William Gay doesn't paint with a broad brush. Instead, he splashes the canvas with simplistic colors void of interpretative shades.

In reality, the Steelers' veteran cornerback envisions most everything on the football field as black or white. There are no gray areas, no room for ambiguity.

He either makes a play or he doesn't. He either shuts down a receiver or he doesn't.
For Gay, football isn't complicated.

Quite simply, Gay saved the day — and perhaps the season — Sunday when he denied Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco two touchdown throws that could have left the Steelers in an irretrievable mess at 1-5.

“Will made two bail-out plays that saved touchdowns (against Baltimore),” safety Ryan Clark said. “He made a great play on a zero blitz when he had no help. Then he came off of his guy to break up a pass in the end zone. He's been a big contributor the last two games.”

“He's been ‘Big Play Gay' since he's been here,” wide receiver Antonio Brown said. “I think people overlook him. He's making big plays, but they don't get magnified like they should.”

Everyone noticed Gay's invaluable contribution during the Steelers' last-second 19-16 victory over the AFC rival Ravens during film sessions earlier this week as they prepared to face the Raiders' elusive quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.

The 2-4 Steelers, who play Sunday at Oakland, have at least a slim chance of making the playoffs after starting 0-4.

“It's all about staying alive,” said Gay, who leads all cornerbacks with 102 consecutive games played. “It's about staying current and making sure I'm there when the team needs me.”

The Steelers needed Gay when third-year cornerback Cortez Allen became a liability, particularly in man coverage. They needed his savvy and his experience to recognize the opposition's tendencies.
While he didn't fit into the Arizona Cardinals' plans, Gay is making the best of his second chance in Pittsburgh.

“I think anytime you get released before the season starts, it means your productivity didn't match your salary,” Gay said. “That's basically what it came down to in Arizona.