Chances are good that we are going to get an extended look at Coty Sensabaugh tonight, the veteran cornerback that the Pittsburgh Steelers brought aboard via free agency on a minor contract. With Artie Burns unable to return to full participation, it’s unlikely that he plays against the Giants, and Sensabaugh was running opposite him.
It didn’t go so well, but, in fairness, he was asked to cover Antonio Brown. Nobody really has success covering Antonio Brown. Burns has made strides in two years of trying to cover him, but even he loses the majority of battles.
Unless proven otherwise, however, it would seem that the Steelers are envisioning Sensabaugh as the first cornerback off the bench, although that can change, and that will depend on both what they see from the veteran as well as from what they see in others. But that is a discussion for another day.
I’m sure that the veteran is just looking forward to getting a fresh start after the tumultuous events of last season, which saw him sign a lucrative contract with the Rams, only to be quickly benched, and then released. He was picked up by the Giants, whom he will be playing tonight, but only carved out a limited role on defense.
With the Steelers, he knows at least that he’s not going into things expected to be a full-time starter. But at the moment he could end up being anywhere between the first cornerback off the bench to the last cornerback off the roster, depending on how the next month goes.
Sensabaugh figures to get a lot of burn tonight considering the number of cornerbacks who are dealing with this or that ailment, but it will be interesting to watch for what happens with him as the game progresses. Will he be given the opportunity to play in the slot at all?
One can’t help but wonder. At the moment they only have two cornerbacks who they have consistently used in the slot, one being William Gay, who may not even play, or play much. The other would be Mike Hilton, who they will surely want to get a long look at.
I’m sure he will be happy to see a wide receiver other than Antonio Brown after Wednesday’s practice, although the Giants have a couple of talented wide receivers as well—it’s unclear who among them will be playing, to be fair.
Even though he might have been bested by Brown, his overall performance in training camp has pleased Mike Tomlin. “This guy’s a veteran player, so I’m not overly shocked by his competence in practice”, he said. “I’ll be interested and excited to see him in game action”.