10 questions with Cortez Allen


What have you learned this season about being a starter in the NFL? **It takes consistency, a lot of consistency. To be consistent you have to be sound on the little things in all aspects of the game. It's about watching film, technique, taking care of your body. You have to be focused every snap.

How much have you grown as a player?I have seen a lot of growth. I have dealt with injuries more than I have in the past, just being able to keep my mind positive and sound. I feel like I have grown in that sense, going through that and dealing with it and still continuing to keep a positive mindset to produce for the team.How much did your ankle injury set you back?I missed a few games. Any time you miss time out from playing, especially early on like that, you have to get back into the swing of things. Every day it's a growing process. I try to build every day.

Was it tough going from being a starter, to your role changing and Will Gay stepping in?I am a team player. I never get into the who is doing this, who is doing that type of thing. My main focus is to help the team win. Wherever I am on the field to help achieve that goal is where I will be and the responsibility I take.

What is the difference for you playing inside in the packages vs. your normal corner spot?It takes a little more thinking. You get a different variety of route concepts inside vs. the outside. But they are both challenging, they are both fun. I enjoy them both. William Gay is very good at it. He is a very savvy guy. I credit him a lot with my growth, his knowledge and the wisdom he brings. It's very important for this team's success.

Do you spend time picking Will's brain, learning more and more from him?
Yes, all of the time. I don't just ask Will questions, but also Ryan Clark, Troy (Polamalu), Ike Taylor and all of the guys. They all do a good job of giving us the information to put us in better position as well as our coaches. What about getting back out there and starting the last few weeks. Did it feel good?It felt real good. We have to keep building though. We have another game, another opportunity to get better and perform.What have you learned about yourself this season?I can handle the cold. No, it's just a blessing to be a part of this team. I learned there is always room to grow, always something else to learn.How important has it been for this team to finish strong and get back in the playoff hunt?It's very important because every game we seek to win. Every opportunity we seek to be better than the one before. Not only that, we owe it to our fans just to give them what they come out here to support us and see. We look forward to playing Cleveland.

Has pride been a big factor?Always. You should always have pride in what you do, what you put your name on, what you represent. We represent the history of this organization, the foundation that has been put down before us. It's something we pride ourselves in maintaining. It's just a blessing to be a part of something like that.

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