Pittsburgh Steelers secondary situation will leave Tomlin scratching his head

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Here is how I look at the Steelers secondary situation going into Thursday nights pre season matchup against instate rivals the Philadelphia Eagles.

Have you ever taken a class where the teacher tells you he will give you exactly what page numbers in the text book he will draw his questions from for the final exam? You sit in the class with a wide eyed stare because you know this is a golden opportunity to increase your chances of doing well on the test, because the teacher is literally going to show you the answers and what you have to study to ensure you will succeed.

Thinking you have it made for this class, you reach into your backpack to get out your textbook, and you realize you did not bring it to class, and now you will not be prepared to take the final exam.


This feeling of pure anguish is how I feel about the Steelers secondary at its current state. This preseason game against the Eagles should be looked at as a review session for the regular season. The Steelers will not face a better offense all year, especially a better passing offense, as the Eagles boast an impressive array of offensive weapons.

Learning from what the Eagles offense will throw at the Steelers secondary tonight would be a valuable lesson going into the season, and yet the Steelers seem to have forgotten its textbook.

Going into tonight’s game the Steelers will be without starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor (thumb) and Bryant Mcfadden (hamstring). The team will also be without the services of Crezdon Butler (quad) and rookie Cortez Allen (hamstring). With four cornerbacks ruled out for the game, including both starters, how can Mike Tomlin evaluate the state of the secondary? The Eagles will almost assuredly throw the football against the Steelers, but with the lack of talent out on the field for the black and gold, this team will most likely fail this test worse than I would fail that theoretical final exam.

To stop the bleeding that is the Steelers secondary, the team went out and signed two veteran players to help anchor the position. Kevin Dockery, a six-year-veteran, and Macho Harris, a third-year-player, were both signed to help the team stabilize the lack of depth in the secondary.

While these two players will make nice fillers for a preseason game, the Steelers will not learn much from watching these two players struggle to grasp Dick Lebeau’s complex defense in a few practices. I know that Ike and McFadden will both be healthy when the season kicks off, and I actually have full trust in both of those players to perform well this season. But if you want to ace a test, you have to work on the hard practice problems, and it does not seem like the Steelers are bringing its “A” game into tonight’s dog fight……no pun intended!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @brandt_gelman

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