You don't need me, or anyone else, to tell you about the Pittsburgh Steelers pass defense in 2015. It wasn't good, and the team addressed the secondary in a big way this offseason. One of the players expected to be a bright spot in the 2016 secondary is Senquez Golson.
After being sidelined with a "soft tissue" injury early in OTAs, secondary coach Carnell Lake saw enough of Golson to form a positive opinion of the red-shirt rookie defensive back.
"I'm excited with the little that I've seen on him on the field," Lake told Jason Mackey of DKPittsburghSports.com. "He's a very instinctual player who has some talent. I'm looking forward to him being able to stay on the field and stay healthy. We can get some productivity out of him as well.
"I've been working him inside. He seems to pick it up well. That's not an area that he played in college. He was an outside corner. For right now, I think it's a good start for him. That will get his feet wet. By the nature of him playing corner, he's going to get some reps outside as well. I'm not quite as worried about that."
As Lake said, it was the outside cornerback position where Golson played at Ole Miss, but the Steelers seem intrigued by his versatility, as well as the likelihood of players like William Gay and a combination of Ross Cockrell and Artie Burns patrolling the outside positions.
Is there a difference between inside and outside cornerback? Most would say yes, but Golson sees more similarities than differences.
When asked about the difference, Golson responded with it being "pretty much about the same".
"Right now I'm just trying to learn as much as I can," Golson said. "That's so far away, starting and all that. I'm just learning and trying to get better."
Step No. 1 for Golson is getting on the field, and staying there. The rest will take care of itself.
Wednesday Ryan Shazier made news when he beat Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton in a sprint after the team practice. When he was asked about the race after the team's 10th voluntary workout, Shazier's response spoke volumes.
First, don't underestimate his speed, and second, Darrius Heyward-Bey can still fly.
Shazier: "A lotta the guys underestimated my speed, so we raced to see how fast I really am on the team"— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) June 9, 2016
"We told (DHB) he was not allowed"
When a sound byte or quote is needed, just follow what defensive coordinator Keith Butler has to say. When local reporters asked him about concern regarding the team's secondary in 2016, his answer was priceless.
Steelers DC Keith Butler on concern with secondary: "It is easy in June because nobody is out to lynch you. Right now it is easy."— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) June 9, 2016
Although Butler, with his southern accent, speaks his mind no matter the season, he has a great point. Asking a coach in June to assess his team when they aren't tackling, or even wearing pads. As Joey Porter calls it, OTAs are nothing but intense flag football.
Maybe Butler using the term "lynch" is a bit harsh, but the underying sentiment by Butler is spot on.
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Back to business. https://t.co/4O2TWadowM— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 9, 2016