The journey toward the 2017 season is now in full swing with the Pittsburgh Steelers having reported to Latrobe for their annual training camp at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their camps for over half a century now.
This is surely the time more than any other in which we find ourselves full of questions that we are looking to get answered, and this also tends to be the best time to get answers to those questions that have been building up over the course of time since the 2016 season ended.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the training camp and the preseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Should William Gay be worried about his job security?
At 32 years of age, William Gay is one of the oldest players on the Steelers’ roster, and probably among the oldest starting cornerbacks in the league at the moment—in so much as nickel cornerbacks are starters, which they are, for most teams.
Somehow, some way, he has spent most of his career as a starter, and that has migrated between playing as an outside corner and in the slot over the years, depending on where he has been needed. At the moment, he appears set to enter the 2017 regular season—his 11th—as the Steelers’ starting slot cornerback.
I still think that is more likely to happen than not, but the defensive coaching staff is beginning to kick the tires on other options. They got some long looks at Mike Hilton playing with the starting defense on Saturday night, and with the return of Cameron Sutton, he is going to become an option as well, even if not immediately.
With the emergence of Brian Allen, and the possibility of Dashaun Phillips earning a roster spot, this could potentially threaten not only his role as a starter, but potentially even his job. While I don’t think that is likely to happen at all, there are others who do see it as a possibility.
So the question is posed to you: how much pressure is William Gay feeling right now, especially given the recent moves the team has made, paired with a couple of gaffes in the past two preseason games—missed tackles and struggling to make tackles that have allowed opponents to convert on third down?
Should he be worried about going to the bench? It’s worth noting that he was playing on special teams on Saturday. Even more, should he be worried about his roster spot in a surprise cut?