Steelers CB Cortez Allen Not Caught Up In The Fame Game

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen will be a starter in 2013 for the first time in his career, but even though he is already well-known by fans worldwide, he doesn\’t get himself caught up in the fame game.

“I don’t think of myself as a celebrity,” Allen said in an interview with Jeff Hartsell of The Post and Courier. “I’m just Cortez, the same person I was at The Citadel, before The Citadel, before the NFL.

“That’s very important to me, to never change for anything, for fame or money or whatever. Regardless of the setting, I just try to be my best self in every environment.”

Allen, who was selected by the Steelers in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft, registered 55 total tackles last season and forced three turnovers while playing the nickel corner spot in 2012. Now that he will be a full-time player in 2013, those numbers should only get better.

“I am just trying to absorb as much information as I can from the older guys, the coaches and so forth, Allen told a fan in a recent Q & A session on “I want to make sure I am ready physically to make sure I can complete a full season without any hiccups.”

As far as his offseason training goes, Allen has been working out with fellow cornerback Ike Taylor again down in Florida at the Wide World of Sports Complex under the watchful eye of renown trainer Tom Shaw, and he has a lot of respect for the player who has taken him underneath his wing ever since he arrived in Pittsburgh.

“He has been a huge help in my development,” Allen said of Taylor. “I learn so much from him just watching him, how he comes to work and prepares. I am working towards that. I am not there yet. If I can get to the level he is at as far as his work ethic I feel like I can be a lot better athlete. I have a lot of respect for him.”

No Steelers cornerback has made the Pro Bowl since Rod Woodson in 1997, and Allen will be looking to break that drought in 2013. Woodson will be interning this year at training camp this summer as a defensive backs coach, so The Citadel product will have yet another great tutor to help improve his game in addition to Taylor and defensive backs coach Carnell Lake.

It really is good to see the attitude that Allen has and has had since coming into the league and there is no reason to think that fame and success will go to his head. He is as humble as they come, and he has a bright future ahead of him.

  • TJimmy

    Personally, I like the humble attitude better than “swag.” Looking forward to Cortez continuing his trend of forcing turnovers. It is just what the defense needs this year!

  • Dom

    Are you saying he didn’t go to Swaggin University with Ike?

  • Josh

    At first the Swaggin bit bothered me, but I’ve really warmed to Ike , realizing he’s just something of a goofball which actually serves him well in the mental aspect of the game (i.e. not becoming a head case when he faces adversity).

  • Jazz

    Attitude Better than Swag? Ike Taylor has been one of the best guys on that team since they drafted him. He is a true professional; Swaggin? So what if he used that term to describe his school, at least he went to school and he is proud of it. Ike Taylor has hands of steel, that is the only reason he hasn’t made the Pro-Bowl, and will never be considered one of the best to ever play that position for the Steelers. I’ve watched the kid his entire career; let me tell you this, in his prime, nothing often got pass Ike Taylor. If Ike can recover from his injury in 2012, the Steelers should have a nice secondary in 2013. Minus William Gay.

  • steeltown

    Love this guy.. I think he, Will Johnson and McLendon are my favorite ‘young’ Steelers.. these guys seem to truly get the Steeler way

  • TJimmy

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Ike Taylor and believe he’s one of the best CB’s in the league. I like his personality too. But I never did care for the ‘swag’ bit

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I look at the names mentioned in this article and think…man what a secondary that would be. Ike and Rod at CB and Troy and Lake at safety. Wow! 2 different eras but wow.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    No mel blount??

  • Chris Ward

    Cortez has the right mentality by staying humble and working hard trying to improve his skill sets.Being surrounded by veteran players like Polamalu, Clark, Taylor is a huge advantage to Cortez to be around that experience and knowledge. A long with Dick Lebeau’s experience in coaching and playing in the defensive back field for a number of decades and Carnell Lakes experience with playing CB in the NFL. As well as Mike Tomlin’s experience with coaching defensive backs at the college ranks and with his time in Tampa. With Cortez’s work ethic and skills along with the playing/coaching experience around him he has a bright future ahead of him.

  • Michael Pearce

    We better hope and pray that Cortez pans out after letting our best CB(Keenan) leave and Ike maybe playing his last year for Pittsburgh. Not getting any younger. Maybe it would have been better to make a good businness decision and keep Keenan and let Ike go and next year we could have had two young, up and coming CB’s. Keenan was tops in the league in passes defensed last year and by the end of the year had turned into a shutdown corner. It was a mistake not to keep him.

  • Dorkewicz

    I’m really excited to see how well Allen will play as a starter. I was a little sad to see Keenan go because he really turned that corner with the help of Carnell, but what this defense really lacks is pressure and a ball hawking secondary to make some big splash plays. Hopefully Allen can help with that.

  • GhettoBelligerent

    No way KLewis was our best CB last year. Ike took the top dog every week and stood up strong. If it would have been Klewis taking on AJ Green twice we would hear everybody running him out of town (where he went). Not saying I didn’t like Klewis because I did – but Cortez has higher upside. Steelers made the right choice in not overpaying for someone that wanted to go back home.

  • Brendon Glad

    I’m very excited to see Cortez Allen in his 3rd year. He flashed some excellent play-making ability in his opportunities. Not a big enough sample size to get giddy, but I went on record in the spring that we needed to just let Keenan Lewis walk, (since he was due a fairly huge pay-raise) save the $ for other purposes, and trust in Cortez. I hope I was right.
    In my ideal world, Ike fully recovers from the leg, is re-signed to the consistently fair $ which he never has bickered over…mans the other corner in excellent fashion as he usually has for another 4 years…and Cortez makes the other side excellent as well.
    Very similar to how Ryan Clark’s Steelers career has played out. We will draft a CB pretty high in the next 1-3 years…and Ike will gracefully mentor both and bow-out in about 2017-18. Sounds like a plan to me.

  • Brendon Glad

    I poignantly remember some publication in their post-draft analysis of the draft in Ike’s year calling Ike Taylor “the worst draft pick in Steelers history.”
    It irritated the heck out of me THEN, even though I don’t watch NCAAF, because it was a 4TH RD PICK! Now, whoever that was, looks even worse. I think Ike is one of the more underrated players in the game. Can he catch? No, not really. Even HE acknowledges that. But he can lock you down…supports the run…and to ME his ‘swag’ is my favorite kind of ‘swag’. Low-key, cool, but THERE…as in, his ‘swag’ is far more like “Casey Hampton, Hines Ward, Aaron Smith swag”…than it is like Chad Johnson swag. I’ll take that all-day.

  • Brendon Glad

    And isn’t he fun to listen to on the NFL top-100 list? He’s the best dude on the show! He has such an ‘off-beat’ way of describing guys. Always respectful, but…dang…it’s hard to explain, isn’t it? He’s just way cool. I LIKE IKE!!! 🙂

  • Kenneth Wilt

    He wasn’t mentioned in the article….:)

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Har har I know but if we were going to fantasize such line-up, why limit yourself to only two eras? 😛

  • Luke Shabro

    I was just thinking about when he was describing James Harrison last year. Ike cracks me up and he’s such a great guy. I think it’s so cool the relationship he has with Dan Rooney.

  • Luke Shabro

    I remember when Ike told Mike Wallace “Just remember, you need football more than football needs you” when he was going through his contract nonsense. I never faulted Mike for wanting to get a boat load of cash. I faulted him for having a lame duck, half-@$$ed year last year. Ike speaks words of wisdom more than people realize.