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 Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year

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PhantomJB93

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:29 pm

Can't remember if Dulac did this in past years, but interesting that he seems so convinced the Steelers are really looking to the secondary in the first round and FA.  Most guys in the local media seem convinced of the opposite just because of their past history of need there and not addressing it.
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Fire Arians

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:53 pm

JonM229 wrote:
The Steelers should sign him:


That dog's got a clean coat, did you give it a shower?
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:03 pm

JonM229 wrote:
The Steelers should sign him:



the dog should have had the 43 jersey on

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:41 am

Fire Arians wrote:
JonM229 wrote:
The Steelers should sign him:


That dog's got a clean coat, did you give it a shower?

Hold this W.
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Hawaii 5-0

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:15 pm

Cornerback Golson gains Steelers' confidence

Mark Kaboly | Monday, March 21, 2016



BOCA RATON, Fla. – So, who is going to start opposite William Gay at cornerback for the Steelers this year?

That answer is still months away from being definitive, but hearing Mike Tomlin on Monday at the Boca Raton Resort and Club during the NFL's annual meeting, it's difficult not to come to the conclusion that Senquez Golson is at the front of that list in Tomlin's eyes.

On the flip side, the team's highest-paid cornerback — Cortez Allen — is way down on that list.

Tomlin threw support toward Golson as being able to quickly clear up the Steelers' murky cornerback situation. At the same time Tomlin didn't hand out a ringing endorsement of Allen as not only being able to reclaim his starting position but even make it through spring practices.

“We are excited about getting Senquez Golson back in the mix,” Tomlin said. “I think oftentimes he is forgotten about. We were excited about him a year ago when we drafted him. I still share that same level of excitement. I can't wait to get him on the grass.”

The Steelers used a second-round pick on Golson last year to try to stabilize a position of weakness. However, Golson injured his shoulder near the end of the spring practices and was put on injured reserve during training camp. He had surgery not long after that and didn't play one preseason snap, but Tomlin continued to show confidence in Golson.

Following the season, Tomlin said he viewed Golson as a second-year player even though he never played as a rookie, insinuating he believed Golson would be ready for significant playing time this year.

By the way of actions in free agency, that well may be the plan.

The Steelers haven't addressed their biggest weakness from last year other than re-signing William Gay and Ross Cockrell. Brandon Boykin is a free agent, Antwon Blake signed with the Titans and Doran Grant played one defensive snap as a rookie last year.

Tomlin hinted the Steelers won't sign a free agent cornerback but will likely target the position on the first two days of the draft. Relying on a rookie to jump into a prominent role is something the Steelers rarely ask a player to do.

One thing is for sure, Tomlin isn't going to rely on Allen even though the Steelers gave him nearly $25 million the day before the season started two years ago.

Tomlin said after the season that he wasn't confident Allen could become a contributor and didn't back down on that statement Monday.

“Not at all,” Tomlin said. “It hasn't.”

A lot of that has to do with Allen's health.

“I don't know where his level of health is,” Tomlin said. “I don't think that any of us do.”

In his five seasons, Allen has missed games because of a broken thumb, sprained ankle, a pulled groin and a knee injury. He missed part of camp in 2013 after surgery on a knee, had surgery on his knee after being placed on injured reserve near the end of the 2014 season and was placed on IR again this past year with another knee injury.

Since signing his contract extension, Allen has played in 12 games, started seven and lost his starting job twice. Allen was beaten out by Blake a couple of days before the start of the 2015 season and then injured his knee in a reserve role in the opener against the Patriots*.

The Steelers placed Allen on IR on Oct. 24.

Tomlin said he is in a wait-and-see pattern with Allen's health status.

“I don't know where he is in terms of his schedule of rehabilitation, but I am sure at some point in this process we are going to have a sense of where he is and what he is able to do, those types of things,” Tomlin said. “I just don't have the answers to that as we sit here today.”

Tomlin wouldn't commit to Allen making it to training camp in July. The Steelers could save $4 million with a post-June 1 release.

“Again, I don't know. I really don't.” Tomlin said. “He has some health issues, obviously.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/10183931-74/tomlin-allen-steelers

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:22 am

Hawaii 5-0 wrote:
Tomlin isn't going to rely on Allen even though the Steelers gave him nearly $25 million the day before the season started two years ago.

Tomlin said after the season that he wasn't confident Allen could become a contributor and didn't back down on that statement Monday.

“Not at all,” Tomlin said. “It hasn't.”

A lot of that has to do with Allen's health.

“I don't know where his level of health is,” Tomlin said. “I don't think that any of us do.”

“I don't know where he is in terms of his schedule of rehabilitation, but I am sure at some point in this process we are going to have a sense of where he is and what he is able to do, those types of things,” Tomlin said. “I just don't have the answers to that as we sit here today.”

Tomlin wouldn't commit to Allen making it to training camp in July. The Steelers could save $4 million with a post-June 1 release.

“Again, I don't know. I really don't.” Tomlin said. “He has some health issues, obviously.”

I'm kinda getting this vibe from Tomlin concerning Cortez, in that he's distancing himself from the situation, as if to say "This has never been my call, and I never wanted him on the field, nor did I condone that contract." And here this whole time, I thought Tomlin was the one who placed the largest amount of faith in him, but now it really doesn't sound that way at all. At least they figured out quickly that Cortez was a liability, and replaced him, but it's still kinda shitty when Blake and McCain were superior replacements for a guy making 6 times what they were. Even with the facts laid out, it doesn't explain how Cortez got the golden stamp of approval all these years, considering we also allowed Keenan Lewis to walk away before giving Cortez his contract. So now, Blake's departed (much to the joy of many) and we still have no solid evidence that the situation at CB will change at all between last year and the coming one.

So I again ask, who has been in charge of making decisions in regards to our defensive secondary, and why does it appear that we've recently been allowing ourselves to be pillaged in that department in a pass happy league? Why is Tomlin acting like he's not the guy making the call? Is Butler in this conversation anywhere? Can we afford any more strike-outs in the secondary?

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:33 pm


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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:07 pm

Steelers have had a blind spot when it comes to evaluating defensive backs in NFL draft

April 21, 2016
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers were coming off a Super Bowl appearance after the 2010 season and boasted the best defense in the NFL. But a few months after they were carved up by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin wanted to remake their secondary.

In the 2011 draft, the Steelers spent two of their first four picks on cornerbacks. Curtis Brown was selected in the third round and Cortez Allen in the fourth.

Brown never started a game and was cut after three seasons. Allen started 18 games over his five seasons before he was released last week, 20 months after signing a contract that paid him more than $6 million per season.

It has been five years since those mistaken evaluations, and the Steelers are still trying to make it back to the Super Bowl. They’re also still trying to remake their defensive backfield after another series of draft choices in ensuing years never panned out.

The Steelers have selected nine cornerbacks and safeties in the past five years. Only three of them spent time on the 53-man roster last season and none of them started a game. Safety Shamarko Thomas is the only one who remained on the roster for the entire season. Thomas, Allen and rookie Doran Grant combined to play a grand total of 53 defensive snaps.

Five of the other six draft choices are out of the NFL, and Senquez Golson, last year’s second-round pick, spent his rookie season on injured reserve.

The Cleveland Browns can’t evaluate quarterbacks. Other teams have a hard time evaluating linemen and linebackers. The blind spot in the Steelers’ scouting department in recent years has been the secondary.

“We’ve made some mistakes, there’s no denying that in terms of some of the evaluations,” team president Art Rooney II said in January.

Twenty-five picks after Allen was selected in the 2011 draft, the Seattle Seahawks took cornerback Richard Sherman, who has been named first-team All-Pro three times in his first five seasons. In 2012, the Los Angeles Rams found Trumaine Johnson in the third round and the Carolina Panthers found Josh Norman, a first-team All-Pro last season, in the fourth round.

Meanwhile, the Steelers drafted the likes of Terrence Frederick (2012, seventh round), Terry Hawthorne (2013, fifth round) and Shaquille Richardson (2014, fifth round).

None of them made a 53-man roster in the NFL. Frederick and Hawthorne were cut out from training camp and were not deemed good enough to sign to the practice squad.

The mistaken evaluations of defensive backs since and before 2011 have been contributing factors in the decline of a once-proud defense that finished the 2015 season 30th in the NFL against the pass and allowed a franchise-record 272 passing yards per game.

The 2010 defense, by contrast, allowed 276 yards total per game.

The poor track record can be traced to 2006 when the Steelers used a third-round draft choice on safety Anthony Smith, who was cut after three seasons with the team.

Since 2006, the Steelers have drafted 15 defensive backs.

• Only two have earned second contracts from the Steelers, with Allen being one of them.

• Four never started games for the Steelers. Three were cut in their initial training camp and failed to ever make the Steelers’ 53-man roster.

• There have been plenty of others who made the roster but failed to make a lasting impression. Joe Burnett (2009, fifth round) played one season with the Steelers and never played for another team afterward. Crezdon Butler (2010, fifth round) also only played one season for the Steelers. He has played for seven teams in the past six seasons.

to read rest of article:

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...s/201604210003

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Sun Apr 24, 2016 2:38 pm

Finally an article that tell it like it is concerning the draft pics for the secondary
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Tue May 03, 2016 1:28 am

Draft 2016: AFC Draft Grades

by Evan Silva, Rotoworld

Pittsburgh Steelers

1 (25). Miami CB Artie Burns 2 (58). Maryland DB Sean Davis 3 (89). South Carolina State DT Javon Hargrave 4 (123). LSU OT Jerald Hawkins 6 (220). Washington LB Travis Feeney 7 (229). Houston WR/PR DeMarcus Ayers 7 (246). Temple ILB Tyler Matakevich Overview: Heavily linked to Eli Apple and Karl Joseph before the draft, the Steelers were zoned in on early-round defensive backs. More of a project than most first-rounders, Burns is a raw boom-bust prospect who was widely not seen as a top-32 player. That pick looks like a need-driven reach. Davis is an impressive athlete, but coughed up ten touchdown passes over his final two college seasons and is a corner-safety 'tweener. Hargrave was my favorite Steelers pick. While not necessarily a solution at nose tackle, Hargrave is a disruptive interior presence who wrecked the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, twice winning MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. A sub-baseline-NFL athlete, Hawkins was another reach in round four. Feeney, Ayers, and Matakevich will likely max out on special teams. Although GM Kevin Colbert hit on some needs, I wasn't thrilled with the value he got from this draft and I'm not convinced the Steelers came away with many (any?) early-career impact players.

Grade: C-

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/draft-2016-afc-draft-grades-173200989--nfl.html

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Fri May 06, 2016 5:50 pm

James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell

Don't get too excited Steelers fans. Was just 1st practice of rookie minicamp. But there are 2 long, lean, fluid athletes in the secondary.

https://twitter.com/jimwexell?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Fri May 06, 2016 5:57 pm

Hawaii 5-0 wrote:
James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell  

Don't get too excited Steelers fans. Was just 1st practice of rookie minicamp. But there are 2 long, lean, fluid athletes in the secondary.

https://twitter.com/jimwexell?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Fri May 06, 2016 6:21 pm

Hawaii 5-0 wrote:
James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell  

Don't get too excited Steelers fans. Was just 1st practice of rookie minicamp. But there are 2 long, lean, fluid athletes in the secondary.

https://twitter.com/jimwexell?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

No! They're busts and we reached in the 1st and 2nd round for 7th round talent! Pete Prisco or something told me that and I just felt like parroting it even though I don't know jack about football or what scouting departments do
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Sat May 28, 2016 11:29 pm

Steelers cornerbacks corps gets near-complete overhaul

Chris Adamski BY CHRIS ADAMSKI | Saturday, May 28, 2016



William Gay, wearing now-retired Troy Polamalu’s No. 43, practices during organized team activities Wednesday, May 25, 2016, on the South Side.

Changes at CB

The Steelers' depth chart at cornerback has changed dramatically over the past nine months:

Aug. 2015 May 2016

William Gay William Gay

Cortez Allen Ross Cockrell

Antwon Blake Senquez Golson

Brandon Boykin Artie Burns

Doran Grant Doran Grant

B.W. Webb Donald Washington

Kevin Fogg Al-Hajj Shabazz

Steelers cornerbacks are well aware of the team's passing defense statistics from last season.

Even if few of them were here when those statistics were compiled.

Steelers opponents averaged 271.9 passing yards in 2015, third worst in the NFL. The Steelers were one of two teams that ranked below 20th in that category and qualified for the playoffs.

“You understand that we gave up a lot of yards last year,” cornerback Ross Cockrell said, “so we're going to improve upon that as best we can.

“One thing we know, to be a good defense, you can't just let people go up and down the field on you, especially through the air.”

That happened far too often last season — even if, because of a dynamic offense, the Steelers many times were able to overcome it and finish 10-6. Opposing quarterbacks topped 300 passing yards in seven of their final 12 games.

Partially as a result, the Steelers revamped their cornerbacks corps over the offseason. Circumstance aided that endeavor. Three of their top four cornerbacks at the end of the season were unrestricted free agents, and another player who missed the 2015 season is back from injury.

The group of cornerbacks they're using for the ongoing three weeks of organized team activities barely resembles the unit that was taking part in training camp at St. Vincent last August.

Of the seven cornerbacks on the roster, just two were on the roster for the Steelers' final preseason game in 2015: William Gay and Doran Grant. Gay is the lone carryover from the top four at the position on the depth chart from the latter stages of this past preseason.

“It's definitely a different feeling,” Cockrell said of his position group. “That's the nature of the business, though.

“I learned a lot from (departed safety) Will Allen and Cortez Allen and from Antwon Blake, and I wish them the best of luck with the rest of their careers. But we're focused on this season. ... With all our youth, it's really exciting. We've got a lot of young guys that are just ready to go after the football.”

That is what the Steelers are trying to mold their secondary's identity into: a playmaking, ball-hawking unit. The turnaround began last season when the Steelers finished tied for sixth in the NFL with 17 interceptions.

Youngsters Senquez Golson (a second-round pick 13 months ago who missed last season because of shoulder surgery) and Artie Burns (this year's first-round pick) infuse talented new blood into the cornerback position.

Golson, in particular, is intriguing because he and coach Mike Tomlin repeatedly have remarked that Golson should be considered a second-year player rather than a rookie. It affects the 2016 roster: an advanced second-round pick in addition to a first-round pick in Burns are immediately added.

“I don't feel like a rookie,” said Golson, who appears somewhat bulked up and said he is at least 10 pounds heavier than his listed 176-pound playing weight.

to read rest of article:

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/10534939-74/steelers-season-cornerbacks

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Sun May 29, 2016 10:44 am

Donald Washington is 29 years old according to NFL.com. Talk about veteran depth...the #6 CB is nearing 30. You don't see that very often.

Need to see Golson stay healthy and show that he is an every down NFL player.
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Mon May 30, 2016 9:56 am

Where did Donald Washington come from?
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Mon May 30, 2016 12:44 pm

jak341 wrote:
Where did Donald Washington come from?

Previously on the Chiefs roster, played at Ohio St, came out in 2009 I think. Big corner, athletic (45 inch vertical, but 4.49 40 time. ). But, if he hasn't made an impact yet in the NFL, I would not bank on him....but they must have liked something about his 6'0" 200LB corner with 45' vertical to invite him to camp.

Again, I'm optimistic that Grant shows he is a keeper on the 53.
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Tue May 31, 2016 9:58 am

El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
jak341 wrote:
Where did Donald Washington come from?

Previously on the Chiefs roster, played at Ohio St, came out in 2009 I think.  Big corner, athletic (45 inch vertical, but 4.49 40 time. ).  But, if he hasn't made an impact yet in the NFL, I would not bank on him....but they must have liked something about his 6'0" 200LB corner with 45' vertical to invite him to camp.

Again, I'm optimistic that Grant shows he is a keeper on the 53.  

Yeah, I'm hoping he can show improvement. I was sooo disappointed he was pushed to the practice squad and the team needed secondary help. Just didn't give fans a good feeling. I have to believe they either have some type of faith in Grant, or are sitting on the idea a CB will get released that they can pick up in FA. No way are they banking on Donald Washington, Al-Hajj Shabazz (sounds like a cartoon character), or Montell Garner to see the field much. As it stands, Gay, Cockrell, Burns, Golson are the only CBs on the team I would spend my time holding my breath on the idea of them either starting or seeing significant playing time. And that's not enough players to field a group of CBs over the course of a season. So it's probably Grant and a FA CB yet to be signed.
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Tue May 31, 2016 10:10 am

kirklandrules wrote:
El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
jak341 wrote:
Where did Donald Washington come from?

Previously on the Chiefs roster, played at Ohio St, came out in 2009 I think.  Big corner, athletic (45 inch vertical, but 4.49 40 time. ).  But, if he hasn't made an impact yet in the NFL, I would not bank on him....but they must have liked something about his 6'0" 200LB corner with 45' vertical to invite him to camp.

Again, I'm optimistic that Grant shows he is a keeper on the 53.  

Yeah, I'm hoping he can show improvement. I was sooo disappointed he was pushed to the practice squad and the team needed secondary help. Just didn't give fans a good feeling. I have to believe they either have some type of faith in Grant, or are sitting on the idea a CB will get released that they can pick up in FA. No way are they banking on Donald Washington, Al-Hajj Shabazz (sounds like a cartoon character), or Montell Garner to see the field much. As it stands, Gay, Cockrell, Burns, Golson are the only CBs on the team I would spend my time holding my breath on the idea of them either starting or seeing significant playing time. And that's not enough players to field a group of CBs over the course of a season. So it's probably Grant and a FA CB yet to be signed.

I agree, there could be a veteran released that the Steelers pick up on waivers that could make that final CB spot. To me, Grant is like Robert Golden was, but with better speed, technique and experience, so I honestly think if there is an injury that he could step up into a role where he sees more time.
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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:47 pm

Cockrell's continued improvement at cornerback draws raves from Steelers

Mark Kaboly BY MARK KABOLY | Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016

It has been nearly a year since the Steelers released 20 players to get down to the NFL-mandated 53-man roster for the start of the season.

Buried at the end of the transaction list that day was what appeared to be an addition most fans wouldn't have noticed.

It read, ‘Signed free agent CB Ross Cockrell.'

“It was like, ‘Hey, we got a new player,' ” safety Mike Mitchell said. “Then before you know it, he's in the starting lineup.”

A year later, Cockrell isn't getting bumped from that spot anytime soon.

The Steelers used a second-round pick last year on Senquez Golson and a first-round pick this year on Artie Burns to help solidify a suspect secondary. The two have been barely on the field for a practice, let alone play in a game.

Some of it is because of injuries. Some of it is because of the surprising emergence of Cockrell.

Cockrell was released by Buffalo during the first round of cuts a year ago. He had to wait around nearly a week before another team showed interest.

He's entrenched as the starter alongside William Gay and is the second-most experienced cornerback on the roster.

“I don't care by what means he got here,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We liked him when he came out of Duke. He was a guy we thought had potential to be a good football player. He was available, he came in, he worked hard, he made some plays, and has been a positive contributor to our efforts.”

Cockrell played in every game except the season opener last year and logged nearly 700 snaps. Cockrell filled in when Cortez Allen went down after the first game, and then when Antwon Blake faltered at the end of the season.

Cockrell had a key interception in the end zone of a tied game against the Raiders, and picked up the Jeremy Hill fumble late during the wild-card victory over the Bengals. This was only months after no one wanted him — including the Bills, which invested a fourth-round pick on him in 2014.

“I was definitely shocked when I was cut and just had to wait for the next opportunity,” Cockrell said. “I decided if I got another opportunity that I would do things differently and work harder. I've come a long way. I am continuing to work hard and continue to believe in the process.”

to read rest of article:

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/10993418-74/com-cockrell-sports

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:48 pm

Hawaii 5-0 wrote:
Cockrell's continued improvement at cornerback draws raves from Steelers

Mark Kaboly  | Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016

It has been nearly a year since the Steelers released 20 players to get down to the NFL-mandated 53-man roster for the start of the season.

Buried at the end of the transaction list that day was what appeared to be an addition most fans wouldn't have noticed.

It read, ‘Signed free agent CB Ross Cockrell.'

“It was like, ‘Hey, we got a new player,' ” safety Mike Mitchell said. “Then before you know it, he's in the starting lineup.”

A year later, Cockrell isn't getting bumped from that spot anytime soon.

The Steelers used a second-round pick last year on Senquez Golson and a first-round pick this year on Artie Burns to help solidify a suspect secondary. The two have been barely on the field for a practice, let alone play in a game.

Some of it is because of injuries. Some of it is because of the surprising emergence of Cockrell.

Cockrell was released by Buffalo during the first round of cuts a year ago. He had to wait around nearly a week before another team showed interest.

He's entrenched as the starter alongside William Gay and is the second-most experienced cornerback on the roster.

“I don't care by what means he got here,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We liked him when he came out of Duke. He was a guy we thought had potential to be a good football player. He was available, he came in, he worked hard, he made some plays, and has been a positive contributor to our efforts.”

Cockrell played in every game except the season opener last year and logged nearly 700 snaps. Cockrell filled in when Cortez Allen went down after the first game, and then when Antwon Blake faltered at the end of the season.

Cockrell had a key interception in the end zone of a tied game against the Raiders, and picked up the Jeremy Hill fumble late during the wild-card victory over the Bengals. This was only months after no one wanted him — including the Bills, which invested a fourth-round pick on him in 2014.

“I was definitely shocked when I was cut and just had to wait for the next opportunity,” Cockrell said. “I decided if I got another opportunity that I would do things differently and work harder. I've come a long way. I am continuing to work hard and continue to believe in the process.”

to read rest of article:

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/10993418-74/com-cockrell-sports

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:41 pm

Ross Cockrell hypes Steelers practice with two picks of first-team offense

Jeremy Fowler
ESPN Staff Writer



PITTSBURGH -- Ross Cockrell, who cemented the starting cornerback job long ago, had a big Monday at practice.

Cockrell had two interceptions against the Steelers' first-team offense, linebacker Arthur Moats said -- one toward the left sideline, one to the right. He was covering Antonio Brown on one of the plays. Cockrell wasn't by his locker when I swung by there earlier.

The Steelers will enter the season playing Cockrell on the outside with William Gay, who can slide to the slot if Artie Burns develops into a starting role.

Cockrell has coach Mike Tomlin's attention.

"Since last season, he’s done nothing but continue to move upward and onward," Tomlin said. "He’s good above the neck. He’s worked hard in terms fo conditioning his body, getting ready to absorb a [high] number of snaps. I don’t think he anticipated playing 700-plus snaps [last year] and did a heckuva job with it."

Cockrell started for much of last year and finished with 44 tackles, one forced fumble and two interceptions.

Not bad for a guy released by Buffalo almost one year ago.

And lately, he has been making plays in practice.

http://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/19944/ross-cockrell-hypes-steelers-practice-with-two-picks-of-first-team-offense

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effyou515



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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:57 pm

would like to see Cockrell take off this season Burns needs a year of study

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PostSubject: Re: Steelers didn't mean to neglect secondary -- they won't this year   Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:12 am

effyou515 wrote:
would like to see Cockrell take off this season Burns needs a year of study

Cockrell is not the only one who needs to step up. We need one of the rookies, Davis or Burns to produce as well, unless we pickup a vet. (Looks like Lewis is still in play. If he is really going to recover from the hip problem in time for the season, what are we waiting for?)
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