Josh Victorian & DeMarcus Van Dyke Could See Extensive Playing Time Against Cowboys

The Pittsburgh Steelers secondary has sustained more injuries as head coach Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday during his press conference that cornerbacks Cortez Allen and Keenan Lewis both suffered hip flexor injuries in the 34-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers this past week.

With Ike Taylor already ruled out for the upcoming game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, Tomlin noted that the availability of Allen for Sunday is in question. Lewis, however, is expected to be able to play against the Cowboys, but both will be limited this week in practice regardless.

The injuries to both Allen and Lewis mean Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian, and DeMarcus Van Dyke will get much more work this week in practice leading up to the game and both are very likely to see action if indeed Allen is not ready.

“Both guys aren\’t afraid of the competition,” said Tomlin, when asked about Victorian and Van Dyke specifically. “Josh particularly is very ball aware and has good ball skills. DVD (Van Dyke) has played a lot of ball, particularly prior to getting here. He\’s game tested, maybe not game tested here, but I think he played in 14-15 games defensively with 2 or 3 starts in Oakland prior to us getting his services.”

“Both guys have worked extremely hard on the practice field getting an opportunity to compete against the likes of Antonio (Brown) and Mike Wallace and represented themselves rather well. But practice fields, and of course game fields, are two different things. We\’re exited about watching those guys prepare, and more importantly, putting them in a position to where they can execute with great detail as we go into the stadium on Sunday. So it\’s more about what they understand and understand very well and able to display on a game field than maybe what we necessarily would like to run or are comfortable with.”

Allen and Brown both struggled last week against the Chargers, especially on third downs. Victorian only saw a handful of snaps late in the game and also gave up a touchdown on a nice throw from Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to wide receiver Danario Alexander in the corner of the end zone. Van Dyke has yet to see any action on defense this season.

Based on what we saw last week, combined with what Tomlin said on Tuesday, it is likely that the Steelers will be much more vanilla this week has far as defensive scheming goes. Perhaps more press coverage underneath a cover-2, especially in short yardage situations in order to protect the chains better than they did against the Chargers.

“Obviously we’re running short at the cornerback position,” Tomlin said. “We’ll continue to work with those guys and build a plan around what they’re capable of executing and executing at a high level. More than anything it’s not about what we call, it’s about what we’re capable of executing. We’ll have that in mind in regards to some of those young corners.”

It is still unclear whether or not Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant will be able to play Sunday with his injured left index finger and it would be a huge break for the Steelers secondary if he winds up not playing.

  • steeltown

    Well, I guess there’s a good chance we will see what we have in these young guys. If nothing else, they’ll be playing for possible consideration and/or a roster spot come next season.

  • steeltown

    Here we are coming down the stretch and our top 3 CB’s are injured in some form or fashion, not good

  • Maurice_hill_district

    So Tomlin said “Josh particularly has very good ball skills & is very ball aware”. But Josh was on the street. Wow what a bargain, guess no teams need that:) Oh the spin doctoring school the coaches go to. Dez Bryant will probably beg to play.

  • steelirish33

    We know what we have in these guys, backups and guys off the street. If they were all that, they would probably be starting. In the case of Van Dyke, he was released by the lowly Raiders. Oh wait, they beat the Steelers. My bad. If this is what the Steelers go into Sundays game with, count on 300 and 3 tds from Romo, especially if Bryant can play.

  • dudek km

    You must have forgotten that Tony Romo is the QB.. He always crumbles in December.

  • steeltown

    Van Dyke was a 3rd Rd pick that the Steelers actually coveted themselves that draft year, but instead landed Brown and then Allen. As for the Raiders, they are constantly releasing talent because they have no structure in their organization and they also have shown they have no ability to develop their own players. Victorian is an enigma, he did play well in the preseason. As far as I can tell he has spent time on the Ravens, Patriots and Saints practice squads, which can be read two ways, he couldnt cut it numerous times, or those (pretty respectable) Teams all thought he could have some potential… I guess we’ll see. Either way, its going to be a tough couple weeks, with Dallas and Cinci on the slate

  • Garrett Hunt

    With our four young talented CB’s I feel it is just a matter of time until one of them step up and blossem into a big time player for the defense.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    On a positive note, we are finding out this year who we can count on next year and who is bird turd. Everyone has been tested thoroughly which will allow the coaching staff and front office to make educated talent decisions when it comes to this offseason. Needless to say, the secondary will still be a huge priority.

  • steeltown

    K.Lewis has done that this year… I just hope they don’t let him walk in FA

  • steeltown

    I agree completely, guys like Van Dyke, Victorian, Worilds, Dwyer, Redman etc are all being tested, some will earn themselves a future on the Team, some will not. I think it’s clear guys like Sylvestor, Mundy and Legursky have not played ‘above the line’ this season or last and probably will not be back in 2013

  • Garrett Hunt

    Yea for sure, I just meant someone else between Curtis Brown, DVD, Cotez Allen, and Josh Victorian

  • steeltown

    I would love to see the Van Dyke project work out.. and of course I have been excited about Cortez for some time, another year in the system and I think he’ll be a solid player for us

  • Garrett Hunt

    I might cry a little bit if Mundy comes back.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Yes, they have been hanging on Worilds, Dwyer, Redman, Timmons, and Hood for quite some time now. Some of the cracks have started to show with these guys (Hood, Worilds) when put under pressure, and others have shined (Timmons, Dwyer, Redman to some extent). I would disagree somewhat with Legursky since he’s such a versatile player, nonetheless, there should be some very clear roster spots opening up this offseason. Perhaps this is the jumping off point for rebuilding considering how much information the team now has on the true depth of its team. I hate rebuilding, but it’s got to happen sometime…

  • steeltown

    Rebuilding is not the word, they are just missing a couple pieces or they are entering the twilight at a few positions. Worilds and Hood have both shown flashes, Hood is solid just not dominant and Worilds seems to be hot and cold, but he leads the Team in sacks at this point and he’s hardly played. I still have to disagree with Legursky, I like him, but they wont even play him at the Guard positions anymore. They chose to push Pouncey out and let Legursky play Center, which is his strong point, that is not versatility. Beachum on the other hand ‘could possibly’ learn the Center position while also being able to play Guard or Tackle, if needed. With that said, you’re right about roster spots soon opening, very soon we will need to start grooming some young Safeties, this Golden kid has potential, but we will need a top prospect back there as well once Troy hangs em up and of course another OLB and backup QB

  • Only for depth Steelers could use another good backup safety besides Will Allen and backup cornerback besides Cortez Allen, the starters have played phenomenal at pro bowl levels all season, mainly Ryan Clark, Keenan Lewis, and Ike Taylor which once again helped Steelers have the #1 Ranked Pass Defense and #1 Overall Defense in the NFL once again as usual.

  • R. Mundy, J. Victorian, R.Golden, C. Brown, D.Van Dyke all complete garbage.