September 9 2012; Denver, CO, USA;Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back DeMarcus Van Dyke (30) downs the football on after a punt on the one yard line during the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Van Dyke was let go by Oakland in training camp, one year after it make him a third round pick. Pittsburgh signed him, and he made an impact in just his second game.
According to Silver And Black Pride, via Aaron Wilson of Scout.com, the Raiders worked out CB Antaun Molden, a Patriots castoff who failed to make the Giants and Seahawks in tryouts earlier this year.
Silver And Black Pride writer Levi Damien also points out the Raiders are "in serious trouble at cornerback," after it was revealed CB Ron Bartell was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return due to a broken shoulder blade. They lost CB Shawntae Spencer in the Raiders' 35-13 loss to Miami in Week 2.
The Steelers, on the other hand, are not in serious trouble at cornerback. How good would Van Dyke look right now? That's up in the air, but so is the Raiders' cornerback depth chart.
One team's trash is another team's treasure, and hindsight is 20/20. Van Dyke may not see the field as a cornerback, but his speed was a huge boost to a Steelers' special teams unit that limited the Jets to three punt return yards and forced a turnover in a 27-10 win.
A team can't get much more production than that from its punt coverage team.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin noted Van Dyke's positive performance from Sunday, pointing out that he not only got a free run at Jets return man Jeremy Kerley, which was part of the reason he took his eyes off the falling punt, but he also astutely pushed a Jets punt gunner into the end zone, wrecking his chances to down a ball deep in the Steelers' territory. He downed a Broncos punt deep in their own territory in Week 1 as well.
Allen is the team's nickel back, and Brown and Van Dyke will continue to be big parts of special teams.