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Thread: Steelers' Allen on familiar course

  1. #1
    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Steelers' Allen on familiar course

    The path Cortez Allen followed is a familiar one. He walks in the footsteps left by Keenan Lewis at cornerback.

    First, there was Allen's promotion to nickel back when Lewis moved from that spot to starting cornerback in 2012. Then came the move to starting cornerback when Lewis left last year as a free agent to sign with New Orleans for $26 million over five years.

    Might Allen's next move be to follow Lewis right out the door?

    The Steelers are taking the same kind of approach they took with Lewis in the final year of his contract. They have not started a conversation to try to negotiate a contract extension that would keep Allen with them beyond the upcoming season.

    It might seem like a strange position for a team that has considerable cornerback issues. Ike Taylor, coming off the worst season of his career as a starter, is 34 and agreed to a pay cut in his final year under contract from $7 million to $2.75 million for what appears to be his farewell tour through the NFL.

    William Gay, who returned to the team after a year away to fill the nickel spot last year, is 29. The Steelers signed 5-foot-9 Brice McCain after the Houston Texans cut him. They waited until the fifth round to draft Shaquille Richardson. Backup corners from last year include Isaiah Green and Antwon Blake.

    Maybe the Steelers are not sure yet about Allen after one season as a starter, but at least they have more to go on than they did with Lewis, who played very well last season with the Saints. Maybe they do not think that highly of Allen; if not, then why is he still starting?

    It's always possible that the Steelers could wait one more season, see how Allen plays and then try to sign him. That did not work so well with Lewis.

    Allen contends he is blissfully oblivious.

    "You can ask anybody, I never really think about contract stuff or what year this is," Allen said. "My goal is to be the best I can to help my team and get to the Super Bowl. That's my focus. Everything else will fall into place.

    "Whatever happens on the business side, that will come when it comes. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Right now I'm just playing football."

    Allen says he's doing everything he can so he will be healthy in the fall. He missed two games last season with an ankle injury and was bothered also by injuries to his knee and Achilles.

    "A lot of things were nagging," he said. "In the offseason I've done a great job of hitting those target areas -- in the weight room, massaging, stuff like that, knowing the areas my body is weak in and just strengthening those areas."

    Allen also would like to help an area in which the Steelers have been weak for several years -- intercepting the football. He buoyed their hopes in that area when, after Taylor was hurt, he moved into the starting lineup late in 2012. Allen finished with a flurry of takeaways, with two interceptions in the 15th game against Cincinnati, a forced fumble in that game and two forced fumbles in the finale against Cleveland.

    Last season, Allen managed just two interceptions, but one of those helped beat Green Bay when he returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. Those two interceptions tied him for the lead on a defense that managed just 10.

    "Rod Woodson said to us last year, catch the ones that are given to you," Allen said of the Hall of Fame cornerback who was a coaching intern last spring and summer. "We can do a better job at that. We've had our opportunities. I think the group of guys we have right now, it's going to be a positive year."

    By coincidence, Woodson also is the most recent Steelers cornerback to make the Pro Bowl, for the 1996 season. The Steelers have gone through many at the position since then. Allen will be the first cornerback other than Taylor to start two consecutive years since Deshea Townsend started four straight from 2004 through 2007.

    Two springs ago, Lewis boldly predicted he would make the Pro Bowl for the 2012 season before he even nailed down the starting job. He came up short, but he turned into a good one the Steelers probably should not have let get away.

    Allen makes no bold statements, never mind predicting a Pro Bowl for himself or a new contract.

    "If I work as hard as I can and put in the effort to be the very best I can be, everything else will take care of itself."

    Written by Pittsburgh Steelers All Seeing Eye, Ed Bouchette

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...#ixzz34R6uw4N5

  2. #2
    And this is what I am concerned about. Right now is the ideal time to sign Allen to a middle tier contract. If they don't believe Allen to be the answer why not draft a DB earlier? Obviously, Allen is in their plans, so the Steelers will improve the front 7, likely get better pressure on the QB and make the DBs look like superstars. I suspect Allen will have a break out year as he continued to improve throughout the course of last season. But, the Steelers will wait and let him break the bank or leave. Makes me ill.

  3. #3
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    by Dale Lolley
    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    @ I look for the Steelers to try to get something done on a contract with Cortez Allen next, assuming Allen wants to do a deal.

    Right now, Gay is the only veteran cornerback on the roster signed for next season.

    Why wouldn't Allen want to sign now?

    He could be looking at Keenan Lewis-type money down the road if he has a big 2014.

    It's unlikely the Steelers at this point would offer him a deal in the neighborhood of the five-year, $26.3-million deal Lewis signed with New Orleans.

    http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot....-contract.html

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    By Ed Bouchette
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    --- A little more than a year ago, I heard that the Steelers did not make a big play to keep Keenan Lewis because they thought Cortez Allen was better. So what’s the reason now for not at least making Allen a multi-year contract offer? Perhaps they no longer hold their previous opinion?

    --- If Allen has a Keenan Lewis-like final contract year, the Steelers may not be able to re-sign him. If he has a poor season, they may not want to re-sign him. So where would that leave them at cornerback in 2015? As we say, there is a lot of football to be played between now and then but assuming Ike Taylor is in his final year, it would leave them with William Gay, Shaq Richardson, Antwon Blake and Isaiah Green.

    http://sportsblogs.post-gazette.com/...ers-Offer.html

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    Legend papillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    By Ed Bouchette
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    --- A little more than a year ago, I heard that the Steelers did not make a big play to keep Keenan Lewis because they thought Cortez Allen was better. So what’s the reason now for not at least making Allen a multi-year contract offer? Perhaps they no longer hold their previous opinion?

    --- If Allen has a Keenan Lewis-like final contract year, the Steelers may not be able to re-sign him. If he has a poor season, they may not want to re-sign him. So where would that leave them at cornerback in 2015? As we say, there is a lot of football to be played between now and then but assuming Ike Taylor is in his final year, it would leave them with William Gay, Shaq Richardson, Antwon Blake and Isaiah Green.

    http://sportsblogs.post-gazette.com/...ers-Offer.html
    There will also be a draft, FA and cap casualties just like every other year. As they did this year, they will sign players to friendly contracts (Mitchell, DHB, Moore) to fill what appear to be needs and then go to the draft looking for the BPA. You would think by now that Ed B. would know how the Steelers operate, it isn't a secret.

    Pappy


    1.15) Ryan Shazier - ILB/OLB
    2.46) Stephon Tuitt - DE
    3.97) Dri Archer - RB
    4.118 ) Martavis Bryant - WR
    5.157) Shaquille Richardson - CB
    6.173) Wesley Johnson - OT
    6.192) Jordan Zumwalt - ILB
    7.215) Daniel McCullers - DT
    7.230) Rob Blanchflower - TE

    "Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll

  6. #6
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papillon View Post
    There will also be a draft, FA and cap casualties just like every other year. As they did this year, they will sign players to friendly contracts (Mitchell, DHB, Moore) to fill what appear to be needs and then go to the draft looking for the BPA. You would think by now that Ed B. would know how the Steelers operate, it isn't a secret.

    Pappy
    Of course, we could just use the extra cap room we got from Woodley last week to sign this guy right now:

    Chiefs release cornerback Brandon Flowers
    Posted by Darin Gantt on June 13, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT

    Brandon Flowers wasn’t around for Chiefs OTAs. And now he won’t be around for any other activities either.

    The Chiefs announced they had released the high-priced cornerback Friday afternoon.

    Flowers was scheduled to make a $5.25 million this year, and because of those numbers, the Chiefs were willing to trade him. They’ll be able to split the dead money over two years by cutting him now.

    The Chiefs were looking to get younger and bigger at the position, but it’s still shocking to see Pro Bowl-level players cut just before the weekend.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...andon-flowers/

  7. #7
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    Very very weird....5.25 million is not a bad salary for flowers at alllllllllllllllll

    Guess they had to get the alex smith deal done lol

  8. #8
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
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    The Lions also released CB Chris Houston today also, by the way, but he is still not ready to participate with a team after having undergone surgery this spring.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    by Dale Lolley
    Thursday, June 12, 2014

    @ I look for the Steelers to try to get something done on a contract with Cortez Allen next, assuming Allen wants to do a deal.

    Right now, Gay is the only veteran cornerback on the roster signed for next season.

    Why wouldn't Allen want to sign now?

    He could be looking at Keenan Lewis-type money down the road if he has a big 2014.

    It's unlikely the Steelers at this point would offer him a deal in the neighborhood of the five-year, $26.3-million deal Lewis signed with New Orleans.

    http://nflfromthesidelines.blogspot....-contract.html
    Hmm...maybe the Steelers are smarter than I give them credit for.

  10. #10
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Cortez Allen: 'I feel a lot more comfortable'

    Posted Jun 19, 2014
    Teresa Varley
    Steelers.com



    CB Cortez Allen continues to progress as he attacks his starting role.

    Last year Cortez Allen got his feet wet as a starter, taking over the job at left cornerback at the opening of the 2013 season.

    But this year he is hoping to fully submerge himself at the position, and become the dependable force on the outside that the coaches are looking for him to be.

    “I feel a lot more comfortable, being on the outside in the starting position,” said Allen during the team’s minicamp. “I feel like I got my feet under me a lot more. It’s still a work in progress. There is still a lot of room for improvement.”

    Allen was expected to be a full-time starter last year, but a combination of an ankle, knee and Achilles injury limited him to starting only eight games, while Will Gay started the other eight.

    “The main thing for me is staying healthy,” said Allen. “The better I do that, the better I get. I think I progressively got better throughout the season. The past few years I have finished strong. I would just like to start where I finish as far as being able to be consistent on the field without any hiccups.”

    Allen also weighed in on several other topics:

    On the key to starting strong and finishing strong:
    “Just knowing your body. Talking with our staff here on what causes things and just doing the research on the problem areas we face as professional athletes, particularly cornerbacks. I did that during the offseason and was able to strengthen those areas I felt like I was weak in and attack those and so far I have been good.”

    On what some of the areas of concern were:
    “Just ankle strength, VMO (quadriceps) strengthening, working on my hips. It’s the things that support me the most as far as what I do as a defensive back.”

    On what made him focus on those things:
    “As a young guy you are just out there and you want to play. You are not thinking about all of the little stuff that maintains you. But being around Ike (Taylor) and some of the older guys you start to learn a lot about professionalism and what it really means to be a professional athlete. Watching them and how they take care of their bodies, how they prepare for a game, how they prepare for practices or just in the offseason. You learn those things. It’s a blessing for me to play with guys who have so much experience in the league and on this team and who still can do it. Every day I am trying to learn from him.”

    On what he learns from watching Ike Taylor train:
    “He is one of the most well conditioned guys I have ever met, and hard working. You can see that by the limited number of injuries he has had in his career. Just being around him, even coming into the league, was something I wanted to do because I want to model that performance as far as durability and work ethic.”

    On working with Coach Tom Shaw the last three seasons, and how the workouts changed this offseason:
    “It was a little more intense starting off this year. Usually you don’t get to that extreme stuff until later in the summer. It started earlier this year. And the way we have been doing it has been different, but has been good. It’s helped me.”

    On what areas he wants to improve on:
    “My tackling could have improved last year, minor technique stuff with that. Also focus on overall my eyes. That is something Coach (Carnell) Lake always talks about; make sure your eyes are where they are supposed to be. That and just staying healthy. Those three things are keys. If I maintain my health I can be the best I want to be. I need to take care of those things and I think I will be all right.”

    On what he needs to do from now until the start of training camp:
    “I need to stay on the up rise, head back down to Tom Shaw and get back to work. I want to make sure I come into training camp in the best physical and mental shape I can be in.”

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...d-6e25db2f7b54

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