Cornerback Ratliff says decision to sign with the Steelers was a no-brainer
The Steelers got to know cornerback Keiwan Ratliff up-close-and-personal during the 2008 season when he was a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
Ratliff's interception of a Ben Roethlisberger pass set up a Colts' touchdown late in the second quarter of Indianapolis' 24-20 victory at Heinz Field.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin reminded Ratliff of that interception during practice this week.
"Coach Tomlin was teasing me," Ratliff said. "I dropped an interception in practice (Tuesday). He was saying if I dropped that one last year, the game could have gone the other way.''
An unrestricted free agent after last season, Ratliff believed the Colts would re-sign him. When they didn't, he signed a one-year deal with the Steelers.
"Coming here was a blessing," he said. "Who could turn down a team who was basically No. 1 in every major defensive category in the league• If you've got a chance to play with the Steelers, it's kind of like being a wide receiver and having an opportunity to play with Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.
"No matter what, if (the Steelers) offered, this is where I was going to be.''
Ratliff gives the Steelers veteran depth. In addition to lining up at backup cornerback at Steelers' practices, he has filled in at safety in the absence of Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark and Tyrone Carter.
"Guys who can play multiple positions have a greater opportunity of being on the field,'' said Ratliff, 28. "The Steelers lost a good player in Bryant McFadden. As a cornerback, when you see something like that, a guy on the Super Bowl winning team who goes elsewhere, you know there's going to be an open spot.''
A second-round draft pick in 2004, Ratliff played three seasons with Cincinnati before being released. He joined Tampa Bay briefly and signed with Indianapolis toward the end of the 2007 season. The Colts released him twice last season but re-signed him after cornerback Marlin Jackson went on injured reserve.
Ratliff recorded 32 tackles and two interceptions in four starts last season. He also returned an interception 35 yards against the Jaguars' David Garrard for his first NFL score.
"The thing I do best is make plays,'' said Ratliff, who has five career inteceptions. "Some guys are physical corners or cover corners. I consider myself a playmaker.
"Last year was the first time in a couple of years I got a chance to play 70-plus snaps a game and actually put extensive filmwork out there.''
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- Steelers submit application to play host to Super Bowl in 2023
- Steelers CB Allen working to regain form, make an impact
- Rossi: Moats looks to make a splash with Steelers
- Steelers to honor Bettis with ring ceremony in October
- Australians rule punting competition for chance to play for Steelers