Skip to main content

Around the League

Presented By

Cardinals' William Gay lining up with starters

Quick nugget out of Arizona, where cornerback William Gay was seen lining up across from Patrick Peterson with the Cardinals' starting unit this week, according to the team's official website.

After five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gay signed a free-agent contract with the Cardinals this offseason. He fits with this defense for a couple of reasons:

Gay should be immediately familiar with defensive coordinator Ray Horton's physical 3-4 scheme. It's largely borrowed from what the Steelers ran in Pittsburgh, where Horton spent seven seasons under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

Horton wants hard-hitting cornerbacks in Arizona. The team doesn't want pure "cover guys," it wants bruisers. Gay isn't a premier cover corner -- in fact, he was abused by wideouts at times in Pittsburgh -- but he brings some of that physical Steelers play to this team.

"The defense (Horton) runs, it's an aggressive defense," Gay told the team's official website this month. "If you don't have corners that can hit, you're going to be giving up touchdowns left and right. The way the defense is structured, the (offense) always wants to get a hat on the outside linebackers and the ends and the safeties. The unblocked guy is going to be the corner. You have to be willing to sacrifice your body and go in there and hit a 230-pound running back."

Gay will compete against Greg Toler and rookie Jamell Fleming in practices and could see time at safety. A.J. Jefferson is in the mix. We're not entirely sold on Gay as a starting cornerback, but he won't need any extra time to catch up on the scheme.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content