Should the Pittsburgh Steelers wind up winning the Lombardi Trophy in 2013 it will be the first trophy that starting cornerback Cortez Allen has every won in his football career.
"I have never won a trophy in football," Allen said in a recent Q & A session with fans on steelers.com. "I came close in high school, but I never got a trophy for football so it would be amazing."
In his one season playing for North Marion High School in Florida, Allen\'s team won the regional championship in 2005, but lost to St. Augustine in the Class 3A state final game.
During the offseason Allen has been busy training with fellow cornerbacks Ike Taylor and William Gay in Orlando at the Wide World of Sports Complex under the watchful eye of renown trainer Tom Shaw. The Citadel product was also asked by a fan during the Q & A session if there is anything else that he likes to do during the offseason to get away from football, and Allen gave the perfect answer.
"Is there such a thing?" he said.
Allen is primed for a big season in his first full year as a starter that will include him shifting inside to the nickel spot when the Steelers defense utilizes their sub package. He talked a little about how different playing inside versus outside is for him.
"Being outside, it’s a different mindset," said Allen. "I can use things as leverage based on how he is lined up because I have sideline help. I have a lot of different hidden help to help me know what they are going to do. At the nickel position there is a lot more thinking involved. A lot of what they do with the scheme they are running. In a course of a play, a lot of things can change for me more in the nickel than at the corner position.
"It’s a lot more thinking. It’s not a big tight end you are going against; it’s a small shifty guy. It’s fun though. I have a fun time doing it and the competitiveness of it."
Allen will attempt to become the first Steelers cornerback to earn a Pro Bowl selection since Rod Woodson garnered the honor for his play during the 1996-97 season. Should that wind up happening this year, perhaps they will give him a trophy in lieu of him not playing in the game because he will be preparing to play in the Super Bowl in an attempt to win the grandest football trophy of them all.