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Steelers will sign DeMarcus Van Dyke

DeMarcus Van Dyke AP

The fastest man at the 2011 combine is going to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.

PFT has learned that the Steelers will sign cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke. Van Dyke was waived by the Raiders on Monday when they signed veteran corner Joselio Hanson.

Van Dyke, who passed through waivers unclaimed, ran a 4.28 40 at last year’s Scouting Combine. That helped him become a third-round pick of the Raiders, who were never shy about picking up players who could run like the wind.

As they say, you can’t teach speed. Van Dyke’s problem is that he sometimes made it look like he couldn’t be taught cornerback either. He was part of a Raiders cornerback corps that allowed opponents 251 yards per game through the air. None of the five cornerbacks who saw extensive time for the Raiders last season are still with the team, with Van Dyke helping to author his own pink slip with a rough night in a preseason game against Arizona.

Still, he’s got that speed and he’s 6’1″, which is a combination that makes football people try to make it all work out. Ike Taylor and Keenan Lewis are set as the starters in Pittsburgh, with Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown in reserve. Van Dyke will try to work his way into the rotation while working with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and other Steelers coaches try to put his impressive physical tools to better use on the field.

There’s no word of a corresponding move, although the Steelers could place rookie guard David DeCastro on injured reserve with the designation that he’ll be able to return after eight weeks.

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29 Responses to “Steelers will sign DeMarcus Van Dyke”
  1. randallflagg52 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:22 PM

    So the steelers try to shed the old and slow label and instead go for young, fast and bad.

  2. captainloaded says: Sep 6, 2012 8:25 PM

    Well, maybe the Steelers can do this. Ike Taylor was a speed demon out of college….He tried running back, wide receiver and cornerback. Anyone from Pittsburgh can tell you, Ike has no hands. So, he became a corner. Anyone from Pittsburgh can tell you, Ike is not the smartest kid on the block. His quotes rival Yogi Berra.

    So, if anyone can make him a serviceable cornerback….I’ll put my faith in Dick Lebeau. It’s not the first time he’s done this.

  3. socalraider909 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:30 PM

    Good luck DVD

  4. villa41 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:34 PM

    You can’t teach speed, but you have to enjoy the physical side of the game too in order to excel. The kid’s biggest problem is he wants no part of contact. Watch the game tapes. He gets run over and pushed around every game. Corners have to tackle too and help in run support.

    Even if the Steelers get the kid on their special juice they’ve been using for years (see Jon Kolb, Justin Stryzcik, Steve Courson, and Mike Webster), I’m not sure how they are going to get him to want to hit anyone.

  5. captainloaded says: Sep 6, 2012 8:38 PM

    @villa41
    The San Diego Chargers of 1963 are considered the first NFL team on steroids. To think the Steelers were the only team doing it is naive.

  6. juanweiner says: Sep 6, 2012 8:42 PM

    this kid would not have been signed if the game Sunday nite was being played in Pittsburgh and not Denver. It would be shocking if this kid was still on the roster after 4 games if that.

  7. autumnwind999 says: Sep 6, 2012 8:58 PM

    McKenzie never should’ve cut him. Kid is much better than many would lead you to believe. Had good coverage stats in limited action as a rookie. Elite speed. Tremendously fluid hips. Very good length.

    Only drawbacks are he needs together stronger and improve his ball skills. But to me those are things that can be gained over time. McKenzie simply pulled the plug too soon.

  8. steeltownpride says: Sep 6, 2012 9:00 PM

    Juanweiner . i would agree with you if the Steelers had signed him after the first game where his salary wouldnt be guarenteed for the whole season . Why would they sign him and cut him 4 weeks later and have to pay the rest of his salary ?

  9. steelersownyou says: Sep 6, 2012 9:01 PM

    I love that people hate the best franchise in the nfl! I feed off the hate. The day they stop hating is the day where the steelers are no longer relevant! So hate on haters!

  10. jintfan says: Sep 6, 2012 9:13 PM

    I thunk this is just a depth pickup because of Taylor’s altitude issues. He’ll be cut after next week, don’t forget guys the Raiders cut him and not one team claimed him off waivers.

  11. ravensaintsfan says: Sep 6, 2012 9:32 PM

    In other news the Steelers signed Jamarcus Russell to fill in for Roethlisberger while he’s personally delivering his own baby.

  12. gabefergy says: Sep 6, 2012 9:33 PM

    Did the Steelers just notice that their CBs weren’t very good? Not a bad pick-up considering DVD’s upside. Looks like they might be a bit concerned about going up against the speed Ravens and others have at WR.

  13. aigraiders says: Sep 6, 2012 9:42 PM

    Got benched in college. Got benched and cut in the Pros. Only reason he was drafted was because Al Davis always drafted the fastest 40 yd time kid. Pitt’s problem now. Thank goodness.

  14. radrntn says: Sep 6, 2012 9:53 PM

    This is the only move that reggie has made that had me scratching my head….what really made no sense is that we kept coye francies over dvd. Unfortunately for the raiders they had nobody in their backfield to cover a slot reciever on nickel packages. Plus you have to think he bumped head with the coach or something.

    DVD will be great on the outside, and can play man to man on the island….he has tremendous upside as he develops…. i wish him nothing but the best, but not the steelers :-) lol

  15. txxxchief says: Sep 6, 2012 10:01 PM

    He must be the fastest Dutchman ever.

  16. eleventyeight says: Sep 6, 2012 10:07 PM

    The Steelers are very well-equipped to mentor a player like this with Dick LeBeau, Carnell Lake and HC Mike Tomlin having a background in DBs.

    Ike Taylor was an identical kind of project, and he would be a HOF lock right now if he didn’t have cement blocks for hands.

    Troy Polamalu is also on this team and is very helpful to the young guys.

    I think he’s on the best team to have a chance.

  17. fastwillie39 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:13 PM

    @villa41, your comment against the 6 time champs was to call out players that have not played in 30 years? And by the way, steroids were not illegal in the NFL in the 70′s. And did Stallworth, Swann, Bradshaw, Franco juice? Doubtful…people can’t deal with others success…!

  18. bikeman99 says: Sep 6, 2012 10:30 PM

    Ike Taylor has always been a CB in Pittsburgh.

  19. samoanjungle says: Sep 6, 2012 10:37 PM

    Yins they must be desperate in the ‘Burgh

  20. halftermguv says: Sep 6, 2012 11:46 PM

    Sorry Raiders fan, the poster boy of NFL steroids use in the 1970′s is ex-Raider Lyle Alzado (RIP). BTW steroids were legal in the 1970′s.

    Alvin Roy the strength coach for San Diego, KC, Dallas, and Oakland is given credit (blame) for promoting the use of steroids in the NFL.

    The NFL banned steroids and stimulants in the ’80′s.

    Oakland Raider Bill Romanowski and two other Raiders were suspended for use of THG in 2003.
    How’s that for “special juice”?

  21. maximus929 says: Sep 7, 2012 12:31 AM

    Stanford Routte was that fast too but he was laughably bad and never got better.

    Didn’t stop Al from backing up the Brinks truck and handing him the keys however.

  22. yojoemama says: Sep 7, 2012 2:57 AM

    Steelers are planning to convert him to WR and teach him how to run the go route so when Wallace flees in FA, Van Dyke can take over and open up the middle for Brown, Sanders and Miller. Pretty obvious to me.

  23. kugzilla says: Sep 7, 2012 3:31 AM

    Notice how someone uses a comparison of 4 70s era offensive lineman with a reference to Steeler Special Juices. Let’s pull our heads out of the sand and recognize that our Gladiators of the 70s were pretty much all keeping up with the Jones’ to stay in the league. Yes. Not all were juicing. But the ones that weren’t juicing were in a small minority.

    Signing DVD and having him turn into a serviceable CB is not out of reach. Not with Carnell Lake and Dick LaBeau as educators.

    Plus. Who do you think he will be covering in practice? Maybe a speedy set to be a free agent wr named Wallace?

    Hmmm. Sounds like a possible future strategic move to me.

    I give this move an “A” grade.

    Also. On a side note. Any other all time Steeler fans remember an OL from the early 70s with the name Bruce Van Dyke?

  24. psychoraider904 says: Sep 7, 2012 7:41 AM

    We don’t know much about Dennis Allen as a head coach yet. But what we do know is that he specializes in teaching corners. So if he didn’t see anything in DVD then we needed to get rid of him.

  25. sudz28 says: Sep 7, 2012 9:30 AM

    If anyone can turn him around, the Steelers can. Best run organization in all the NFL, so it’s do or die now for Van Dyke! Hopefully they can make him serviceable or better and he’ll be a good pickup for the team.

  26. bojinuts says: Sep 7, 2012 10:03 AM

    As a Raiders fan, I am OK with everything McKenzie is doing. DVD had speed and that’s about it. Although speed is nice, you can’t argue the fact that he was bad in coverage. Best of luck to him.

  27. rayguyreturns says: Sep 7, 2012 10:05 AM

    Good kid, good speed.
    Lousy tackler, lousy ball recognition.
    Time will tell.

  28. Steeley McBeam says: Sep 7, 2012 10:27 AM

    Not the typical Steelers CB although he does have size to go with the speed. They go for sure tacklers who can play zone underneath. Dont know a whole lot about the kid but theres absolutely no reason not to take a shot on him.

  29. ravenator says: Sep 7, 2012 10:40 AM

    They sgined a CB because they have so many issues in the secondary. Well really, anyone would when your best corner is Ike Taylor, pathetic.

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