5 Steelers all fans must watch vs Panthers in final preseason game
By Tommy Jaggi
CB James Pierre
Here’s a player the Steelers could really be counting on in the secondary this year, but I still want to see more. James Pierre had a very good training camp with the Steelers this season after going undrafted in 2020. With Steven Nelson and Mike Hilton gone, Pierre could see his role on the team increase exponentially – especially now that Antoine Brooks has been waived/injured.
With Cameron Sutton and Joe Hadden set to start in Pittsburgh’s base defense, it appears more and more likely that Sutton will kick inside and cover the slot in nickel with Pierre taking his place at right cornerback. For most teams, the nickel defense is their most frequented package, and it will be crucial that what we’ve seen from Pierre is not just a fluke.
Though Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore is a bit banged up, it appears as though Carolina is set to deploy most of their starters early against the Steelers. Pierre is likely to make the start in this contest, so it will be interesting to see how he does against the Panthers first-team offense.
Over the last two games, fellow cornerback Justin Layne has actually graded out better for the Steelers, and Pierre will need to step up his game if he wants to secure a big role on the team in 2021. I’m interested to see how he performs in the final preseason contest.