Thursday, December 26, 2013
Steelers CBs staying put against Gordon
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Josh Gordon, who torched the Steelers for 237 receiving yards last month, won't have Ike Taylor shadowing him Sunday at Heinz Field.
The Steelers have stopped flipping their cornerbacks so Taylor can cover the opposing team's top wideout. The change isn't an indictment of Taylor, Dick LeBeau said, as much as it is a reflection of the Steelers' desire to minimize the moving parts on defense.
"We didn't think we were playing anywhere near our capability and we thought that might settle us down," LeBeau said. "I think to some extent it has. So we've just stayed with that formula."
Taylor has played almost exclusively at right cornerback the past three games with Cortez Allen starting at left cornerback. Allen, slowed early in the season by a high ankle sprain, returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown last Sunday at Green Bay.
"I think once he got back to 100 percent he's played fine," LeBeau said. "He's got good ball skills. He's got good hand-eye coordination and I think he's coming along."
Containing Gordon will be the Steelers' top priority but LeBeau said the Steelers are also expecting to see the "Wildcat" offense, which the Browns have run this season with rookie tight end MarQueis Gray.
Gray, a converted quarterback, has rushed for 39 yards on five carries this season. He was inactive when the Steelers and Browns met last month in Cleveland but the Steelers are preparing for Gray.
And LeBeau said the 6-4, 250-pounder can throw out of the "Wildcat" even though he has yet to attempt a pass in the NFL.
"He went to the (NFL scouting) combine as a quarterback and did all of the passing drills there," LeBeau said, "so he is a very capable passer."