3 Steelers players I hope prove me wrong in 2023

  • Two skill players must take significant leaps forward
  • One newcomer might be getting overhyped

Pittsburgh Steelers, Diontae Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers, Diontae Johnson / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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If you look hard enough, it's easy to find something to complain about with just about every player on your team -- whether they are a star or not. I have been as critical of the Pittsburgh Steelers as anyone over the past few years, as questionable draft picks and disappointing on-field performances have left me wanting more.

For what it's worth, I am very encouraged by what Omar Khan was able to accomplish in his first full offseason as general manager. The way he filled holes in free agency and landed quality players at important positions in the NFL Draft is a step in helping me trust the organization as I have in the past.

While I am encouraged by the projected roster improvements and the progress young players are projected to make in 2023, I'm not buying the hype of some players on Pittsburgh's roster. Here are three players I hope prove me wrong this season.

3. CB Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson has been one of the best cornerbacks of the past decade in football; there's hardly a debate here. However, I have a lot more questions than most fans when it comes to what he will offer this team in 2023 (and possibly beyond).

Though he has had his ups and down with the Minnesota Vikings over the past two seasons, Peterson has proven to be excellent in zone coverage in his old age. Interestingly though, the Steelers played the fifth-most man coverage in the NFL last year -- an area where Peterson has really struggled on tape.

The plan is to continue playing a lot of man coverage in the future, and a testament to this is the fact that Pittsburgh spent two draft picks on long man-cover cornerbacks in Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice Jr. This doesn't match Peterson's skillset at this point in his career.

There have been reports that Peterson could be kicking inside to cover the slot in sub-packages, but this is something he has rarely done in the past. With all of the evidence pointing to cornerbacks falling off a cliff at age 32, it's hard to believe that Patrick Peterson will live up to lofty expectations at age 33 in a defense that doesn't cater to his strengths.