It's hard to be disappointed in players you don't have high expectations for in the first place. However, to say that several Pittsburgh Steelers players aren't playing up to their reputation is an understatement. Fans had high hopes for this team in 2023 after seeing what they did in the NFL Draft and after being the talk of the preseason.
Unfortunately, this team hasn't come close to meeting lofty expectations, and there is plenty of blame to pass around. Players we thought would be pivotal to the team's success this year proved to be a letdown. Here are the five Steelers players having their most disappointing season in 2023.
5. Patrick Peterson, Cornerback
I wasn't a big fan of the Patrick Peterson signing during the 2023 offseason. I've done several studies on cornerback shelf life and his age was worrisome to me. However, I was at least willing to give the former All-Pro cornerback a chance to prove himself on a better defense this year.
While Peterson struggled mightily in man coverage last season for the Vikings, he was really good in zone and earned 5 interceptions in 2022. Sadly, not even his remaining good traits made the trip with him to Pittsburgh. Peterson hasn't been close enough to make many plays on the football, and the once spectacular athlete has a noticeable lack of speed on film.
Peterson is one of the most seasoned defensive backs remaining in the NFL, but experience will only get you so far if you lose a step or two -- especially in the secondary. You could certainly do worse than Patrick Peterson (as we saw with our own Levi Wallace this year), but he's not exactly the golden standard of what you want in today's starting NFL cornerback. At 33 years old, he proved that he didn't have enough gas left in the tank to be a difference-maker.