A coup’la few years ago Steelers cornerback William Gay had a rough ride. After taking over for Bryant McFadden who departed for Arizona, William became the starter and quickly learned the ups and downs of being a “1-16” guy (starter throughout the season).
Part of the difficulty of starter-dom is the fact of NFL life that if you are off on a given day and the opposition smells blood, that you are a weak link, they will come after you unmercifully. And if you don’t rebound quickly with a performance that slams the door, they will continue to come after you.
Not only that, but there comes with it the media and public scrutiny that accompanies a high profile postion like cornerback where the slightest mistake costs you and your team a quick-six. It takes a lot of inner strength to man-up to a sub-par performance and not let’em see you bleed.
To survive the rigors of NFL life requires the ability to neither get too high after a win, nor too low after a loss. And also the personal challenge of the inevitable bad game that most certainly will come your way. How you handle that bit of adversity will be quite telling as to your longevity. The ability to rebound from a bad performance and quickly “get back on the horse” spells the difference between a long career and a short one. If you are not tough enough to handle some adversity, you don’t have a prayer of making it.
That’s why i was so interested in checking out William’s rebound performance after enduring what he described as the “worst series of my life” against Joe Flacco and the Ravens on that 92-yard game winning drive.
Flash forward from the Ravens game to Cincinnati and William assissting on Lawrence Timmons first interception of the season and then applying the Mike Tomlin “Signature stop” by picking off Andy Dalton to close out the game with his first intereception since ’09.
That’s what you call “saddling up.” Well played young man, well played…