Sunday, July 31, 2011

Steelers Sign William Gay and Daniel Sepulveda

Today the Steelers came to terms with two more free agents who was on the team last year in defensive back William Gay and punter Daniel Sepulveda.

There are no terms for either of the deals.

Gay finished last season with 48 tackles and two sacks, mainly playing out of the nickle corner back role, which he did pretty well in. A lot of people are really going to bash Will Gay and ask why the Steelers brought him back, but I actually like the move from their standpoint. Last season Gay saw his responsibilities shifted after he was terrible in 2009 as a starting corner back. When the Steelers brought back Bryant McFadden that allowed Gay to take over the nickle position and he excelled. A lot of the good things were overlooked last year because because of his 2009 production (or lack there of) but Gay made some really big plays last year.

Overall Gay was part of a Steelers secondary that held opponents to a league low 5.78 yards per attempt and 35 plays of 20 yards or more. The Steelers also finished second in the league with 15 touchdowns allowed with only the Saints giving up fewer passing touchdowns (13).

Sepulveda was more of a surprise to be back as most had him pegged as leaving the team earlier in the week. Last season was the second time that Sepulveda has missed an entire season with an ACL tear. The Steelers drafted the punter in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.

In his last full season, in 2009, he ranked 22nd out of the 33 qualifying punters with a 42.7 yard per kick average and a 37.1 yard net average. He did finish seventh in the league with 29 punts inside the 20 yard line which is pretty important, especially when you have such a great defense. Although I am a big supporter of Sepulveda it is hard to argue that he has been a pretty average punter, but I still think this is a good sign. I can honestly not remember the last time he shanked a punt so the consistency is there and you don't have to worry about him hitting a 10 yard punt in a crucial situation. The only downside is that he gets hurt. As I said before he has had two blown ACL's since being with the Steelers and who knows is he will stay healthy for a full year.

Sepulveda will compete with Jeremy Kapinos who was signed last season to fill in for Sepulveda when he went down.

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