10 Questions With Cortez Allen

As a defense how good did it feel to close out the Jaguars game with Brice McCain's pick-six, giving the offense the ball back to just kill out the clock?
Like Coach (Mike) Tomlin said it was proper response to current circumstances. It was a good rebound for us. We were able to get some turnovers, which is positive for our group. We were able to hold them to under 300 yards. A lot of good things we showed in the game, things we are able to build on because it's on tape that we are able to do it. We just have to be consistent with it.

You have had two interceptions in the last two games. Is it a good feeling to be able to come up with those kinds of plays?
It's big for our team, it's big for our defense getting the ball back into the offense's hands and minimizing their team's ability to create plays. We do it collectively. We are doing a lot better in that category than we did the year before. Like everything else it's something we need to continue to build on.


The top photos of CB Cortez Allen.

What must the defense do to continue to generate turnovers and splash plays?**
It has to start in practice. The way we played in this game was a carryover from how we prepared this week. We got our hands on a lot of balls in practice and it carried over. The focus and effort that we put into making plays in practice will carry over into the game.

Players like Brice McCain, Will Gay, Arthur Moats, Sean Spence have stepped up because of injuries. As a defense how do you keep the cohesion when there are changes in the lineup?
First off you don't think of it as an adjustment, you think of it as business as usual. We expect whoever is out there, whatever role, anyone could be called on at any point. That's the way I was when I first started to play. You have to be ready. Another thing Coach Tomlin says is the standard is the standard. We never expect a drop when we lose guys because our guys prepare in a way if they are called on they can produce.

How important is it to have the contributions you have been getting from the guys stepping in?
It's positive knowing we have depth at each position and when called upon they can step up. We have to continue to build on that and be mindful of the game of football and the problems it causes with injuries. When change happens, you can't be surprised by it.

Do you put a lot more responsibility on yourself with Ike Taylor injured, from a leadership standpoint, from a performance standpoint?
Losing Ike, not having him on the field, he brought a lot to the table, brought a lot to us emotionally. I feel like the guys we have and the mindset we have as a secondary we knew after losing him everyone would have to step up. Collectively we understand we have to come together. I try to stay even as much as possible. The way I was when he was in there is the same I am in his absence and that is trying to be the best I can be.


Every game is important, but for a team looking for consistency how important is it this Sunday against the Browns to string together a few wins? ** Winning every game is a key. We haven't capitalized on the opportunity to stack wins. To be where we want to be at the end of the season, that is very important. It's an away game, it's an AFC game, and we know how important it is to take care of business in the North. We have to stack wins to be where we want to be. It's a step in that direction.You signed a new contract before the start of the season. Was it a good feeling to get that taken care of before the season, something you don't have to think about as the year goes on?

I don't have to think about it, I don't have to worry about it and it's just a blessing to be able to extend your career with the team that took a chance on you. I am extremely happy to be here. I have a lot of respect for the guys that helped me get to this point. It's a big weight off your shoulder not having to worry about that. You can just play football.

It's a big commitment that was made to you. Do you feel like there are a lot of expectations you have to live up to as a result?
I don't think anyone's expectations would be higher than my own. A lot of people will say you have to do this, have to do that. I try to mute as much outside noise as possible and just focus on getting better. I just try to control what I can on the field.

You have quoted Coach Tomlin a few times. How much of what he says resonates with you?
I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin. The locker room has a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin. He is a great head coach. He gets us prepared and gives us the information we need when we need it. He doesn't just correct you, he gives you tools to build and carry on from your mistakes. A lot of what he says is true and sticks with you. I am fortunate to be able to learn from him.

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