The Steelers missed out on a chance to bring Rod Woodson back as a coach, but they could very well end up with the franchise’s second best defensive back of the 1990’s.
Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette reported that the Steelers interviewed 1990’s all-star defensive back Carnell Lake for the defensive backs position vacated by Ray Horton’s exodus for Pittsburgh West.
After playing linebacker at UCLA, Carnell Lake was picked in the second round of the Steelers 1989 draft and moved on to become a fixture in the defensive backfield for a decade.
Lake’s natural position with the Steelers was strong safety.
However, on two occasions, Lake sacrificed personal glory and saved the Steelers seasons by moving to corner back. The first time was in 1995, when Rod Woodson’s ACL injury left the Alvoid Mays open to regular and frequent torchings at the hands of opposing quarterbacks.
The second time came in 1997, when Donnell Wolford proved to be woefully inadequate as a replacement for the departed Woodson.
In both season’s Lake’s position shift had a dramatic impact. The Steelers made it to Super Bowl XXX in 1995 and to the AFC Championship and (two bad calls by Chain Gailey some might argue) one game away from another Super Bowl in 1997.
Lake coached the UCLA defensive backs in 2009.