Will Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain get the start over the struggling Cortez Allen Monday night against the Houston Texans? As it stands right now, it sounds like there’s a really good chance of that happening.
“I was with the first group today,” McCain said Wednesday after practice, according to Mike Prisuta of DVE Radio.
CB Brice McCain in line to start Mon: "I was with the first group today. The week isn't over yet." He'd be slot in sub-pckg, CAllen outside
— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) October 15, 2014
McCain also knows that one day of running with the first team in practice doesn’t guarantee him anything.
“Whatever (Mike Tomlin) wants me to do, I’ll do. If he wants me to play, I’ll play,” said McCain when asked Wednesday about the possibility of him starting against his former team Monday night. “This week I have to work my butt off and try to turn some eyes around here, turn some heads. Anything can happen. I’m just preparing myself for anything. If it comes to it, I’m ready. I’ve put in the time, put in the work.”
McCain put in five years worth of work with Texans before they released him back in March. When you think about it, McCain starting Monday night against his former team probably isn’t such a bad idea after all as he should have good first-hand knowledge about Texans wide receivers Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins thanks to him going up against both in practice when he was in Houston.
McCain has started all of 10 games so far during his career and due to his lack of size, he’s much better suited to play inside instead of outside. Size, however, hasn’t helped Allen this season, so McCain at least deserves a shot to show he can handle the spot opposite William Gay.
When the Steelers utilize their nickel package Monday night, Allen will likely play outside and McCain inside. It should be noted, however, that the Steelers only used their nickel package on 13 plays this past Sunday against the Cleveland Browns as they chose to use quite a few two and three tight ends personnel groupings. Will the Texans follow that same formula? I know I would.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has praised the practice and play of McCain for a couple weeks in a row and Tuesday he said the Utah product is under consideration for more playing time this week against the Texans.
Allen could use at least a week off as the starter to clear his head and McCain deserves at least a one week shot at making his former team regret releasing him. His familiarity with the Texans wide receivers could make a difference in this game.