Over/Under: 5 Interceptions for Steelers Cornerbacks

As we continue to get ready for the 2010 season, let’s play some over/under. Today’s topic: Steelers Cornerbacks

One of the most shocking statistics to come out of the 2009 season was the fact Steelers cornerbacks combined to intercept just two passes. And those two didn’t occur until the Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins, when wily veteran Deshea Townsend picked off Chad Henne in the second quarter, which was followed by Ike Taylor taking one away from Tyler Thigpen on the final play of the fourth quarter.

Townsend, of course, is no longer with the team. Replacing him is Bryant McFadden, a player Steelers fans are quite familiar with for his sizable role on two Super Bowl winning teams. Of course, he too had zero interceptions in 2009, struggling to adjust to the Arizona defense. In other words, of the Steelers cornerbacks on the roster right now, they combined for one interception in the NFL a season ago. One. (That’s all we got?!)

Good news: there’s nowhere to go but up.

Working In Their Favor: Well, for one thing, and as I’ve pointed out before on this site, the return of McFadden should push William Gay back into the Nickel role that he was so successful in during the 2008 season, so that should help (and I’m quite happy about that). As should the return of a healthy Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu (simply because they make the entire defense better). With LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison still causing havoc off of the edge, the pass rush should also be there to force quarterbacks into some bad decisions/hurried throws.

Working Against Them: The pass rush was there, for the most part, last season as well, and it didn’t exactly lead to large numbers of interceptions. Also: some of these guys simply don’t have the best hands (see: Ike Taylor, and, for the masochists out there, Joe Burnett vs. the Raiders). It’s just not a great group (there’s not a Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha or Champ Bailey out there), but it should be an improved one. Will it be enough of an improvement?

So, over/under: five interceptions for Steelers cornerbacks.

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  • JCRODRIGUEZ

    I have not checked the stats, but it would be interesting to see the trend over the last few years in terms of percentage of INTs by position. Anyway, my guess is that the interceptions overall will be higher, but not enough by the CBs. UNDER.

  • JB

    I see this as a huge year for Ike for some reason. I say he gets 4 by himself. Also, does the Bengals' signing TO push the total higher or lower? Due to his uncanny ability to drop/tip the ball, I say over . . .

  • Gretz

    That's a good point, and I probably should have included something like that. Here's how many INT's Steelers corners have accounted for since 2004:

    2009: 2
    2008: 6
    2007: 6
    2006: 7
    2005: 5
    2004: 7

  • IsraelP

    With these small sized numbers, your over/under should have been 4.5 or 5.5. That way 5 is in play.

  • RoB D

    Under. I have seen these guys in action..lol.

    I love Ike for instance but his hands ..ai yi yi..

  • SteelerChick

    Steeler fans are an optimistic bunch judging by the 84.2% of us who believe there will be over 5 interceptions in the 2010-2011 season.

  • JB

    I imagine that a season review over/under will be coming soon, but since I was redirected here from JJ’s interception post, I’ll note that the over/under of 5 was right on the money:

    Ike – 2
    BMac – 2
    Madison (a CB — I had to look it up) – 1