Long gone are the days with running backs like Jim Brown, Gale Sayers or OJ Simpson identified teams while their quarterbacks toiled in obscurity. The process got underway beginning with the implementation of the Mel Blount rule, but shifted into high gear after Roger Goodell’s crusade to take hard hits out of the game.
- But to every action there is a reaction, and the increased emphasis on the pass has made the “Shut Down Corner” all the more a coveted commodity.
- There might be some truth to Labriola’s observation, but that doesn’t mean corner isn’t an area of need for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Taylor couldn’t and probably shouldn’t be considered a true shut down corner because he coouldn’t hold onto interceptions, (although he came up with a pick when it counted in Super Bowl XL), but Taylor could and did contain opposing teams number 1 receivers of 8 years as a starter.
That changed in 2013, when Taylor’s play slipped. Some sites even have gone so far to rate Taylor as the 56th worst corner in the league (or something like that.) In Steel Curtain Rising’s estimation, those evaluations of Taylor’s decline are exaggerated, with Taylor suffering from Vince William’s play in front of him and Ryan Clark’s declining play behind him.
- Nonetheless, Taylor only returns to Pittsburgh thanks to a pay cut, and his best days are fading rapidly.
After that, the cupboard gets very, very thin. The Steeler did sign Brice McCain to a veteran minimum contract, and perhaps he can benefit from the “Lake Effect” (coin termed by BTSC’s Ivan Cole to describe the impact of Carnell Lake’s tutelage.)
However, the “Lake Effect” couldn’t help Courtney Brown who is gone. The Steelers also have Isaiah Green, who occupied the 53rd roster spot and found himself cut or resigned on almost a weekly basis.
And for those taking notes at home, the Steelers also have Antwon Blake, a special teamer, and Devin Smith, a sometime practice squad player.
- Anyone comfortable with that depth cart?
Thanks for visiting. Click here to check out the rest of Steel Curtain Rising. Or... Follow @SteelCurtainRis