PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Just a few months after signing a five-year, $26 million contract with the Steelers, Cortez Allen hasn’t played up to Mike Tomlin’s expectations.
Allen lost his starting position to Brice McCain versus the Houston Texans, and he was benched during the 17-point win against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
“I was doing what I felt was necessary for us to win the football game,” Tomlin said. “But it has no bearing in terms of what I think (Allen is) capable of largely or in the long term.”
Ike Taylor knows what it is like to lose his starting role, and Tomlin is leaning on him to help Allen get through this rough patch.
“You just got to fight through it, that’s the life of a cornerback, everybody goes through it,” Taylor said.
In 2006, Taylor was benched by Bill Cowher for five consecutive games, but he worked himself out of the funk and earned his starting position back. It’s unclear how much Allen will play against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but it does appear that he has every opportunity to earn his spot back at practice this week.
“There is no gray area when you are playing corner, you are either getting the job done or your not,” Taylor said. “So once you can establish that, everything else comes easy.”
Despite mentoring and supporting Allen in every way that he can, Taylor said that it all really comes down to how hard Allen is willing to work.
“We all got his back and we all are 100 percent behind him,” Taylor said.
William Gay also said he is trying to help Allen get back to what the team knows he is capable of.
“He’s the future of this team, the secondary, the leader, and we’re going to continue to look at him like that,” Gay said.
Gay added that it makes things easier for Allen if he knows the team still believes in him and it means more than just being a good teammate. He said it is more about being a good brother and being there for your teammate during times like this that are bigger than football.
“People look at us and think that we are immortal and we don’t have feelings, but we are human like everyone else,” Gay said.
Listen to the entire interview with Ike Taylor here: