6 biggest disappointments from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 season

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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James Pierre #42 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

James Pierre, Cornerback

James Pierre came into 2021 with high hopes after Mike Hilton departed the team via free agency. Many thought his path to the NFL was very similar to Hilton’s after coming out of college as an undrafted free agent. The issue with the comparison is Hilton was a good player while Pierre had very limited experience as a starter.

The parallels for the two players starting resumes were there but not the same abilities. Hilton and Pierre are their own individuals and many shouldn’t have thought they would get Hilton 2.0 with this young corner.

Many thought that Pierre would become a starter for the Steelers at either the slot corner or the opposite outside spot of Joe Haden. Unfortunately, Pierre has not been able to get it together. He is solid on special teams but that has not translated to his position.

The team went out and acquired Ahkello Witherspoon via trade because of the issues and concerns that they had with depth and potential starters this season. When the team does that, they’re showing their hand of their discomfort with who is currently on the team.

The good news for Pierre is that he still has youth on his side so he could always get it together at the cornerback position. Until that happens, he will have to continue to show his ability on special teams. He is an interesting player but time will start winding down on his career if he can’t produce at his natural position.