Getting picked on didn’t tighten Allen up. If anything, it helped him relax.
“The new guy, yeah, (teams) try to go at him,” Allen said. “It’s something you have to ready for. Every down you play, you have to play like it’s coming to you. I was ready for it and expecting it and I accept that challenge.”
So does fourth-year cornerback Keenan Lewis, who suddenly finds himself the elder statesman. Lewis has provided a sounding board for both Allen and Brown, maybe it’s because he’s used to being considered the weaker link with Taylor on the other side of the field.
There’s a reason Lewis is tied for the NFL lead in passes defensed: Teams would prefer to throw at him than Taylor. He endured much the same way the kids lining up next to him will have to endure on Sunday against one of the league’s biggest receiving corps.
Then again, being relatively anonymous isn’t exactly a bad thing. When asked what he knew about Allen and Brown, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers just laughed.
“Not a ton obviously,” Rivers said. “I know it’s a confident group of guys that stepped up in the game and played there in Baltimore and won.”
Something the two young cornerbacks know is the standard in Pittsburgh no matter who is on the field. There will be times when it’s just one of them out there. They’re fine with it, knowing when the time comes, they have each other’s back.
“The ‘two dogs, one bone thing,’ that’s a Coach T thing,” Brown said. “We’re just working every day.”