On Tuesday morning’s episode of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, the crew had a very intriguing guest in UCLA’s Quentin Lake, one whose last name should be very familiar with those in the Steel City. His father, Carnell, is one of the most renowned defensive backs in team history, boasting a laundry list of accolades. The team’s defensive backs coach from 2011 through the 2017 season, the elder Lake was voted to the NFL’s 1990’s All-Decade Team, was a five-time Pro Bowler and also made multiple All-Pro teams.
Bloodlines in the NFL carry a lot of weight, whether it be the Manning’s, the Bosa’s or even Pittsburgh’s very own Watt family. GMFB co-host Peter Schrager asked Quentin what it was like growing up watching his dad play the game and what he’s taken from it and instilled into his own playing style.
“Carnell Lake, he’s my dad, he’s been great,” Quentin said. “Over the course of my years he’s definitely helped me improve my game, just kind of taught me the in’s and out’s of football for sure and that’s the biggest thing is , having a father figure like that, you know somebody that did it. And it’s a good resource to really go back and really understand the game, it was so important. Especially these last two years, he’s been critical in me performing on the field and making plays. He’s taught me in the ins and outs, he taught me, what to look at when offenses are lining up, what’s their favorite formation? What are they going to attack in terms of defense? So all those things, he kind of taught me and kind of got in me and its definitely improved my game for the last few years. “
Lake is a bigger safety prospect at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, but he’s not the fastest or the most athletic. But for what he lacks in that department, he more than makes up for with his balls skills and high football acumen. He had a great game in the East-West Shrine Bowl, and had an immediate answer when the GMFB crew prompted him on what current player he patterns his game after, and he also elaborated on how the game is continually evolving on defense.
“One of the players I looked up to and try to model my game off is Justin Simmons,” Quentin said. “I feel like in terms of the safety position, you’re having guys like we mentioned before, doing a lot more, versatile players, can play in the box, can play deep, can do all those things. So I feel like in terms of defense, you’re getting guys that can kind of do it all, so it’s allowing defensive coordinators and other defensive coaches to do more with their players, which I think is awesome. “
Quentin’s dad, Carnell, a notorious snub of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recent years, will have his hands full this weekend, as he’s the defensive backs coach of the USFL’s Tampa Bay Bandits, who are led by former Steelers’ offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Fittingly enough, Tampa will be facing the Pittsburgh Maulers in their inaugural game, who are coached by Kirby Wilson, the former Steelers’ running backs coach from 2007 to 2013. So, a reunion of sorts is in order. For the Steelers, perhaps a reunion will be in order for them and Quentin.
The reports on the team sniffing around Terrell Edmunds and Tyrann Mathieu on the free agent safety market have been well-documented. If either comes to fruition, the addition of Lake would allow him to cut his teeth on Danny Smith’s special teams unit while refining his techniques on the defensive side. Let me know your thoughts below.