Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …
>>My Monday column off the Steelers’ stirring victory over New England focuses on the Steelers looking a lot like themselves again. Well, here’s one part where they didn’t look much like their recent selves: Their cornerback play has been really good.
Ike Taylor has been hearing praise from all over the NFL, but the names never mentioned are those of William Gay, Keenan Lewis and now Cortez Allen, too. The latter two spent a little extra time on the field yesterday, and it’s generally considered a great thing when their names aren’t called.
Seems to be how they like it, too. This was an exchange I had yesterday with Gay …
Me: Will, how satisfying has this been, especially after so much concern about the Steelers at your position?
Gay: Media’s going to say what they want.
Me: Does it feel good to prove people wrong?
Gay: We’re 6-2.
Me: No, I mean individually.
Gay: We’re 6-2.
OK, so I saw where that was going. Athletes find motivation in many different forms, but the most common is the traditional chip on the shoulder.
Give Carnell Lake credit, too. He’s new at coaching the DBs. If someone had told you the Steelers would have the No. 1-rated pass defense in the NFL halfway into the season, you’d have nominated Lake for sainthood. (And not the kind that loses to the Rams, either.)
>> If anything could cheer up Pitt running back Ray Graham this week, it’s this: LeSean McCoy rushed for 185 yards and two TDs for the Eagles yesterday. If McCoy can do it, so will Graham. Similar backs.
>> If there is still anyone questioning the value of Jordan Staal to the Penguins, rewind your DVR to watch their penalty-killing Saturday night in Toronto. They went from the NHL’s best unit to that mess mostly for one reason.
>> What would it take for Albert Pujols to leave St. Louis now?
Really, when is enough enough?
The Cardinals already are known to have offered him something in the stratosphere of 10 years and $200 million, an astounding, borderline un-spend-able amount of money in a reasonable lifetime. All that, and he gets to stay in the place where he is most loved, where he clearly has a chance to contend year after year, where he has dug deep roots.
>> My weekly appearance on the online-only TribLIVE Radio is today at 11:30 a.m.