Steelers CB Cortez Allen Too Humble To Make Pro Bowl Guarantee

Just a little more than year ago, former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis predicted that he would make the Pro Bowl in 2012. That prediction didn\’t come true of course, but Lewis played so well that he got himself a five-year, $25.5 million contract from the New Orleans Saints this past offseason.

The Steelers didn\’t try to prevent Lewis from leaving because they have confidence that third-year cornerback Cortez Allen can replace him. However, as Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports on Tuesday, Allen isn\’t going to follow the lead of Lewis when it comes to guaranteeing he will make the Pro Bowl in 2013.

“I\’m not that type to make predictions or boast about myself,” Allen said, via the Bouchette report. “I\’m a very humble guy. I just come to work every day and try to get better and better so I can help my team the best I can.”

Allen showed signs in 2011 as a rookie that he could become a future starter at cornerback for the Steelers when he held New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in check while playing in the slot in his first extended game action of his young career on defense. Since that time, Allen has seen his playing time increase and he even started three games last year late in the season after fellow cornerback Ike Taylor went down with a fractured right ankle.

In the final two games of the 2012 season, Allen recorded two interceptions and forced three fumbles as a starter, and that is something the Steelers defense needs more of heading into 2013. According to Bouchette, Allen says that is always being worked on in practice.

“We\’re working on it everyday, doing more ball drills, more emphasis on attacking the ball so we can do better in that category,” Allen said.

In addition to starting opposite Taylor in 2013, Allen is also expected to resume the slot roll that he played in 2012 when the Steelers utilize their nickel personnel this upcoming season. As far as playing in the slot versus playing outside goes, Allen was asked Saturday morning during his interview on 93.7 The Fan to explain the differences of the two positions.

“It\’s usually a more shiftier guy in that position,” said Allen about playing in the slot versus playing outside. “It\’s a different animal as far as the type of receiver that you face, and sometimes you might face the big tight ends like Gronkowski.

“So it\’s a different aspect as to just what type of body that you\’re getting, and also it\’s more of a two-way for them because they have more field to work with as far as playing the outside cornerback where you have the sideline as your friend and things like that.

“Just that aspect of it is different and also being in that slot position you have to be aware of a lot more things, because a lot of things that you do are predicated on what happens in the course of that play. So it\’s a lot more thinking that goes into it.”

That last time that the Steelers had a cornerback earn a Pro Bowl selection was in 1996 when Rod Woodson earned his last trip to Hawaii as a Pittsburgh player. That season Woodson registered six interceptions, and that is certainly a great number for Allen to shoot for in 2013. I\’m not going to guarantee that he will hit that number, but I also wouldn\’t bet against him hitting it either.

  • Teeman

    Wow! It’s crazy to me how one day it’s a post about Mike taking shots, then the next it’s shots taken at K.Lewis. It seems to me that in every article Allen is doing, he’s unfairly being asked to compare himself, his play and his way of going about his business to Keenan. Keenan’s statement last season wasn’t a prediction, as the media made it out to be, but a goal and his personal expectations of himself for the season. Sad thing is, these guys remain good friends even though they aren’t teammates anymore. Cortez needs to be careful to not let the media bait him into questions like this. Because if he knows better, he would understand that the media is trying to pit him and Keenan against each other for better headlines and stories. I’m sure the fans are going to feel different, but this is no different than the Mike Wallace situation everyone is up in arms about. Keenan is in New Orleans, he’s happy and has been doing really, really well in OTA’s according to media sources. Both of these guys will have success with their respective teams, both are up and coming and both will be great corners after their respective careers are done. Whoever makes the Pro Bowl first, I know for sure that one will congratulate and be happy for the other. Stop pitting these guys against each other and let them play ball.

  • steeltown

    Im not sure C.Allen could’ve answered whatever question was asked any better than he did, he said, I do not boast.. “Im a very humble guy” …because that is the type of person he is

    The media may be making comparisons… C.Allen is not biting

  • Steve

    I didn’t see it the way you did, just a quote that Lewis said last year. When people make remarks it is NOT what they say, it is how we interpret the remark. Lewis is making 5 mil which is NOT chicken scratch and there are CB’s like Revis that are makin 25 mil. If Allen has a Pro Bowl Year he deserves better $$$ also.

  • steeltown

    I am amazed at how well spoken and down to earth this guy is, he just keeps amazing me with his work ethic and overall outlook on his life and professional career

  • Guest

    I think you’re being bit overly sensitive about these issues. I know you are related to one player and another, who was recently criticized in the media and by Steeler Nation, is like a brother to you so maybe you can’t be as objective as the rest of us? For the record, I did not take Cortez’s comments as a shot at Keenan at all. As for your other brother and the backlash from his recent comments…well, I think he made his bed last year and he’s seeing the consequences of that choice–and nothing against him wanting more money or anything else for himself. Perhaps if he’d had a stellar season, all would be forgiven (just sayin’), but Steeler Nation always expects no less than the playoffs and the Super Bowl. I don’t think there’s another fan base in the NFL like Steeler fans. We are the most passionate and most critical of our team, its coaches and players. Nevertheless, both of your guys have moved on so maybe we should all move on. Still love ya!! Always will!! And both your bros!

  • Guest

    Come on man, read the headline. It’s basically saying that K.Lewis was arrogant enough to predict a Pro-Bowl trip, while Allen is taking the high road and “being humble”. Is this not the case?

  • Guest

    So why was Lewis’ expectations of himself taken interpreted as an arrogant prediction? The headline could’ve easily read “Allen not worried about Pro Bowl berth” or something to that effect. Why is the headline saying “Cortez Allen is too humble to make pro bowl prediction”? That’s taking shots, no matter how you say it.

  • hergieburbur

    Not so much. It’s more contrasting their personalities than anything. I didn’t get any judgement out of it.

  • steeltown

    How do we know Lewis was even brought up, maybe Bouchette simply asked Cortez if he thinks he’ll make the probowl this season…

  • BossSteelerChick

    I don’t recall Keenan making a “prediction” that he’d be in the pro bowl; my recollection is that he said that was his personal goal. The media blew that remark out of context (as usual). I have no doubt Keenan is going to make a pro bowl or several during his career. He is the one of the best CBs in the league and still developing. I hope he makes New Orleans proud of their hometown guy!

  • steeltown

    I guess im confused, would you rather him say, “I’ll make the ProBowl” almost implying that he’s better than K.Lewis??? Atleast that’s how it would be interpreted, wouldn’t that cause more media frenzy?

    In regards to the headlines, I see what you are saying, but media outlets will always make comparisons

  • Guest

    Boss, message me, we’ll talk.

  • Guest

    Will do, Bro.

  • Steve

    Da Saints will love Lewis as we did. Don’t think we are missing a thing with Allen.

  • Ahmad

    I think he’ll have to have double digit pass deflections and at least 5 picks to make the Pro Bowl.

  • Some players/people are soft spoken with their confidence and others not so much. Cortez just happens to be one of the soft spoken like Troy…He was asked the question and answered it. He was NOT taking any shots at Lewis. He just said he is of a different type of person/player/mentality.

  • The Steeler Way..

  • r4kolb

    Wow wouldn’t that suck for Ike? Allen making Pro-Bowl. Ouch!

  • Rob

    I think you are taking the bait offered by the writer. He asked questions and then strung the answers together to make it sound like something it is not. Basic yellow journalism at its finest. These guys practice hard to make controversy were there is none. All of his answers were very simple and straight forward dealing only with himself and his approach to the game and his craft. Any inferences to someone else were left up to the writer and reader to make. This kid may be the reason they let Lewis go, not that he is a bad player but they may have what they think is a better player already on the team. Lake thought a lot of this kid from day one and he does not seem to have discipline issues that Lewis did. Remember the broken glass at a stadium they were visiting?, Tomlin made him pay for that and then benched him for a while.

  • Guest

    Rob, that was one incident. When have you’ve ever heard of Lewis having discipline issues other than this? None. Second, Lake thought a lot of Keenan as well. People say it took Lewis 4 years to get it, but that’s not totally true. Fans forget that Keenan would’ve been a starter in his second year, but what happened AFTER the Denver game is what prevented that from happening.