Steve is the type of player that all teams need in their defensive backfield to
be successful. His ability to play bigger is directly related to the fact that
he will fight you all through the game and until the last play of the game. When
you play against Steve, at the end of the game, you are so tired you canít put
one foot in front of the other. He is quick, fast and a punishing tackler who is
always looking to strip the ball away from his opponent. His techniques overall
are excellent and can play up on his opponent or off in zone coverage or in a
matchup zone coverage defense. He is smart and shows leadership skills through
his play on the field. Steve loves the challenge of defending against the best
receiver big or small and, in spite of his size, matches up well with any size
receiver. He has the bulk and strength in his lower and upper body to take the
pounding of the bigger receivers and the speed and quickness to defend against
those smaller receivers in the slot or out wide. Steven is an impact defensive
player who is always around the ball because teams feel that his size is
something of a positive mis-match for their offense. They think that way before
the game, but I can tell you after the game, they know they made a big mistake.
Iím not going to downgrade Steve because of his lack of size because for me
thatís not the issue. Steve is an excellent tackler and punishing when he uses
the correct form. My only criticism is that he tries to strip the ball away too
often, which at times, allows his man to get needed run after the catch yardage
on third downs. He has to become a more secure, consistent and smarter tackler.
Steve plays cornerback with the same punishing, instinctive, playmaking ability
that Troy Polamalu plays with for the Steelers, but he is much better in
coverage. Iím sure if you wanted, you could use Steve all over the backfield as
a corner, to cover slot receivers or even in the safety position where I know he
would make interceptions and intimidate those receivers making those pesky
crossing routes without committing head hunting penalties. He is small, but good
things come in small packages sometimes. Steve will fight you all game long. In
the red zone, he uses excellent techniques to fight off those bigger receivers
either pinning them to the sidelines or waiting for them to catch the ball and
then while in the air ripping the ball free before the receiver can secure it.
You need players with Steveís overall talents and attitude to have a successful
defensive backfield because his style of play is contagious. He will not give
in, no matter how many times you throw the ball his way. That, along with his
ability to play bigger than his size, are the reasons you select him.
Truthfully, if Steve were just two inches taller, most would consider him one of
the best corners in this draft. I think if he becomes a more consistent tackler
in the long run, he just might wind up being just that.