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Pittsburgh Steelers bench Cortez Allen; McCain to start

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Cortez Allen is no longer a starter, just a few months removed from a five-year, $26 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau confirmed that free-agent pickup Brice McCain will start over Allen this week versus the Houston Texans.

The move is not a shock for anyone that has watched Allen play this year. He's been picked on mercilessly, and gave up a number of big plays last week against Cleveland. Pro Football Focus ranks Allen dead last among all cornerbacks in 2014.

"Sometimes, there are ups and downs out there. I have great confidence that he'll fight himself through this and be a very strong player," LeBeau said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Allen was also benched for a stretch of play last season and seems like a player that can struggle with his confidence at times. When things are going well, he can inspire his bosses to pay him long-term money. When things start going poorly, he crumbles. Unfortunately, that's been too typical for a Steelers defense that no longer does anything well, no matter who is to blame.

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