Tag Archives: Cornerbacks

Steelers cornerbacks join Keenan Lewis at Ike Taylor’s football camp


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Steelers CB Josh Victorian One Of Several Cornerbacks Battling For A Roster Spot In 2013

The Pittsburgh Steelers allowed cornerback Keenan Lewis to run off to the New Orleans Saints uncontested via free agency this offseason as they were comfortable with Cortez Allen stepping into the starting spot opposite Ike Taylor moving forward. In addition to letting Lewis walk, they signed cornerback William Gay back following his one year away ...

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Battle of the Cornerbacks: Steelers secondary has bright future

The Steelers defense last year was ranked #1 overall in the league, and #1 in pass defense.
Keenan Lewis looks to nail down the starting LCB job for the Steelers
Against the pass they allowed a league low 271.8 yds per game. Those numbers were a huge improvement from 2010 when they allowed 214 yds per game and finished 12th in pass defense. Even i...

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Battle of the AFC North: Cornerbacks

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2012 Pittsburgh Steelers training camp roster throwdowns: cornerbacks

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It’s the position that can make a good defense a great one and the position that can make a good defense look like Swiss cheese. The Pittsburgh Steelers head into 2012 with questions at cornerback and veteran Ike Taylor is a part of those questions in my opinion. As we move from back to front, steeleraddicts.com continues looking at the defense a...

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SB Nation: Steelers Have 10th Best Cornerbacks in the NFL

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SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber ranked the NFL's best cornerbacks positions by team, and the Steelers finished 10th overall.

His list doesn't break down individuals, but rather, the cornerbacks position top to bottom within the team.

The Steelers had the league's top scoring and pass defense last season, and that was with a maligned pass rush that produced just 35 sacks all season. On the other hand, the defense as a whole produced just 15 takeaways all season, one of the lowest totals for a playoff team in NFL history.

But simply looking at a group of cornerbacks' ability to prevent the ball from moving downfeld through the air, it's tough to say the Steelers had a bad season.

The sum of their whole was greater than the sum of their parts. The marquee cornerback, veteran Ike Taylor, played very well at times and not so great at other times. The youth of the position generated much more positive buzz than negative, as CB Keenan Lewis got on the field often as starter William Gay moved inside to cover the slot. Cortez Allen played a bit in the second half of the year as a rookie, covering well both outside and inside.

The New York Jets are first, with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles finishing second and third. The Dallas Cowboys are fourth and the Atlanta Falcons round out the top five.

The San Francisco 49ers are sixth, Kansas City Chiefs seventh and Houston Texans eighth. The Seattle Seahawks are ninth and the Steelers come in at 10.

While the list is written based on last year more than where teams are going, it looks pretty solid, top to bottom. I'm not sure I'd place the Steelers behind Seattle or Kansas City, and I'd have Houston much higher than eighth, but I don't think the top three are in question at all.

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2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Roster Battles: Cornerbacks

The Pittsburgh Steelers open training camp in Latrobe in just over a month from now. With the OTA sessions and mini camp behind us, we can now start to focus on the battles for roster spots for certain positions.

First up in our series is the cornerback position. The Steelers have opened the last two seasons with 6 cornerbacks on the 53 man roster and that could indeed be the case once again this year. Gone from last year are William Gay and Bryant McFadden. The four locks at this time to make the 53 man roster are obvious in Ike Taylor, Keenan Lewis, Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen. With that being Read more [...]

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Talkin’ Cornerbacks: Steelers’ Starting Cornerback in 2012 Not As Important as Positional Depth


The Steelers depth at cornerback should be one of their strength in 2012, but it's also one of its biggest question marks.

Such is the way of things for NFL cornerbacks. Every play, hero or goat. Riding that thin line between greatness and ridicule, it is, next to quarterback, the toughest mental position on the field. The Steelers will ride into training camp with one definite starter, CB Ike Taylor, and three younger players vying for the starting spot opposite Taylor - CBs Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown.

Who's going to start?

This is a classic position of competition. Due to the mental rigors of it, all must be challenged intensely before any "winner" can be named. It would be unwise to name one now, but expect Lewis to emerge as the starting cornerback opposite Taylor after a tough competition from emerging stud Allen.

It's almost necessary nowadays to name the nickel defensive back a starter as well, and Allen, due to his size and strength, will continue his growth as an outstanding slot defender, will hold down nickel duties.

Lewis (who turned 26 Thursday) and Allen both did well last season essentially as in-season replacements for CB Bryant McFadden, who went from starter to non-participator as 2011 went on. Both played nickel duties, Lewis on the outside when former Steelers CB William Gay shifted inside, and Allen inside in dime packages, most notably, against the high-powered Patriots offense in Week 8.

How much does the "starter" tag really matter?

I suppose it will for Lewis's upcoming contract negotiations (he'll play this season with a restricted free agency 1-year deal, and be unrestricted next year), but both he and Allen have the ability to play inside rather than outside. Lewis has the advantage of much more experience than Allen (29 games to 15, and Lewis was in on 404 snaps last year to 60 for Allen), so on one hand, it's silly to etch either of their name in stone next to "CB2." On the other, both should expect to see the field plenty often this year.

What about Brown?

Even with an increasingly impressive special teams resume, Brown just simply looks like the odd man out in a talented, young positional race. Certainly, we aren't casting him out permanently, it's only May, and it's a very long season. That's the nice part about depth at a position. Things can - and will - change.

At the very least, Brown looks like a top-end special teams gunner, and will continue to fill that kind of role in 2012.

Is this position locked up for the foreseeable future?

We've spent much time talking about the revamped offensive line, but before that, the priority investment seemed to be at cornerback. The genius part of the Steelers' previous future plan at the position was they scored big on younger players who fit a mold; tall, long and athletic. While having to fit in a guy like McFadden for transitional purposes, the Steelers drafted Lewis out of Oregon State in the third round of the 2009 draft, and Brown (Texas) in the third round, and Allen (The Citadel) in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. Mix in a swing-and-a-miss with fifth-rounder Joe Burnett in 2009, the Steelers invested just as heavily in cornerback as they recently have in offensive line, just without the big-time dollar amount or height of picks. The amount of money they've saved in building quality depth as opposed to giving out massive contracts to free agents like Nnamdi Asomugha has been more than beneficial, and it's something that will continue for the next few years.

Lewis could be the starter in 2012. Allen could be as well. With Lewis set to hit free agency, they have flexibility in the sense he's not an absolute must-sign (at this point anyway).

Also, they all are really system guys; physical, big zone corners (with the ability to play man, just not a ton of tape to show potential free agent suitors) with athleticism. It's the Steelers' defense's highest value position on the roster - most talent for the least amount of money.

They're going to reap the benefits of their investment in 2012.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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