When the Pittsburgh Steelers acquired Brice McCain from the Houston Texans this off-season, it essentially went unnoticed.
There were a few rumblings from Texans' fans stating how McCain was pretty poor in the secondary for a bad Houston team in 2013, but McCain went relatively under the radar as a free-agent acquisition.
In terms of competing for a spot, McCain has had to prove himself on the practice field in hopes of getting a chance to see the field on game days. Now, with Ike Taylor out of the lineup for an extended period of time, McCain has jumped above Antwon Blake and finds himself as the third cornerback on the roster.
SteelCityInsider's Jim Wexell paints a picture of what McCain has gone through in transitioning to a new team with little or no expectations, dating back to training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.
"I thought more about the day at training camp when he (McCain) heard only part of my conversation with the PR staff. And when the PR staff pointed to McCain and said, "No, he's a nobody" -- as in he's not one of the five unknown players I had requested -- McCain, I was told, later said to that staffer, "Hey, I'm going to be somebody some day." Wexell wrote.
It might have been only for one game, but for the following week Steelers' fans will know the name Brice McCain. After all, it was his play that solidified the victory for the Steelers on Sunday.
The Steelers' defense was in a very familiar situation, with the team clinging to a slim lead and the defense needing a big play to be the difference-maker. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that play wasn't made and the team lost the game in heartbreaking fashion. Against the Jaguars, the defense finally came through with the play the Steelers have been needing and it was McCain who delivered in a clutch situation.
Mike Tomlin talked up McCain's work habits at practice, as well as his production on the practice field. Maybe this is just the beginning for a player like McCain who's finally getting a chance to prove himself on a defense that's desperate for playmakers. But as Wexell points out, McCain is out to prove something to everyone.