Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Perfect Scenario for Pittsburgh Steelers Secondary


 

There are a lot of needs for the Pittsburgh Steelers going into next season, but none are greater than the secondary. The Steelers are losing Ryan Clark this season and possibly Ike Taylor as well. Troy Polamalu looks as if this is his last ride in the Steel City. There is a youth movement in the secondary. It started by drafting Cortez Allen and Shamarko Thomas, and it ends this offseason through free agency and the draft.

Cornerback

Let’s get this out of the way, Ike Taylor needs to go. His play was horrendous last season and he is only getting older and slower. His salary is too much for his play, and when we are in desperate need for cap space to pay your replacement Cortez Allen, there just isn’t enough room for Ike. The first move this offseason regarding the cornerback position should be to but Ike Taylor.

Now on to Cortez Allen, he really didn’t play up to expectations. Going into his fourth season, this is a make or break season for him. Guess what recent Steeler cornerback broke out in their fourth season… Keenan Lewis. Don’t you wish we still would have him, the cornerback position would be set for years. Cortez Allen has had enough time in the system, watch for him to break out this season. Instead of going the Keenan Lewis route, pay Cortez this offseason. If you extend him before he breaks out, your getting a discount. Could you imagine the discount the Steelers would have gotten if they extended Keenan Lewis the season before he broke out? It would be a very smart move to extend Cortez now.

To the position opposite Cortez comes a draft pick. William Gay is more suited for the slot and has gotten burned when playing on the outside. I have said all offseason long that the Steelers should go cornerback in the first round, and Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State could be there waiting to be a steal in the draft. Cortez and Gilbert give the Steelers an excellent duo of cornerbacks for years to come, especially if they extend Cortez.

Safety

Kind of like the cornerback position, the safety position already has one of the safeties of the future in Shamarko Thomas. The kid was having a solid rookie season before he got hurt, and a full offseason with Carnell Lake should help him tremendously. To the free safety position, that could go two different ways. The first way that could go is to sign a top free agent safety, as it looks like there could be a couple of good ones out there in this years free agency. Jarius Byrd could be an option, but he may be expensive. The best option would probably be Louis Delmas. He has already been in for a visit and could be in for another one soon. He wouldn’t come as expensive as Byrd, but still with a hefty price tag. The second route this could go is to find one in the middle rounds of the draft. Tre Boston looks like a perfect fit, and he could be a steal in the fourth round if still available. There have been people speculating Ha-Ha Clinton Dix in the first round, but Im still out that a cornerback will be taken. Either way, the second safety position opposite Shamarko Thomas needs to be found this offseason, whether its a young, proven veteran or a draft pick filled with potential.

If the Steelers extend Cortez Allen this offseason, take a cornerback in the first round, and find a safety replacement for the future this offseason, Carnell Lake should have plenty to work with and the secondary position will be set for years to come.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

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Tags: Cortez Allen Featured NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Popular Shamarko Thomas Troy Polamalu

  • bk

    Clark needs to go… Need to really look at trading Troy too, hate to see him go, but, he lost a step and is a liability in coverage… He can still make the splash play, but, not like before.. Woodley needs to go too… Face it, the Steelers are not going to be better next year, too many holes to fill, so, look to 2015 and build toward that.. get the new/young guys up to speed and see if Ben has one more SB run left in him.

    • Levi Combs

      Couldn’t agree more. This is troys last year as a steeler and Ike Taylor needs to go this year. Clark won’t be back. Worilds will be back so woodley is gone.

      • bk

        My idea is that (unless somehow Lewan drops to us) is to get faster at the skill positions…Take Gilbert if he is there or trade down…If you trade down take Jernigan if he is there or a CB like Verrett or Roby at the bottom of rd 1. Use 2nd rd picks on guys like Van Noy from BYU (Move Jarvis J. inside) and Bucannan S..
        or if you didn’t get a CB in rd 1 get Watkins from Fl in rd 2. Rd 4 TE Lynch fromGA or Loston S from LSU.. other players I like in 4-7 are: OT Hurst, Saunders Wr OK Colvin CB, Piere-Louis OLB, Norwood wr bama, and a rb or two McKinnon/D. Thomas/Crowell…

  • Eric Robinson

    I also agree we should go corner first. With Will Allen resigning, that lessens blow of replacing Ryan Clark. Im really liking the Steelers moves so far although I will miss Clark and Foote. Jury is still out on whether Ike-brickhands will take pay cut. I would not be opposed to keeping him as a backup for reliable service in the past if he takes the cut. I like Cortez Allen and Justin Gilbert duo. sounds good.