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Thread: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

      
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    Default Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Thursday, August 12, 2010





    William Gay is quietly becoming the Steelers' new Deshea Townsend.

    Gay, who started 14 games at left cornerback last season, is now the team's nickel back. He's also the second-team right cornerback and has been working out at safety during training camp, along with continuing to perform on special teams.

    Replaced at left corner by Bryant McFadden, Gay is smartly expanding his horizons and figuring out new ways to get on the field.

    "You always want to be prepared for anything," said Gay, who played in every game in his first three seasons. "You can't sit back and say I'm on the second team or I'm not in a starting role. (In) this league, you're one injury away from being at a different position."

    Gay is taking over the role held by Townsend, who played 12 seasons with the Steelers.

    Townsend, recently signed by the Indianapolis Colts, lost his starting job at left cornerback to McFadden in 2008. For the better part of the past two seasons, Townsend played nickel back and safety.

    "When Deshea did it, they kind of liked putting me behind him," Gay said.

    When McFadden suffered an arm injury in the sixth game of the 2008 season, Gay replaced him. McFadden reclaimed the starting job late that season, which culminated in a Super Bowl XLIII victory. When McFadden signed with Arizona, Gay became the starter in 2009. McFadden replaced Gay as the starter this spring after being acquired in a draft-day trade.

    In his role as nickel back, Gay has to read his keys like a safety and be able to play close to the line of scrimmage and tackle, while also falling back to cover receivers. He plays when there are three wide receivers on the field.

    In the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens have talented receiving corps. The Bengals boast a three-receiver lineup featuring Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant, who all have been No. 1 receivers in the NFL. Gay will be expected to cover the slot, or third, receiver.

    "I knew the nickel since I first got here," said Gay, who played nickel back to open the 2008 season. "The league's evolving where you've got three top receivers that can be on the field at the same time. You're going to need your starting corners and you're going to also need a nickel that can stop those receivers."

    Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said the Steelers feature an extra defensive back 60 percent of the time.

    "In our scheme of things, we want people to embrace their role. I would hope that Will would know he's going to virtually get the same amount of snaps he's always got," LeBeau said Wednesday. "I've been particularly pleased with the way he's come to training camp in peak condition. He's making plays. Will is playing good football."

    If Gay can provide a strong presence at nickel back, it will give the Steelers depth at a position that lacks quality around the league.

    Wide receiver Hines Ward said the Steelers attempt to create mismatches against defenses featuring three cornerbacks because it's difficult for most teams to adequately cover three receivers.

    "A lot of corners can't play nickel. It's a total different ballgame inside," Ward said. "Nowadays, teams run three wides so you really have to have three legitimate cornerbacks on your team and a lot of teams don't have that."

    Gay believes that starting at cornerback last season will ease his transition to playing nickel back.

    "Playing 14-16 games, you know every situation an offense can throw at you," Gay said. "My mentality is to be a starter in the NFL. That never changed since I got here (in 2007). I prepare like a starter every day whether the role is nickel or safety or starting corner."

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_694515.html

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Hope he pans out in this role. He was definitely over matched last year but if he adapts to this role, I think he has the mentality and athleticism to do well.

    I definitely like his attitude, many players who get their *** handed to them like Gay did last year get deflated and give up. It sounds like he's a gamer and determined to find a role and excel at it.

    Actually I like that attitude A LOT!

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    In his role as nickel back, Gay has to read his keys like a safety and be able to [HIGH-LIGHT]play close to the line of scrimmage and tackle[/HIGH-LIGHT], while also falling back to cover receivers. He plays when there are three wide receivers on the field.

    I hope we dont depend on this aspect of his "versatility" too often

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    In his role as nickel back, Gay has to read his keys like a safety and be able to [HIGH-LIGHT]play close to the line of scrimmage and tackle[/HIGH-LIGHT], while also falling back to cover receivers. He plays when there are three wide receivers on the field.

    I hope we dont depend on this aspect of his "versatility" too often
    Funny you mention this. If you would listen to people last year, the Steelers problem in the secondary is that it wasn't lining up their average and below average DB's at the line of scrimmage...

    you know, because if some other team does it, it means William Gay could as well. Gay and Ike would've gotten burnt left and right and without Troy back there... ugly.

    we don't have the DB's for press coverage
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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Two seasons ago, Gay did a stellar job in situational play... Last season he struggled mightily as an "every down" player... I said it last year, and I'll say it again... In the Nickel position he is good... Leave him there.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Funny you mention this. If you would listen to people last year, the Steelers problem in the secondary is that it wasn't lining up their average and below average DB's at the line of scrimmage...

    you know, because if some other team does it, it means William Gay could as well. Gay and Ike would've gotten burnt left and right and without Troy back there... ugly.

    we don't have the DB's for press coverage
    ****, Gay couldn't cover a 10yd "Out" playing 10yds off the LOS...much less be physical enough to play near the LOS!

    Which reminds me, I need a new Avatar...any suggestions?

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Two seasons ago, [HIGH-LIGHT]Gay did a stellar job in situational play[/HIGH-LIGHT]... Last season he struggled mightily as an "every down" player... I said it last year, and I'll say it again... In the Nickel position he is good... Leave him there.
    That he did!!! Trust me, I'm his biggest critic, but I do respect the fact that he's not being a "diva" about losing his job. I think we may have thrown him into the fire a bit early, based on his "situational" play in '08. Hopefully he can regain his swagger (without the "Lil John" impressions) and contribute in a similar manner that Deshea did for years. At least he has the reps under his belt...and hopefully he busted his *** to become a better and MORE PHYSICAL player!

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    Which reminds me, I need a new Avatar...any suggestions?
    Well, I got a ****-ton of saved Steelers pics on my computer, and even a few gifs of Chaddy-poo getting knocked-out... I hate the Bengals, so I'm a bit partial.... But this one has always been a classic for me, so consider it my suggestion...


    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Well, I got a ****-ton of saved Steelers pics on my computer, and even a few gifs of Chaddy-poo getting knocked-out... I hate the Bengals, so I'm a bit partial.... But this one has always been a classic for me, so consider it my suggestion...


    Ha!!! I got the gif of 'Stinko getting pile driven by 92...that one's classic! But I'd rather have a still shot so as not to slow down everything I do, as I'm on an verizon aircard

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Well, I got a ****-ton of saved Steelers pics on my computer, and even a few gifs of Chaddy-poo getting knocked-out... I hate the Bengals, so I'm a bit partial.... But this one has always been a classic for me, so consider it my suggestion...


    I do appreciate this, but after being swept by the Bungles last season, I'd feel like a 'Stains fan flaunting this as my Avatar????

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    Ha!!! I got the gif of 'Stinko getting pile driven by 92...that one's classic! But I'd rather have a still shot so as not to slow down everything I do, as I'm on an verizon aircard
    OK.... Here's a few other suggestions....














    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    OK.... Here's a few other suggestions....














    Thanks, It will take me a while to decide on a new one! I love the "Steelers Jesus" pic. Here's one from when I sat behind him a couple/few years ago (I think it was opening day '07?)


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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    BTW- Is "Steelers Jesus" a member?

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bton66 View Post
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    BTW- Is "Steelers Jesus" a member?
    I can legitimately/honestly say "I'm not sure", but I do know that some of the pics we've all seen are from someone on here from time to time...
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Defensive back Gay's versatility pays off for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    I can legitimately/honestly say "I'm not sure", but I do know that some of the pics we've all seen are from someone on here from time to time...
    You lost me bro...I can, however, say that this pic came from my pics...can be seen on FB:

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...3&l=d57af9a065

    I guess we should call him "Kick ***?"...and his "true identity" remains to be seen!

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