LATROBE, Pa. – The report on the secondary is: so far, so good.
"The group as a whole has been really consistent," defensive backs coach Carnell Lake assessed. "We're around the ball a lot. I'm excited to see what these guys do in the preseason."
The preseason commences on Saturday night against the New York Football Giants.
Following is a brief assessment of a couple of the defensive backs Lake has been especially excited about at Saint Vincent College:
Starting cornerback Ike Taylor:
"I'm very impressed with Ike. Ike's been a real professional, I love having him in my room. He's always positive, and he can still run. Ike is as tough a competitor as there is out there so I'm glad he's here. I think he has a lot of experience and value that he can add to our younger corners that are coming along pretty well. I think we're going to be pretty good there."
Starting cornerback Cortez Allen:
"This is his year. This is the year for him to really step out, be one of the leaders on defense and be consistent, and I think that's what I'm looking for. We have a bunch of older vets in the secondary. I'm just looking for Cortez to be consistent."
Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steeler's 11th day of Training Camp.
Backup cornerback Antwon Blake:**
"I've always been very high on Blake, even when he was coming out of college I graded him very high. I thought he had all the intangibles that would make for a good corner. He's competitive, he's fast, he's quick, he's strong and he's smart, and it's showing up. I'm just really happy we were able to find him after Jacksonville let him go. I think he's going to be great. I think he's going to be really valuable to this secondary for years to come."
Backup safety Shamarko Thomas:
"We have a luxury right now. We have safety depth that's pretty strong. Shamarko will have his time. I think he's going to be outstanding, as well. Right now Shamarko is accelerating his learning, he's more confident this year and his time will come. The parting of the Red Sea will happen for Shamarko, and then he'll be front and center."