Dick LeBeau Says William Gay Will ‘Play A Lot’ Against The Jets

While he is not currently listed on the injury report, Pittsburgh Steelers third-year cornerback Cortez Allen is still having problems with the ankle injury that suffered in the season opener that resulted in him missing the next two games. With Allen still trying to get himself back into the form, there’s a possibility that cornerback William Gay will start opposite Ike Taylor Sunday against the New York Jets.

“Yeah. He is right in the mix,” said Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau following Thursday’s practice when asked about Gay possibly starting. “They are all going to play. Cortez still has that ankle a little bit. Gay will play a lot.”

Allen had a rough showing in his first game back against the Minnesota Vikings as he missed three tackles in the game and allowed five catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

So did Allen’s ankle play a role in his poor play
“I don’t know that it totally affected him physically but maybe his timing a little bit, said LeBeau. “We all have to go through those things when we are coming back. He had a long spell in there that he was out.”

On the first touchdown that Allen allowed to Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings in the game, it certainly didn’t look as though his ankle was slowing down as he was able to race down the field to attempt another tackle after missing his first attempt immediately following the completion.

As far as the angles and tackling form that Allen used in the game, yes, he looked rusty in both of those areas.

As for Gay, he has played well so far this season. He has yet to allow a touchdown on the 12 receptions he has given up so far this season and has two passes defensed and a forced fumble to his credit. Being as both Gay and Allen will see time in this game, the latter of the two will likely play the nickel slot role against the Jets.

“They are all good players,” LeBeau said. “And you can’t have too many good players. I am glad we have them all.”

  • Dr. Doom

    Not terribly concerned with NYJ’s receivers at all.

  • Douglas Andrews

    At this point it doesn’t matter how is inserted int he starting lineup. It’s more about fundamentals..we gotta block and tackle better period.

  • Bill Molinaro

    The Jets defense is not too bad and Gino has been surprisingly good except for some rookie turnovers. And this season, they know how to win; Steelers do not – and I question if and when they will learn how to this season.
    Steelers have had at least three of these long losing streaks under Tomlin and that’s my beef with him. The Chin had losing streaks also but for most of his time he did not have Roethlisberger. Tomlin has a veteran, franchise QB and long losing streaks should not happen that frequently. Something is wrong somewhere.

  • Bill Molinaro

    Steelers should have the advantage here but sometimes the way the Steelers D plays, it seems players in a wheel chair would be successful.

  • T R

    Tomlin also has this big time injuries and this damn salary cap, which the Chin did not… when Ben and team was fairly heathy Tomlin won too… so you make the call.

  • DoctorNoah

    I think Gay has played well, better than Cortez, and the latter will have to play well in the nickel to earn another chance to start. Preseason expectations are pie in the sky.

    What you have to realize , though, is the level of parity in the NFL is incredible compared to college ball. Yes, our left tackle played terribly, but it was against Jared Allen. And that left tackle was a beast in college. Whatever. People have lapses. And in the NFL , three or four missed tackles make a loss. Games are won on occasional explosive plays (often lucky) or turnovers (often lucky). Pro bowl players strip the ball one out of twenty times they try. When a DB breaks on a quick passing route, 1-10 times he beats the throw for an interception and 1-10 times the receiver gets it, beats the overplaying DB for a TD. The other 8-10 times it’s a short completion or an incompletion.

    All I am saying is that we attach too much emphasis to individual battles sometimes in a world of near parity, and I often think that fortune plays as much a role as “discipline” or “technique”. We are not a bad team . You can’t blame misfortune on anyone. People get beat on individual plays all the time. We’re good an 0-4 team as Atlanta is a 1-3 team and maybe better than the pats are a 3-1.

    I’m not convinced we suck. Nor that Clark needs to be replaced, nor that Ziggy is a flop, nor that Tomlin or Haley need to be fired. Have faith, faithful.

    But Mike Adams sucked against the Vikings. 🙂

    Here Endeth the Sermon…

  • Johnny Loose

    Alright I want to see some hands. Where’s all the Gay haters (no pun intended) that were lurking about when Pittsburgh signed him in the offseason. Seems to be a lot of positive comments on him now. Fair Weather much?

  • Brantley Stockton

    I still hate him. Not personally, but as a player.
    That will never change

  • AndyR34

    That’s nice…you just confirmed for everyone that you don’t know diddly about defensive football…at least the way the Steelers play it.

  • Bill Molinaro

    The salary cap has been in effect since 1994 so Cowher had to deal with it. Mike Tomlin needs to demonstrate that he can lift a team out of the doldrums. He was hired mainly due to his ability to sway management with his flowery and smooth speech making, rather than his experience. I believe his minimum experience as a coordinator prior to becoming a head coach is a factor in the protracted losing streaks that have popped up in his time in Pittsburgh. My instinct is that he is too close to the players. I am not a proponent of firing Mike Tomlin. Like previous coaches here, he should be given time to develop fully as a head coach. Further, he has earned that time with two super bowl appearances with one win! He has what most of the teams in the NFL do not have and that’s a franchise quarterback. Mike must find the correct path for this team and in a hurry before that QB is gone.

  • Brantley Stockton

    Does anyone know what Steelers D is anymore? Does Gay get a pass now because everyone else is playing worse? He still gives a 10 yd cushion on every snap, and good quarterbacks will continue eating his lunch.


    As long as the QB is willing to take it 5 to 8 yds, it will be there all day because Gay gives up a 5 to 10 yds cushion. I was fine with him coming back in dime, maybe some nickel, but as the #2 CB…LeBeau would be better off sending him on the blitz.


    The edge guys are not playing badly, just not making any plays, because the QB has a pocket to step up in…McClendon imo is not a legit 3-4 NT…never going to be the pile mover that Casey was, but quickness is his game and I thought he would be in the gaps causing problems, but so far he’s not. When 1 OL can handle your NT, you’re not going to get much pressure without taking a lot of risk.

  • Dr. Doom

    The problem is Lebeau does not alter his scheme, remember how dominant they were against NE in 2011. He lined the db’s up tight on the receiver and they mugged them all game. Lebeau ask them to play that far back and his scheme does not ask for tight coverage. In a 3-4 defense “In zone coverage, the cornerback is responsible for an area on the
    field. In this case, the corner must always stay downfield of whomever
    it is covering while still remaining in its zone. Zone is a more relaxed
    defensive scheme meant to provide more awareness across the defensive
    secondary while sacrificing tight coverage”