In a recent look at the upcoming Steelers, Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette pointed out the “breakout player” for the season, and his claim is it will be CB Curtis Brown.
The Steelers decided to part with former starting cornerbacks Bryant McFadden and William Gay after the season, and one of the reasons is Curtis Brown — a third-round choice in 2011. Brown did not play in any of the defensive packages last season, but he caught the eye of the coaches when he led the team in special teams tackles (15) despite missing the final four games.
Brown (6-0, 185) showed on special teams that he is fast, athletic, tough and relentless. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will have him challenge fourth-year player Keenan Lewis for the starting corner spot opposite Ike Taylor. “Curtis Brown is a beast,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said.
Brown stands 6-0, 185 lbs, and was a project at the DB spot, as he was a WR in high school. He does have many physical gifts, and the Steelers loved the progress that he’s made at the position, which is why they allowed McFadden and Gay to get away.
Last season in 12 games, he had 14 tackles, 11 solo and 3 assists with a forced fumble. He was also very good on special teams, getting credit for 10 stops.
He did miss some time with an injury, as he had his meniscus repaired after going on IR, missing the last three games of the regular season.
Look for Brown to get plenty of chances to be the starter at the corner spot opposite Taylor in 2012.