Let’s say for the sake of conversation that you are Carnell Lake, you’ve just been hired on as the new Secondary coach. Mike Tomlin approaches you in a meeting with Dick Lebeau and says, ok how are you going to fix our secondary? What do you offer as suggestions?
If I am Lake the first thing I say is, look Coach, it’s obvious we need to bolster the Secondary so please get me a high round draft pick that can potentially step in right away or very soon after the season starts. This draft is very deep at Cornerback (among other positions) so there’s no reason to not start fixing the secondary with a top prospect. Jimmy Smith out of Colorado or Aaron Williams from Texas would do nicely. Preferably I want 2 draft picks out of this class, because I’m not sold on our current group completely.
I want a lot of one on one time with William Gay; this kid can blitz like there’s no tomorrow but I believe there is more to him than what we’ve seen. I think I can take him to a new level and you’ll see a big improvement in his cover skills. He’s got the mentality for the position and he did improve over 2009, but he was burnt regularly in his nickle position.
I then make it clear that I want Ike Taylor back, no question. He is the rock at the Cornerback spot and the only one that’s been solid in recent history. If you let him go you set back our secondary tremendously. Potentially you will spend a lot of money trying to find adequate replacements that aren’t as good or are way more expensive. Ike is the one guy that you can put on a teams best receiver and let him alone. He may not make every interception that falls in his hands but he is more than capable of defending any pass from any Quarterback.
I want an open competition from this point forward (as soon as a CBA deal is reached). Every player on the roster starts on equal footing in the secondary. Make them earn there spots, practice hard, study hard, play hard, and may be the best group of 4 win the starting job. Obviously guys like Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark probably aren’t going to be unseated, but competition breeds excellence. I want to make this group, especially the Cornerbacks, a strong part of the defense again. I want this group to perfect their skills of man to man coverage so when the defense does call for it they aren’t getting burnt like cheap toast. I know what it takes to play every position in the Secondary and with some time and the right teaching, we can really take the quality of play from this unit to a new level.
Thank you, now get me that 1st round Cornerback please