Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defense backs coach Carnell Lake (L) talks with Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake (41) against the Oakland Raiders during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 38-35.Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching Conversations: Carnell Lake

Coach Spotlight: Lake

As teams enter the second week of Phase Three: OTAs, Missi Matthews sat down with coach Carnell Lake for an offseason chat.

Coach Lake is entering his seventh season as Steelers defensive backs coach. Lake wants to see constant improvement in all of his players. Most of all he’s looking for steady improvement from his two young draft picks.

“They are improving and everyday they’re getting a little bit better, they’re getting more understanding, we want to take that understanding and that momentum straight into training camp.” – Carnell Lake

Lake describes the indoctrination process of this years’ crop of players looking to become a Steeler DB. “We threw a lot at them in a very short amount of time, they have a lot of reps they get because there aren’t a lot of bodies but when the veterans come in they have to take a back seat they don’t get as many reps and they kind of have to watch to get their experience.”

A rookie must always know a rookie’s place. In Pittsburgh, rookies are seen but rarely heard because getting reps to develop is a battle. In a sense, they go from 0-100 in rookie mini-camp back to 0 almost, but as time goes on and the numbers thin out in training camp, the ones that continue will start to get more reps.

Sean Davis and Artie Burns would come up in the discussion as key pieces moving into year two. Making it to the AFC Championship as rookies really provided them with a sense of what it was all about. As a staff they would like to see Burns and Davis expand on the experience and  progression made towards the end of the season. Lake would speak highly of his young players, “both of them really came on well for us and started to really play down the stretch and made some big plays, we’d like to see them continue that at the beginning of the year.”

Senquez Golson is finally on track to make a first impression three years into his playing career. His first season was ended with a shoulder injury. Once recovered from his shoulder, he would enter training camp only to suffer the dreaded Lisfranc injury, which would end his season before it started yet again. But now Golson is chomping at the bit for contact. While he won’t be able to hit anyone until training camp in Latrope, being able to get on the field is a huge positive for him.

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