Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay has forever been the whipping boy for fans and Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has an excellent piece up Monday afternoon centered around that very topic.
As soon as New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz scored from 57-yards out in the Saturday night preseason opener, I knew my Twitter feed would light up with the usual Gay bashers, and they did not let me down.
Shortly after the game ended, I broke down the play in question and showed that Gay was hung out to dry with Cruz. Since then, safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark have both taken full responsibility for not providing Gay help with Cruz over the top. In Kaboly\’s latest piece, he quotes Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake as saying the same thing.
“There are people counting on other players positioning and support, and if it is not there, you leave them hanging out to dry,” Lake told Kaboly “That\’s what happened.”
Gay won\’t ever make it to the Pro Bowl, but the Steelers could do much worse than him as they transition from older to younger in their secondary. He has been a part of several great defenses over the years and knows the Dick LeBeau scheme inside and out. Yes, he has had his share of moments over the years, but what cornerback not named Darrelle Revis hasn\’t? If Lake believed there was someone better on the roster to play ahead of Gay, that player would be on the field instead.
When Cortez Allen returns to full health, Gay will be relegated to playing only in the nickel sub package, and that is exactly what he was brought back to do during the offseason.
Whenever Gay is guilty on a play, I have never had problem pointing it out. On the flip side, however, I will defend him when it\’s not all on him and such was the case Saturday night.
Cornerback Ike Taylor, who is walking quote machine, said it best to Kaboly when trying to explain why Gay is so hated by a good portion of Steelers fans.
“If Robin does something good, Batman is always going to get the credit,” Taylor told Kaboly. “Nobody ever talks about Robin, and that\’s why Robin crossed over to the dark side.”
I like to just chalk it up to a good portion of Steelers fans not understanding the game of football, because that\’s what it really boils down to. If that statement offends you, it was meant to.
Look, Gay is not a cornerback without flaws, but he also doesn\’t deserve half of the hate and criticism that he receives from fans. Try watching the game replay sometime, because it won\’t lie to you the way your buddy sitting next to you in the bar or the thousands of Twitter users will.
Bang! Pow! Zoom!