This season was a surprising one for the Pittsburgh Steelers cornerbacks. No. 1 cornerback Ike Taylor had a lackluster season, following his very good campaign in 2012. Cortez Allen was expected to have a breakout season, but that surely did not happen. Allen ended up playing behind William Gay for most of the year.
After the conclusion of the 2011 NFL season, Gay jetted out west to play for the Arizona Cardinals. He spent the 2012 season in Arizona, where he had a mediocre campaign. Then, Gay signed back with the Steelers during the offseason in 2013.
When Gay was signed, many Steelers fans were disgusted. Gay had always been ridiculed by the Steelers faithful. But after the season he had in 2013, fans can’t have much bad to say about him. This year, Gay put together a better season than any other Steelers corner.
In 2013, when throwing in Gay’s direction, quarterbacks averaged a rating of 72.9 according to Pro Football Focus. Gay has always been fine at wrapping up the receiver after the catch, and he proved that again in 2013. When receivers caught the ball against Gay, he only allowed a 9.5 yards per catch average, ranking him in the top 10 of cornerbacks. Furthermore, Gay only allowed one touchdown reception over the course of the entire 2013 season.
Taylor and Allen’s numbers play short in comparison to Gay. Allen allowed five touchdown catches, and Taylor allowed six. Taylor and Allen both allowed receptions of 50 yards or more, while Gay’s longest allowed reception was 31 yards.
It will be interesting to see if Gay can keep up the good work in 2014. The cornerback position will be one of the most intriguing aspects of the Steelers this year. The past season surely was a rather bewildering year for the Steelers’ cornerbacks.