Steelers CB Cortez Allen Confident About Upcoming Season

The Pittsburgh Steelers allowed free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis to leave uncontested this off-season because they are confident third-year cornerback Cortez Allen can easily fill his shoes. Allen was a guest Sunday morning on 93.7 The Fan and as asked about the confidence that he has in the team this upcoming season despite the losses that they\’ve had.

“I feel confident in our ability to compete,” Allen said. “The environment within the locker room  I think has not changed as far as what we expect from each other and what we expect for of this organization. We still do have the key components in every phase of our team. We still have guys that helped us, minus Keenan Lewis, that helped us be the number one secondary in the league, and a lot of guys are still here who helped us be the number one defense.

“We still have Ben (Roethlisberger). We still have Heath (Miller), who is getting healthy. We still have Antonio (Brown). We still have a lot of key players in there that are contributing in a lot of our success and we still have a lot of the same staff, so I’m very, very confident in what we will do and what we’re capable of doing when we put the work into it.”

Allen, who in his rookie season showed he had a ton up upside in the win over the New England Patriots when he matched up against tight end Rob Gronkowski in the slot, was asked when the first time was that he felt comfortable in the defense, and the Citadel product reference that very game in his answer.

“I would say after my first real game being on defense was against the Patriots, said Allen. “I was able to have success and I was able to be a factor in a lot of things. I had a pretty good grasp on the defense, there.

“I spent a lot of time with Coach Lake in just learning what we\’re doing, not just my position, but the positions around me. I\’ve always tried to be a sponge in a sense, so that I could better help myself in the grand scheme of things. So I would say that was the first time I really got a chance to experience it head on and see what it\’s like and see that I can contribute a lot more.”

Allen really had a solid sophomore season in 2012 and it resulted in him recording 55 total tackles, 10 passes defensed, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. With Lewis now gone, Allen will start opposite Ike Taylor in the Steelers secondary and he is expected to slide inside to the slot when the team utilizes their nickel personnel.

Should Allen stay healthy, you would have to think that he has a legitimate shot at earning his first Pro Bowl selection in only his first year as a full-time starter.

Listen to the full interview below:

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  • KenNYSteelerFan

    Love this guy

  • dgh57

    How do you improve on a #1 pass defense from last year?!!!

    Among other things, my man Cortez Allen having a breakout year, that’s how!!!

  • http://twitter.com/BigARashad Ahmad

    He has all the skills of a shutdown CB but unfortunately he’ll have to snag a couple of picks to get to the Pro Bowl as apparently picks are all people care about.

  • $19122620

    If he made it to the pro bowl this year, or any for that matter, it would be the first year a CB went since 1997, Rod Woodson! Kind of pathetic, really! It would be nice to have a CB go again.

  • steeltown

    Right, Ike Taylor should be a perennial probowler, yet lack of INT’s hurt his chances every year

  • steeltown

    Hope he has a solid year and they lock him up next offseason

  • Douglas Andrews

    With a better pass rush the secondary as a whole should be a better unit. I especially think Cortez will improve. Might not be a bad idea to lock him up now

  • Pete

    Pro Bowl? He’ll have to show a lot and get more than 2 picks to land a Pro Bowl spot. Would love to see him do it.

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Ike Taylor is worth his weight in Gold for what he has been teaching and sharing with Cortez to help him improve his game.

  • Steve

    We will see how Allen does this year. I would not jump on his bandwagon until we see how he does in a 6-8 month span. He gave Great answers in his interview and is Hungry for competition, lets see if his words become actions and IF he is our next shut down CB.
    Did you guys see that Max Starks signed with the Chargers? He’ll be fighting it out with King Dunlap and D.J. Fluker the 11th overall pick in the draft.

  • Steve

    Ike has too many mental lapses to make the Pro Bowl. He is a barking dog, All bark, no bite! Actions speak louder than words.

  • joed32

    He’s still a very good cover corner and a sure tackler as well. If he had hands he would have been gone a long time ago because we wouldn’t have been able to afford him.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    He’s being placed as a slot cornerback in nickel packages which play up to his strength, it doesn’t necessarily mean our pass defense will improve. We have will gay now but we will see how that goes. Of course I, like many people all are optimistic about this situation because I really like Cortez Allen’s potential. Haven’t had somebody with this high ceiling since… well, Rod Woodson.

  • dgh57

    Yes, sometimes I can get carried away with things!

    Fluker, I think, played RT in college so I’m guessing that’s where he’ll play. Starks will be competing with Dunlap who they signed from the Eagles at LT. I don’t know what’s going on there as Starks told the Steelers he wouldn’t resign unless he was starting and I wouldn’t think he’s guaranteed starting with the Chargers.

  • Kolie Oak

    I’m still perplexed why we didn’t keep Lewis????
    Even if Cortez is better, we would of had the best secondary in recent history…