The Lake Effect Is Already Impacting The Steelers Black Cat

I wrote in my post draft breakdown of Pittsburgh Steelers fifth-round draft pick Terry Hawthorne that I thought it looked like he really got up high on his toes during his back pedal after watching tape of him and apparently he gets up too high for the liking of defensive back coach Carnell Lake.

Hawthorne, who took part in the Steelers rookie camp this past weekend, said in an interview with steelers.com that him backpedaling too high was one of the areas that he received correction in over the weekend when it came to his technique.

“They were correcting me on my technique,” said Hawthorne. “I was coming out here trying to get my technique down right. As I got out here and my technique got better, it started to get more comfortable.

“They basically want me to stay low. They were saying I was peddling too high so they want me to stay low.”

If memory serves me correctly, former Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis also had a real high back pedal coming out of Oregon State, and while he didn\’t blossom as quickly as most hoped, he did finally turn the proverbial corner last season.

As far as Hawthorne goes, he still doesn\’t know why he slipped all the way down to the fifth round of the draft, but that he is thankful to get drafted by the Steelers nonetheless.

“I don’t know why I slipped, but I thank the Steelers for giving me the opportunity to come here and correct things,” said Hawthorne. “You want to go out there and show your talent to the best of your ability.”

Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review posted in both of his rookie camp reports over the weekend that Hawthorne looked like he has it all and that he is an early candidate to make the Steelers 53-man roster come September. Kaboly also added that the Illinois product possessed smoothness at the right outside corner position.

Hawthorne also added in his interview that he plans on taking what he learned this past weekend back home with him to practice in order to be ready for the Steelers first OTA session that will get underway in a few more weeks.

The Steelers first preseason game is still a long way off, but it appears that the “Lake Effect” has already made an impact on the player that they call the “Black Cat”.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    I really, really, really, hope that Cortez not only proves that he is a starter this season, but that we lock him up next offseason before he becomes an UFA….. I do NOT want to keep grooming players for the rest of the League, if Cortez is locked up and Hawthorne turns out to be a solid player I will be a very happy man.

    I like the Kaboly camp reports.. nice to have some on scene point of view, seems like Shark Thomas and Hawthorne both look the part and I like mention of some first year returning players like Isaiah Green making some plays and M.McFadden who I think makes the 53man this year

  • Jason Brant

    I like reading the reports too. The only thing that didn’t make any sense to me was the report about Bell not being a big back. Kaboly said he considers Redman a big back (who is 6’0″ 230) but not Bell (who is 6’1″ 230).

    Not sure how that makes sense.

  • James Goins

    I’m not really sure either, but it may have some to do with the way that they are built or the fact that Bell sometimes runs more upright than most people his size. Either way, I’m excited to have him. He’s definitely a beast of a ball carrier.

  • mghjr88

    While I think Le’Veon Bell is definitely a big back, he really does have a lean physical build. Take into consideration that Isaac Redman has a pretty “stocky” build and Kaboly’s comments make more sense.

  • dgh57

    My guess is that it has to do with bone structure. Redman probably has a big bone structure which makes him look bigger than Bell who is the same size.

  • steeltown

    Yea, I think maybe Le’veon is more physically fit, maybe more weight from muscle mass than the stocky Redman

  • $19122620

    Yeah, I feel the same way about Allen. I think he can be a better player than K. Lewis will ever be. So I am with you; assuming Allen takes the next step forward, we really do not need to let him go. He has shown that he not only has the potential to be good but that he has a knack for making turnovers.

    I know it’s early, but I am stoked about the potential of Hawthorne and, if everything pans out, I like the idea of Allen and Hawthorne as our CBs of the future. In addition, I am so glad Lake is our secondary coach. I think he has done an awesome job and hope that he can be with us for a very long time.

  • David Edward

    I think Lake has done a much better job with the DBs than Horton did. Under Horton, none of them seemed to develop, whereas I’ve seen improvement with every DB since Lake has been here…even Ike. Lake corrects the flaws in their technique and also helps them keep their head in the game. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing him as the coordinator some day when LeBeau retires.

  • PoKey21

    I really hope this guy can help us forget about Kennan Lewis in a season or 2. I honestly think the loss of Lewis will have the biggest impact on the team out of all losses we have had the last couple of years. Lewis will be an elite CB in the league and its really going to hurt if we cant find someone to step up.

  • PoKey21

    I agree with you that Lake has done wonders for the Steelers secondary. I dont think he has had enough time in to take over for LeBeau though. I see Dick stepping down after this year or the next one. I definitely dont think LeBeau will be around for 3 more seasons, and Keith Butler is the heir apparent to LeBeau.

  • charles

    Due respect to Mr. LeBeau. Maybe the best DC iin the history of modern NFL. Heres to Carnell Lake making him the second best DC in the NFL..

  • SteelSpine

    Funny thing about first rookie camp where Kaboly was impressed with Hawthorne, if ya try to predict based on that camp, our 3rd QB this year will be someone named Caleb Terbush. He threw the best & is 6’5″, & didn’t cost us any draft pick.