Ask Antonio Brown who the best cornerback in practice is and he’ll tell you it’s Brandon Boykin. Seems to me that if the best wide receiver in the game acknowledges something like that then the head coach would pay attention don’t ya think?
Apparently Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin knows that what Brown is telling him is accurate yet he refuses to play him. A source with knowledge of the situation revealed to me today that following the Steelers’ week one loss to New England, Boykin was not happy that he didn’t see the field on defense and he let Tomlin know it in a rather demonstrative manner.
Since then, Boykin has seen the field as a cornerback for less than 20 plays despite being the team’s best corner throughout practice and based on pure experience. Brown tried to elaborate on Boykin’s ability during his radio show but was cut off by Steelers’ master of propaganda Gerry Dulac.
Despite the fact that we here at Steel City Blitz have been asking questions about Boykin’s lack of playing time since week one, you’ll notice most of the Steelers’ beat writers have stayed away from the issue. With the possibility that William Gay isn’t 100%, Boykin’s name popped up a lot more in their columns this week.
The truth is, the Boykin situation is one of the worst kept secrets in Pittsburgh. The beat writers know it but they won’t dare suggest that Boykin should be playing ahead of both Antwon Blake and Ross Cockrell. To do so would be challenging Tomlin’s decision-making so therefore they bite their lips in order to keep their access.
If you are thinking “Tomlin’s the coach and must know what he’s doing” then ask yourself why the team was so desperate to go and get him? The standard excuse is that they felt he could adapt to their “tackle the catch” gameplan for their cornerbacks.
The real excuse is that Tomlin won’t put his best cover guy on the field out of spite and as I said, the media guys know it. Antonio Brown knows it and apparently a large portion of Steeler Nation knows it.
Fact of the matter is that Boykin should playing ahead of both Cockrell and Blake. He proves it in practice almost daily and has proven it on the field as one of the top-rated slot corners in football during his time in Philadelphia.
It should be very alarming to all of us that Boykin is yet another wasted draft pick who is stuck on the bench just because the head coach is holding a grudge.