Steelers’ cornerback Brandon Boykin got on the field yesterday in Kansas City to play defense. His final stat line? One play, one tackle.
And here I’ve been led to believe he couldn’t tackle!
Not only did he make the tackle but it was on a third down where the ball was thrown perfectly to the receiver he was covering. Boykin made a solid tackle and didn’t allow the receiver to turn up field for the first down. The Chiefs were forced to punt. Boykin’s presence on defense was made possible because starter Antwon Blake had been sidelined for concussion protocol.
Yup. I’m back beating the ‘Boykin Drum’ again because I feel the Steelers are making a mistake. We were told he wasn’t playing because he didn’t tackle well in the open-field. He seemed to do that fine yesterday. Special Teams’ Coach Danny Smith must think his tackling is OK. He was in for 21 special teams’ plays yesterday. Last week, he made a brilliant play on a punt that almost resulted in a touchdown.
OK so maybe it isn’t the tackling. Steelers’ mouthpiece Gerry Dulac suggested that Boykin often “gets lost” in coverage. If that’s the case then what do we call our secondary letting tight ends run free as if they were by themselves in an open pasture? Again, more PR bull crap.
The biggest comment I get from Steelers’ fans is “Boykin can’t be that good if the Eagles were willing to give him up.” That’s not necessarily the case. Boykin is in the last year of his contract and Eagles’ Head Coach Chip Kelly had made it clear that he wanted to move to more size at the cornerback position.
Boykin didn’t fit that role and then became available around draft time when the Steelers initially wanted to trade for him. In August, when it was clear second round pick Senquez Golson would be out, the Steelers made the trade.
Let’s not make any dramatic pronouncements about Boykin’s skills. He’s not Rod Woodson or Mel Blount in any way, shape or form but he should be on the field. In light of what we’ve seen from Blake and other defensive backs, can Boykin really be that bad?
With William Gay’s status in doubt with a shoulder injury, it will be curious to see what the Steelers do with Boykin. I’m certainly not holding my breath and if I were Boykin I wouldn’t either.