If the Pittsburgh Steelers handed out a defensive player of the year award, you could make a strong argument that cornerback William Gay would be a candidate to win it in 2015. While Gay’s play on a week-to-week basis often times goes unnoticed by a large section of the fan base, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin certainly does appreciate it.
“He’s been rock-solid,” said Tomlin of Gay during his Tuesday press conference. “Whether it’s outside or whether it’s inside in sub [packages], Will is a guy that’s always ready and always making the smart play. Sometimes it’s the plays that you don’t have to make that are as important as the plays that you make and the quality play at his position, and with him specifically, often times you say that was a quiet game for Will Gay because he is doing what he needs to do in terms of minimizing the plays that he has to make. I have been really pleased with the consistency of his performance.”
So, have teams being shying away from Gay so far this season?
“I’m not going to do the thinking for teams, all I can tell you is when you’re where your supposed to be looking at what you’re supposed to look at you don’t have to make as many plays” said Tomlin. “He’s the type of guy, not only in terms of how he approaches the game, but just where he is in his career, I imagine he minimizes the plays that he has to make.”
According to Pro Football Focus, Gay has given up 33 catches for 309 yards so far this season on 51 targets and while those stats aren’t likely to win the veteran cornerback any post-season awards this year, it should be noted that 11 of his 35 total tackles so far this season have resulted in the opposing offense only gaining 3 or less yards.
Gay is also dependable and that’s evidenced by the fact that he’s never missed a game during his entire professional career. In fact, Sunday will mark the 139th game in a row that Gay has played in and that’s currently tops in the league when it comes to all active cornerbacks.
If that’s not enough, Gay is also a solid human being off the field not only in the locker room, but in the community. He leads the charge in the NFL when it comes to Domestic Violence Awareness and because of that, the he was named the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award earlier this month.
If you get a chance, take some time today to read the post that Gay wrote Tuesday for MMQB.
Gay will be an unrestricted free agent during the offseason and being as the team lacks experienced depth at the cornerback position, they absolutely need to get an extension worked out with him during the month of March as he’s sure to have a few suitors even though he’ll turn 31 in January as there’s no reason to believe that he cant play at least two more seasons at the same level he’s currently playing at which is “rock-solid.”