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'Smooth' Steelers rookie Senquez Golson catching Antonio Brown's eye

PITTSBURGH -- Asking Antonio Brown is a good way to judge the performance of the Pittsburgh Steelers' retooled cornerback position. Brown is a precise route runner and surveys the entire defensive backfield before the snap and when getting open.

Brown brought up the name of rookie second-round pick Senquez Golson when asked which young players have impressed him in organized team activities.

Golson was one of three defensive backs selected by the Steelers in last month’s draft, along with fourth-round cornerback Doran Grant and seventh-round safety Gerod Holliman.

“Really like 27,” Brown said of Golson, who is wearing No. 27. “Smooth guy, doesn’t really say too much. Seems like he’s focusing on his business. I’m liking what I’m seeing from him.”

Veterans William Gay, Cortez Allen and Antwon Blake will occupy a bulk of the first-team reps, but if the Steelers have their way, Golson will eventually help the defense thwart opponents’ underneath passing attacks. Golson’s specialty is using his vision and instincts in the nickel defense.

Blake has had a solid past few weeks, something Brown has noticed. Blake is taking ownership of a starting spot unless proven otherwise.

“Quick, competitive, hungry -- he’s always a great challenge to go against him because he’s not going to quit,” Brown said. “Kill him on the route, he’s going to come back and try to swat the ball out of there, always fighting to the finish.”