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Steelers free agency: Brice McCain's attributes go beyond statistics

Team hopes sixth year cornerback can add depth to secondary.

Al Messerschmidt

Brice McCain reportedly had the worst season of his career in 2013.

The Steelers appear to be giving the cornerback a mulligan.

Pittsburgh looks to be taking the glass half full approach with the sixth year cornerback that spent his first five pro seasons in Houston.

The 5'9'' McCain will give the Steelers more depth at cornerback covering slot receivers and on special teams. At 27, he should be in the prime of his career and add depth to a unit that struggled throughout the first half of the 2013 season.

McCain should also be looking to rebound from what was a tough 2013 season. He was a member of a Texans defense that sputtered at times as Houston finished 2-14. McCain and the Texans secondary was a lone bright spot, however, placing third in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed per contest.

McCain's best season took place in 2011, when he paced the Texans with 13 passes defensed. He's recorded at least one interception in four of his five seasons in the NFL.

While his stats don't jump off the screen, McCain's career is impressive given that he was a sixth round pick out of Utah back in 2009. Anything but a shoe in to make the team, McCain played a role on a team that twice advanced to the playoffs while winning the franchise's first ever playoff games.

McCain isn't a stats guy. He's tallied only five interceptions in his career after recording only three during his four years in college. But he surely has intangibles that exceed statistics. Those intangibles led Houston to drafting him five years ago, and those same traits have brought him to Pittsburgh.

Speed is among McCain's intangibles. He ran a 4.28 for the 40-yard dash coming out of Utah and was the team's fastest player. He could also be used as a kickoff returner in Pittsburgh as he ranked ninth and 11th respectively in school history in kickoff returns and return yards.

Here's hoping McCain's intangibles make a difference in the Steelers secondary.