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Big role for Brandon Boykin vs Colts? Don’t count on it

Why hasn’t Brandon Boykin been part of the secondary rotation all season? To sum it up, Steeler coaches don’t believe he can play the outside (Eagles didn’t either) and feel William Gay is a superior corner inside, making it not worth it to put Boykin on the field.

But is there more to the story?

To some the situation just hasn’t added up.

If coaches did indeed determine just after a few weeks of training camp that Boykin just can’t play, it was a huge blunder by the scouts and front office in trading a 5th round pick for him and let alone putting him on the roster.

What’s been interesting with this situation is there’s been a tear down of Boykin from the get-go of the Steelers acquiring him, despite Boykin being a player reportedly that the Steelers were trying to acquire all the way back to the draft.

In late August, coaches leaked to some of their media pals that Boykin wasn’t picking up the defense quick enough and was a reason he remained far down the depth chart.

After playing zero snaps in week 1, there were rumblings that Boykin who is known for being outspoken, got into a heated argument with Mike Tomlin behind the scenes and it’s the main reason he’s been out of the rotation.

That is being refuted but Eagles coach Chip Kelly likely wouldn’t be surprised if Tomlin and Boykin got into it. Kelly couldn’t wait to get rid of Boykin because of his attitude but Kelly like Tomlin also determined Boykin was nothing more than an interior corner, while Boykin thinks he can play the outside.

“Boykin’s kind of distinguished himself as an interior corner, but William Gay has played primarily in the interior and has been rock solid for us,” Tomlin said Tuesday, making it bright and clear as to why Boykin isn’t playing.

“The performances of the guys outside [Antwon Blake, Ross Cockrell] needs to be better, based on the last performance. But not that it’s been consistently below the line looking at the larger body of work. So it really hadn’t been a big discussion about getting Boykin reps to this point. I acknowledge that it is going to be a big discussion as we prepare this week.”

Key quote from Tomlin when talking about Blake and Cockrell on Tuesday — “Not that it’s been consistently below the line looking at the larger body of work” —

Boykin has played 24 snaps through the first 11 games. If Wednesday’s practice was any indication, a big role for Boykin vs the Colts isn’t likely.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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