Townsend prepares for life after football
Veteran cornerback Deshea Townsend hasn't given up hope of returning to the Steelers in 2010.
Townsend, who turns 35 in September, was surprised when he wasn't retained for the upcoming season.
"I did kind of expect to be back, just to add some depth at the position," he said. "They know there's a player out there they don't really have to teach the system, that can come in and play."
Townsend, a fourth-round draft pick from Alabama who played 12 seasons with the Steelers, lost his starting job when he was converted to nickel back after the emergence of William Gay.
Since then, the Steelers have selected three cornerbacks in the past two drafts. They also reacquired former starter Bryant McFadden.
Those moves resulted in Townsend — the oldest cornerback on the roster — not being invited to return.
Townsend said he wouldn't mind playing for the Steelers again — or any other team.
He started the final two games in 2009, grabbing an interception in the final game against Miami.
"Pittsburgh is home. You always want to be where you started," said Townsend, who has been working out with speed and conditioning coach Tom Shaw in Florida. "If something happens in training camp ... maybe. My agent said just stay in shape. I had some conversations (with teams). There's always going to be a need for a corner somewhere."
Townsend realizes he may have played his final NFL game. He said he's comfortable knowing he may have to get on with the rest of his life.
"I've always looked at the entire picture, understanding this game is not going to last forever. It's always been a business for me," Townsend said.
"I want to play one or two more years. But if it doesn't happen, I have a lot of other stuff going on with health care and doing a lot of work with my foundation."
Townsend developed a foundation that helps children who do not have health insurance and sponsors events that work with preventive care.
Townsend would like to remain connected with the Steelers. He said his extensive playing experience has prepared him for a scouting or front-office position.
Townsend's coaches considered him a coach on the field because of his ability to decipher the entire defense.
"I've always been the type of player when a young guy comes in, I try to give him everything I know to help make him a better player," Townsend said. "That's the same thing our coaches do. That could be a natural move for me."
While the possibility of becoming a coach appeals to Townsend, he has loftier goals.
"My ultimate goal is it would be great to be the next Kevin Colbert," said Townsend, referring to the Steelers' director of football operations who's in charge of personnel decisions.
"To be like Kevin, to be like (Baltimore's) Ozzie Newsome, a general manager who understands what type of players teams need and go out and find them."
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.
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Steelers’ Heyward looking to stay for long haul
- Former Steelers kicker Reed doesn’t like new NFL PAT rule
- Steelers claim QB-turned-WR Gardner
- Steelers guard Foster likes offense’s direction heading into season
- Former Steelers linebacker Robinson dies
- Steelers’ Lemon hopes to put squeeze on opposing QBs
- NFL moves PAT back to 15-yard line
- Steelers gamble Chickillo can make transition to outside linebacker
- Starkey: Clayton, Steelers and ‘Shouldergate’
- Steelers sign first-round pick Dupree