Steelers Cornerback Situation Following The Exit Of Keenan Lewis

Now that cornerback Keenan Lewis has moved on to the New Orleans Saints via free agency, it is easy to pin down what the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary will look like in 2013.

Cortez Allen, who had two interceptions and three forced fumbles last season, will start opposite Ike Taylor. The Citadel product has progressed very nicely and his conditioning should be top notch being as he works out in the off-season with Taylor down in Florida under the guidance of renowned trainer Tom Shaw.

When the Steelers go into their nickel, it will be William Gay, who is guaranteed to be on the 53 man roster, that will take the field as the third cornerback. Now that we know Lewis was not offered a deal, we can see exactly why Gay was signed so quickly following his release from the Arizona Cardinals. Will Gay play inside or outside when he comes in for the nickel? That remains to be seen as Allen certainly worked good in the slot last season. Gay has played both inside and outside, but I think in the long run they will want the size of Allen on the outside.

The dime back position figures to be up in the air right now. Last year that is when Curtis Brown saw the field, but his roster spot is anything but safe right now. Brown, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Josh Victorian and Justin King will all battle for the fourth and fifth cornerback spots on the roster.

Even though Lewis wasn\’t offered a contract, the Steelers appear to be set with their depth and I doubt they will even draft a cornerback in April. If they do, it figures to be on day three.

  • Jollyrob68

    If Xavier Rhodes falls he’ll be tough to pass on. However I still see Tavon Austin as a Great pick. They could also Trade down for an additional pick and then select a CB like Jonathan Banks.

  • steeltown

    I’m not giving up on C.Brown just yet, I think he and Van Dyke have a leg up on the rest, though I dont really know much about J.King except he went PennSt and he’s fast.

    Interestingly enough, Tomlin was at Van Dykes pro day way back when and was graded at or before Brown and Allen in that years draft on the Steelers draft board. If he gets his head on straight, who knows… I know one thing though, he’s only costing $555,000 in 2013

  • grw1960

    One thing for sure for those of us that follow the draft closely. We now know why Curtis Brown ,(who many thought was an early 2nd round CB) was still on the board when the Steelers picked in the 3d round.

  • Pissed. Would rather have cut Ike than seen Lewis walk away.

  • zyzak

    This team needs playmakers on offense. Ben aint gonna be around forever

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    They need to develop a replacement for Ike, so I think they will at least look at CBs.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Brown is entering the same year that Lewis was when he finally was able to be productive in our defense. It is the year that Gay moved inside and Lewis outside in the nickel, so basically 2 years ago. You have to hope that Brown takes a jump up and finally figures it out at the NFL level.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Steelers set with their current depth at CB? Thats funny. I sure hope thats not what our depth still is by start of preseason. The group of current backups or CBs 3 through 5, adds up to a big nothing.
    LeBeau better have major tricks up his sleeve to cover up for it, because most teams use 3 or 4 receivers often.

  • westernsteel

    Yep, sure do. Other than Ben, they need someone on offense who can score some points. Maybe AB, but I don’t see anyone else on the roster who jumps out as someone who can make plays.

  • RW

    No depth at the safety position, either.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I wonder to what extent it was considered. They could have leveraged Ike to take a pay cut, too. The going price for corners has plummeted since Ike signed his deal.

  • rizzo29

    Offense better be ready to put 30+ a game,Better get a pass rush,or could get real ugly with this secondary,GB Det,Chi Pat,s on schedule, I hope for the best

  • dgh57

    I’m thinking the Steelers have their eye on someone at CB in this draft and it doesn’t have to be 1st rd! Who would of thought they would draft someone out of the Citadel named Cortez Allen? Allen was a under the radar type player when drafted. I think you’ll see them do the same thing this year. I doubt the Steelers would part ways with Lewis unless they had a backup plan!

    Still, the Steelers must of seen something in Lewis that was lacking(other than the lack of INTs) as to why they let him walk!

  • reg38

    What did the Steeler fans think of Keenan Lewis after his first 2 years. After year 3? It wasn’t until after his 4th year (last year) that Steeler fans actually valued Keenan Lewis.

    Give C. Brown the chance to develop as Lewis did. He has only played 2 years.

  • I think you’re way off on the assessment that the Steelers won’t draft a cornerback. I’d be willing to bet we draft one before we draft and outside linebacker or an inside linebacker.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    As quoted from the article, “….it is easy to pin down what the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary will look like in 2013.” That would be Old As The Hills starting on one side with Relatively Unproven on the other side with Totally Worthless starting in the nickel package. Backing those folks up are Terrible, Who Is That?, and two guys that walked in off the street. Whoa! SCARY shakey backfield this year. Whew, downright stinky!

  • Kolie Oak

    Its crazy that we didn’t even offer Keenan anything. We all just thought what???? That he was going to enter free agency and no one would pick him up??? Lake and the coaching staff must clearly see something else….
    Have faith stillers

  • I think it was a big misstep. This team has lacked quality CB play for years and when they finally have a solid group, they break it up. I don’t care if Lebeau’s system doesn’t call for elite CBs when our LBing corp has weakened, our safeties are old or unable to last a full season, and the Dline isn’t as strong as it has been in recent years.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    I see where you’re going….but it always takes CB’s at least two years to even sniff the starting lineup (short of injuries) so drafting some competence will prevent our secondary from continuing to suck three years from now. Not a very good contingency plan….

  • Fu-Schnickens

    No, Lewis saw something in the Steelers that was lacking – money.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Van Dyke was cut from the Raiders for Pete Sake!! He was only on the Raiders for one reason – speed. Not cover ability, not good hands, not a nose for the ball,….speed. So that suddenly qualifies him to be a true corner? Uuuummmm…no.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I gotta agree here. Unless they see a future star in Van Dyke, I could see a true #2 CB early. Nickel backs we have stocked to the brim. But Gay/Brown/Victorian cannot handle the edge WRs one-on-one. We’ve seen this.

  • steeltown

    Did I say true corner, hell no.. developmental, yes

    ..and when have the Raiders ever been good a judge of talent and/or be able to develop their own talent.. not for years now

  • dgh57

    Obviously, isn’t that why they all leave for the so called “greener pastures!!”

  • Maurice_hill_district

    I totally agree.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    To my point, the Raiders have a whole long list of speedsters that they’ve left burning at the side of the road because they can do nothing other than run fast. Developmental could be 2-3 years from now at best. That does nothing to help this beleaguered squad this year.

  • steeltown

    But it might help come ’14 or ’15 when Ike is gone… for now he can be #5 on the depth chart and be the gunner on special teams