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Thursday, June 9, 2011
Scouts Inc. on Steelers' CB options

By James Walker

Earlier this week, the AFC North blog broke down a list of top free-agent cornerbacks. Two players we identified were Richard Marshall and Carlos Rogers, who could be intriguing options for the Pittsburgh Steelers if they do not re-sign veteran Ike Taylor.

On Thursday we caught up with Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. to get his take Marshall and Rogers.

Matt, let's start by getting your general thoughts on both corners and whether they fit in Pittsburgh.

Matt Williamson: Rogers and Marshall are probably the best two guys out there who would be cheaper corners. They're Steelers type of signings. They came into the league as high picks and Pittsburgh didn't end up getting them. But now they're coming off their first contract and still have a good pedigree. You can see why they were high picks. They're not busts at this level. The problem with both of those guys is neither had a very good year. I think both are better players than they showed last year. I'm sure some of that was playing on a bad team, especially with Carolina. Their offense always went three-and-out and Marshall was on the field a ton.

Could down years by Marshall and Rogers play to the Steelers' advantage in negotiations?

Williamson: Yes. The Steelers probably liked both guys coming out of college, they're not far removed and coming off down years. But all of a sudden they come to Pittsburgh and have LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison coming off the edge and their job gets a lot easier. So I think that could play very much to Pittsburgh's advantage and something they could be strongly considering.

What are some of the differences between the two corners?

Williamson: Rogers drops a lot of interceptions, which would fit right in with how the Steelers have been with Taylor. I would say Rogers is probably a little bit better in terms of man coverage, where Marshall is a little bit better off as a zone guy, which the Steelers are going to do more of. But there's not a ton of huge differences. I think they're both in the same boat. Rogers had the better year of the two. Marshall struggled and he took a lot of penalties, too, and Rogers is better in that regard.

There is Williamson's take. Now we want yours. Would Marshall and/or Rogers be viable replacements if Taylor leaves Pittsburgh in free agency? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.