4 catastrophes Steelers must avoid during the 2023 season

Georgia offensive lineman Broderick Jones (OL25)
Georgia offensive lineman Broderick Jones (OL25) / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 4

Catastrophe #3: Steelers expect the slot to fix itself

Despite a strong offseason overall, the Steelers still have some holes on the roster. The biggest one is currently at the slot cornerback. This has honestly been one of the bigger problems on the roster for some time, as Mike Hilton’s departure left the team scrambling there. Cameron Sutton filled the void there when needed, but he is no longer with the team.

The team had the entire offseason to find someone there, but they didn’t. Instead, established slot cornerback Arthur Maulet was released at his own request and the only traditional slot cornerback brought in was Chandon Sullivan. He was one of the worst defenders in the league last year, so I am not hopeful, to say the least.

What seems to be the plan is to have Patrick Peterson serve in the slot this season. The Steelers have added two cornerbacks in the draft and still have Levi Wallace, but all three of them are outside-only players. Peterson is the most versatile of the cornerbacks as well as the most established.

He is coming over from a zone-heavy scheme in Minnesota, so playing in the slot won’t be as difficult for him. That said, it is still a new role, and I’m skeptical that Peterson is an instant hit there. If he is a liability, it could cause havoc for this defense.

Ideally, the team finds another slot-capable player that can serve there. It doesn’t appear as though that is the focus though, and I fully expect Peterson to receive slot snaps early in the season. As a fan, I’m curious to see how this experiment goes, but I am skeptical as to how this moves ultimately pans out.