beat out his teammates Josh Victorian and DeMarcus Van Dyke for regular defensive snaps, but also a season veteran in Gay, who spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals after beginning his career in Pittsburgh. Because of his experience with the team, Gay won't still be learning the system like Brown.

    If Brown can continue to learn and perform at the same time, he can earn the right to be the team's primary nickel back. If he can lock down the nickel job, he can get sufficient snaps to prove to the organization he is capable of taking over for Taylor when his contract expires.

    If Brown disappoints in his third-year exam, he will most likely remain a special team-er until his contract expires following the 2014 season; when he will probably be searching for a new team as an unrestricted free-agent.

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...-2013-steelers

  2. #2
    expecting brown to be able to take over for ike as the article suggests is laughable. I don't believe he will ever be able to play on the outside.

    I hope he can develop into a solid nickel, but that is his ceiling, IMO. Some here will blame lebeau for his development, no doubt, but this one is all on the player as cortez allen shows. He does contribute on special teams, so he has some value. Still a swing and miss in the 3rd up to this point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Spaghetti View Post
    expecting brown to be able to take over for ike as the article suggests is laughable. I don't believe he will ever be able to play on the outside.

    I hope he can develop into a solid nickel, but that is his ceiling, IMO. Some here will blame lebeau for his development, no doubt, but this one is all on the player as cortez allen shows. He does contribute on special teams, so he has some value. Still a swing and miss in the 3rd up to this point.
    I agree with you. And it's not even really Brown's fault IMO. I mean, we all played sports. And we all played with a guy with ability, but never could realize it. Even though they were always in good shape, always desirous to play, and came to play. But like him, they lacked something. That "something" is awareness.: a feel for the game, the moment, etc. Brown is/what he is right now... a great athlete, and thus--a nice special teams player. Nothing more.

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    I say it's laughable to think he can beat out Gay after watching how bad he played last year. Although I though Keenan Lewis sucked almost as bad after his 3rd season so what do I know.

    Curtis Brown isn't even as good at CB as Matt Spaeth and David Johnson are at TE. He just looks awkward out there like he has 0 athleticism when trying to cover. And it's surprising because he's played decent on ST. I hope he was injured or something last year.

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    How long did it take Ike Taylor to become a starter? Brown looks more athlet than footballer- but Taylor wasn't that much different at the same stage. It's not IMPOSSIBLE to believe Brown still has a shot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Spaghetti View Post
    expecting brown to be able to take over for ike as the article suggests is laughable. I don't believe he will ever be able to play on the outside.

    I hope he can develop into a solid nickel, but that is his ceiling, IMO. Some here will blame lebeau for his development, no doubt, but this one is all on the player as cortez allen shows. He does contribute on special teams, so he has some value. Still a swing and miss in the 3rd up to this point.
    Sounds like what everyone said about Lewis after two years and now those same people are bemoaning the fact we didn't resign him.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    How long did it take Ike Taylor to become a starter? Brown looks more athlet than footballer- but Taylor wasn't that much different at the same stage. It's not IMPOSSIBLE to believe Brown still has a shot.
    Taylor first became a starter in his third season...Brown is entering his third season. So I wouldn't give up on Brown just yet.

    However, I agree with the OP, the skill-set that Brown has shown thus far seems to indicate he'd be best utilized as a nickel-back. He needs to make his move this season or he's likely gone, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradshawsHairdresser View Post
    Taylor first became a starter in his third season...Brown is entering his third season. So I wouldn't give up on Brown just yet.

    However, I agree with the OP, the skill-set that Brown has shown thus far seems to indicate he'd be best utilized as a nickel-back. He needs to make his move this season or he's likely gone, IMO.
    I agree. I just hate we brought back Gay because "he knows the system" and that may let his inferior play get him on the field. Make the system one that all your players can thrive in so the best talent wins out and gets on the field.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    I agree. I just hate we brought back Gay because "he knows the system" and that may let his inferior play get him on the field. Make the system one that all your players can thrive in so the best talent wins out and gets on the field.
    I hate to say this, but William Gay has demonstrated more ability at the NFL level than Curtis Brown or any of the other contenders for the role of nickel corner. Gay is awful on the outside, but he is actually a pretty decent nickel. He is absolutely a major downgrade from Cortez Allen at the nickel, but he is a decent option.

    It would be nice to see Curtis Brown seize the role, but I have seen absolutely nothing from Brown that suggests he is capable of being a competent nickel. He was so bad that he was benched for Victorian, a guy who was unemployed during the year despite the premium placed on finding DBs.

  10. #10
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    William Gay isn't as bad as everyone here make him out to be. We did win a Superbowl with him playing the nickel. He is not a #1 or #2, but he is a very good nickel and he will excel there. If Brown can step it up this year and play well then we have great coverage in our Dime as well.
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    5a. Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona
    5b. Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami
    6a. Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
    6b. Glen Stanley, OLB, Albany St
    7. Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin

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