It’s really easy to toot one’s own horn when they are right about something. What’s hard is when you admit that your opinions and analysis are wrong. There was a time when I wasn’t all that high on William Gay, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ top cornerback.
What I learned is that sometimes you have to give a guy time to learn and to grow into a system and into the overall abilities that he has. I think more than anyone, Gay epitomizes that for me. While the Steelers’ secondary in recent years has dealt with injuries and sub-par play, Gay has been the one constant among the turmoil.
The term “constant” might not be totally accurate here because he’s actually gone beyond that if there is such a thing. Gay has now played in 144 straight games. That is the longest active stretch currently going in the National Football League for a cornerback and it’s a testament to his ability to stay healthy while playing such a demanding position.
Now entering his 10th season out of Louisville, Gay is in his second stint with the Steelers following a year in Arizona in 2012. That’s where my ‘mea culpa’ begins with Gay. I wasn’t sad to see him go. I thought we were going to be just fine without him but we weren’t. Cortez Allen and Keenan Lewis appeared to be the answers on each boundary but as we know, it didn’t turn out that way.
So back came Gay and the idea of him starting at one of the boundary corners didn’t sit well with most knowledgeable Steelers’ fans but he’s steadily proven himself since he returned in 2013. While he has just 11 career interceptions, five of them have gone for touchdowns. He’s also participated in 10 Steelers’ postseason games, starting six of them.
While other corners have come and gone whether due to injury, free agency or simply because they just weren’t up to snuff, William Gay has been that one constant in the Steelers’ secondary and I have no problem saying, “I never saw this coming.”
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