Asante Samuel is gone from Philly. For now, then, the third cornerback behind Nnamdi Asomugha and Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie is rookie fourth-rounder Brandon Boykin.
And the Steelers plan to target Boykin when the Eagles come to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
“That’s the candy bar,” receiver Antonio Brown said Wednesday, via the Washington (Pa.) Observer-Reporter.
“He’s given up a lot of plays,” Brown added. “Whoever gets that guy definitely has to take advantage.”
The options are Brown, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jerricho Cotchery. And if the Eagles give Boykin more safety help, the guys who don’t draw Boykin may be less likely to face double coverage.
Tackle Max Starks was slightly more tactful than Brown.
“As long as we block stout, (passing) shouldn’t be an issue,” Starks said. “We have a great [group] of receivers that can all get open and make plays. Plus, you add [tight end] Heath Miller in the middle, and you don’t really have enough guys who can cover. I think it’s going to be a great matchup for us. Outside of Asomugha and Cromartie-Rodgers, their nickel is a rookie. You have some guys who are inexperienced in there. Hopefully, we can get into some sets and be successful in those things.”
The passing game has been the bright spot for the Steelers, in part because of injuries on defense and ineffectiveness in the running game. The good news for the Steelers is that linebacker James Harrison (knee), safety Troy Polamalu (calf), and running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) all fully participated in practice on Wednesday.