Steelers final report card: Grading each positional group for the 2023 season

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Secondary: D+

I legitimately think that the Steelers' secondary was one Joey Porter Jr. away from being potentially the worst unit in the NFL. Up until the bye week, Pittsburgh was dusted as they chose to deploy Patrick Peterson, Levi Wallace, and Chandon Sullivan as their trio of cornerbacks in nickel packages (which were used the most by the Steelers in 2023).

It wasn't until after the bye that the Steelers finally turned to Joey Porter Jr. In a bigger capacity. Porter was unquestionably the best coverage player on the team this year -- despite the fact that he led all NFL cornerbacks in penalties.

It didn't help matters that the Steelers sustained injuries and suspensions in the secondary. Minkah Fitzpatrick missed so much time in 2023 that he practically could have been placed on IR twice. Fitzpatrick missed a four-game stint beginning in Week 19 due to a hamstring injury, then later sustained a knee injury in Week 16.

His absence didn't help an untalented secondary. Meanwhile, Keanu Neal (who wasn't playing very well, to begin with) was lost to IR with a season-ending injury, and Damontae Kazee was suspended late in the year for his hit on WR Michael Pittman Jr.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to have a lot of roster turnover in their secondary, and it's not hard to see why. This was a rough group to watch in 2023, and we hope that there are much brighter days ahead.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

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