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Knowing the defense helps Gay

Posted Aug 6, 2013

The smile on William Gay’s face says it all. He is thrilled to back with the Steelers and loves every minute of it. Probably the only people happier than him, are his family members who never really let go of their allegiance to the Steelers when Gay signed with the Arizona Cardinals. 

"“My family wouldn’t let me get away from the Steelers,” said Gay. “They still hung the flag up in front of the house, the Steelers flag. They didn’t switch to red and black. I told them I wasn’t with the Steelers anymore and they didn’t care. I didn’t even have to call them and tell them I was back with the team. They knew it before I even had the chance to tell them.”

Gay, who returned to the Steelers this offseason after playing one year with the Arizona Cardinals, had the good fortune of coming back to a team where he doesn’t just know the defense, but knows every position on it, something that works in his favor every time he steps on the field.

“You have to, with this defense, with Coach (Dick) LeBeau you have to be as smart as you can,” said Gay. “It helps you play faster. It helps you focus on what we are trying to stop and the scheme of things and therefore you can play faster and take more educated gambles.”

And since he does know all of the positions, if given the choice which one would he play?

“If I was 300 pounds I would play nose guard,” said Gay. “I think that is the best position on the field.”

Gay said he isn’t certain what his role in the defense will be this season, although he will be called upon heavily with Cortez Allen having knee surgery and out for several weeks and Curtis Brown suffering an ankle injury on Monday, but it isn’t something that he is concerned about as long as the team wins.  

“The only role I want to be a part of is bringing back a winning record and getting back to the Super Bowl,” said Gay. “In this league you have to have some good corners so any moment you can start. My focus is to get better and once the season comes along we need to be better as a unit. I have to make sure I am together, my technique and skill set is up to par and I can bring something to the table.”

Gay joked that when he first came to the Steelers he would often times look around the locker room at all of the older players and think do I belong. Now he says he is that older player. 

“I became the old guy,” said Gay. “The ‘big homie’ is what we call it. I walked into the locker room for the first time when we reported here to camp and I looked around and thought I am the oldest. I remember my first year coming in thinking I am not supposed to be here. Now I am the ‘big homie’ so I have to act like that.”

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