Boykin has no idea why he didn't play D vs. Patriots

When the Pittsburgh Steelers traded for cornerbackBrandon Boykin, it looked like a move to upgrade one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL.

Then in Week 1, in a loss to the New England Patriots, the slot specialist rode the bench, seeing zero defensive snaps. The only time Boykin hit the field was special teams.

"It's the first time I can remember I never played (on defense)," Boykin said Monday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm sure they had a reason for that. I don't know what it was. I'll just take it in stride and go throughout the week and see what happens."

It's not as if Boykin was slotted behind Deion Sanders and Darrell Green either. Tom Brady picked apart the Steelers' secondary with ease last week. Antwon Blake, William Gay and Cortez Allen each took turns getting burned and the communication on the back end was horrific.

Boykin said neither Mike Tomlin nor the rest of the coaching staff explained why he wasn't in the defensive formation.

"Anytime you play anywhere, you want to play more, or you want to play, just get on the field in general," Boykin said after practice Monday. "That wasn't the case last week. I don't know why, I don't know what the deal is or what the reason was for that. I can't answer that. You guys have to ask coach Tomlin and the rest of the coaches about that."

Boykin downplayed the issue, pointing out that it's just one week. He added that learning the defense wasn't the reason he sat.

"I don't really know what's going on. I think it will kind of play out, it's just Week 1," he said. "But I definitely intend on playing at some point and I think that will be a conversation I will have if it continues to go this route, but right now I don't know what's going on."

"We chose to play other people," Tomlin told reporters on Tuesday, when asked about Boykin's absence.

The Steelers host the 49ers on Sunday. Given the state of the Steelers' secondary, if Boykin sits again it will be a stinging indictment of the 25-year-old corner.

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