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Brice McCain wants to remain with the Steelers

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McCain had a big game against the Bengals in Week 17, and by his own comments, appears to want to return to the Steelers after playing out a one-year contract signed last spring.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The passes looked to be more like late-season Andy Dalton than Brice McCain,Takeaway Machine.

Regardless, McCain's two interceptions helped the Steelers hold off the Bengals in their Week 17 AFC North championship game in 2014. Covering one of the best receivers in the game, Cincinnati's A.J. Green, McCain had one of his best performances, and set himself up well for free agency.

The Steelers got a bargain on McCain, signing him after he was released by the Texans for a one-year deal that won't count against their compensatory picks formula. They aren't likely to let him stray far into free agency, either. It should be expected the Steelers make McCain some kind of offer before free agency begins March 10.

That sounds fine to McCain.

He spoke with Steelers.com reporter Teresa Varley, and spoke of his commitment to staying in Pittsburgh.

"Coach (Mike Tomlin) said I can be more into the defense, control more things," McCain said. "The better I know it will help. There are so many things you can do in the defense. The more time in it I can control it as a nickel."

McCain played both inside and out in the team's base defense as well as in sub packages. All the cornerbacks moved around in 2014, largely due to the long-term injury to Ike Taylor as well as the sagging performance and injuries to Cortez Allen.

Taylor isn't expected to return, and Allen will likely be given every opportunity to earn back his starting position, and perhaps that's why McCain's comments are suggestive of him handling the team's nickel corner role. Allen and veteran William Gay look to be the team's starters in 2015, and it seems likely the team will address the position at some point in the draft.

Antwon Blake is a restricted free agent, but he's likely won't receive a tender offer from the team. He may return, but not at the $1.5 million salary of the lowest level of restricted free agency.