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Brian Allen debuts in Steelers’ best special teams game of season

October 13, 2018

Six days after Brian Allen was added to the 53-man roster and on the day of his 2018 regular-season debut, the Pittsburgh Steelers had by far their best performance of the season on special teams.

Coincidence? Allen smiled sheepishly when asked.

“It just felt good to be back out there,” the second-year cornerback said. “It was a long time coming for me, so when I got back out there I just tried to make my impact and my presence felt any way I could.”

For Allen during the Steelers’ 41-17 win against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, that meant serving as part of the kickoff and punt return and coverage teams, the highlight of which was playing the “gunner” on punt coverage.

For a 6-foot-3 cornerback by trade who can run a 4.4-ish time in the 40-yard dash, that seems like a natural fit, particularly when the veteran who normally performs those duties (Darrius Heyward-Bey) is out because of an ankle injury.

Allen’s highlight was downing a ball at the Atlanta 2 yard-line on a Jordan Berry punt in the fourth quarter. It set up a Steelers touchdown three plays later.

“Whatever they ask me to do, I just go out and give it 110 percent,” Allen said. “I was just so happy to be back out there.”

A fifth-round pick out of Utah last year, Allen spent his rookie season on the 53-man roster, appearing in 10 games (all on special teams). He did not make the 53-man out of camp this season, though, and was on the practice squad for four weeks until being promoted after Nat Berhe was placed on injured reserve last week.

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