Steelers Cornerback Battle Heats Up Monday Night Against Redskins

The Pittsburgh Steelers head into their second preseason game Monday night against the Washington Redskins with several cornerbacks still battling for spots on the 53 man roster. Here is a look at each of those five players battling for two or three spots.

Curtis Brown – Brown is probably already a lock for the fourth cornerback spot, but he needs erase any doubts about it against the Redskins. He will likely make his preseason debut Monday night after missing the opener last week because of an ankle injury. Brown is perhaps the best special teams player the Steelers have right now on their roster and he needs to show that he can\’t be challenged in that part of his game Monday night. Look for Brown to replace Ike Taylor at right outside cornerback in this game and also look for him to be tested quite a bit as well.

Isaiah Green –  Judging by the latest depth chart released this past week, Green\’s play in the preseason opener against the New York Giants was enough to bump him ahead of Josh Victorian. Head coach Mike Tomlin says not to read too much into the changes, but it\’s hard not to. Last week against the Giants, Green played 41 snaps and didn\’t give up a reception the three times he was targeted. He also was credited with a pass defensed on one of those three targets. As far as his special teams play, Green recorded one tackle on punt coverage.

Josh Victorian – Victorian is still very much in the running for a roster spot, but he didn\’t necessarily have his best game last week against the Giants. While the former undrafted free agent did have four tackles in the game, two of them came after he allowed completions. In total, he Victorian targeted six times in the game and allowed three catches for 42 yards with a long of 20 yards. Expect to see both he and Green together quite a bit together Monday night.

Terry Hawthorne – Hawthorne finally made it back to the practice field this past week, but it is still unknown whether or not he will suit up for the Monday night game against the Redskins as he apparently still has a noticeable limp. Should the Illinois product miss yet another game, he would fall even further behind both Victorian and Green. The Steelers could decide to keep six cornerbacks in total on their 53 man roster and that would likely be his only hope. More than anything at this point, Hawthorne needs to show he can be a prime contributor on special teams while displaying the upside at the cornerback position that led to the Steelers selecting him in the fifth round back in April.

DeMarcus Van Dyke – Van Dyke will likely miss his second straight preseason game with a hamstring injury suffered late in July. Since being claimed off waivers from the Oakland Raiders just prior to the start of the 2012 season, he has yet to play a snap on defense in a game and that is concerning. The former third-round draft pick has excellent size and speed, but unless he gets on the field soon to show it, he will be out the door almost one year to the day that he entered it.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Man i hope Hawthorne can play, i don’t want him on the PS cause i know some team will try to steal him

  • TJimmy

    This game will be harder to gauge as far as cornerback skills because RGIII won’t be on the field. Any successes will likely include an asterisk.

  • cencalsteeler

    Before they play Monday, my guess would be Victorian and Van Dyke are on the outside looking in. Weren’t they in season pick ups last year due to injuries? Not much value and haven’t really opened eyes with their play.
    The other corners were draft picks, are young, and/or impressed enough during camp and the Giants game (Green).

  • joed32

    Cousins ain’t bad.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Green wasn’t a draft pick…he was just like Vic and VanDyke and both of those guys are young as well.

  • dgh57

    Would rather see a player win or lose his job on the playing field instead of the Trainers Table.

    Would love to see what Hawthorn can do, but with that limp I’m not too optimistic of seeing him play on Monday.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Well, Van Dyke may not have been a draft pick, but the Steelers liked him in the draft, which is why the picked him up as soon as the Raiders cut him. I’m assuming that’s why he’s still on the team despite not being able to practice. Seems like they want to give him every opportunity to win a roster spot.

  • TxSteeler

    I agree. Bell and Hawthorne are the two I wanted to see Monday night the most. Haven’t heard if either will play tho. Bell is our RB for sure but wanted to see what Hawthorne brought to the table. Like Coach T said, ” You can’t make the club in the tub’.

  • GoSteelerz

    I don’t think that Curtis Brown or really any of the non-starters should be considered “locks” to make the roster. Outside of special teams, Curtis Brown has done nothing but get burnt or injured. To me he has just as much to prove as any of these guys…

  • Kolie Oak


  • Kolie Oak

    Curtis is the exception, up til this point his talent alone has gotten him by this far.
    Remember he was drafted 2 picks ahead of Keenan.
    Their obviously being very patient with the upper part of the physical anatomy…

  • Rubem Dornas

    Keenan was the third round choice in 2009 (96 overall).
    Curtis was the third round choice in 2011 (95 overall).

    If there exist any science and logic on that, they should be “similar”.

    Just for information, Cortez was the fourth round choice in 2011 (128 overall).

  • Luke Shabro

    Curtis has failed to impress me at all. That being said I don’t see him not making the roster.

  • cencalsteeler

    “impressed enough during camp and the Giants game (Green).”

  • cencalsteeler

    Very true about Van Dyke. With someone who has that kind of speed, you’d hope something else talent wise would stick out with him. Unfortunately, he hasn’t done anything to open the eyes of the coaching staff as of yet.

  • Kolie Oak

    Damn, you’re right, my memory obviously does not serve me well…