Steelers CB Patrick Peterson Fires Warning to NFL

Patrick Peterson

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson.

It’s no secret why the Pittsburgh Steelers brought in cornerback Patrick Peterson on a two-year, $14 million contract. The Steelers want and need the three-time All-Pro to make big plays.

On the June 19 episode of his podcast, “All Things Covered,” Peterson essentially told cohost and former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden that he’s ready to deliver that for Pittsburgh.

“I plan on making a lot of plays this year,” Peterson said.

Peterson last earned a first-team All-Pro nomination in 2015 and hasn’t made the Pro Bowl since 2018, but he still made some big plays last season for Minnesota Vikings. He intercepted 5 passes, his most in a single season since 2012. Peterson also had 3 tackles for loss and 15 pass defenses.

Patrick Peterson Ready to Deliver ‘A Lot of Plays’ at Multiple Positions?

While Peterson, who will turn 33 on July 11, wasn’t bashful about what he plans to do in the 2023 season, he was coy about how he was going to do it.

When describing his first offseason with the Steelers to McFadden, Peterson said that he was learning new positions. But he didn’t say much else despite his cohost’s pushing for answers.

“I know you to be an outside corner,” McFadden said. “So whatcha talking about? What new position are you learning?”

Peterson responded with as plain an answer as possible.

“Just having the opportunity to be a ball player, and that’s what coach Mike T. and the Pittsburgh Steelers are giving me the opportunity to do.”

Reading between the lines, it seems the Steelers are preparing Peterson to fill the role left by Cameron Sutton, who signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency.

The Steelers placed Sutton at wide corner for about two-thirds of his total snaps during the 2022 season. But he also lined up at slot corner for 185 snaps and as a safety in the box for 71 snaps.

Steelers Depot’s Alex Kozora speculated in March that Damontae Kazee was the best fit for Sutton’s role. The Steelers re-signed Kazee after Sutton left for Detroit.

But based on what Peterson revealed, he may have the first opportunity to make plays all over the Steelers secondary, as Sutton did.

Peterson Excelling in Steelers Offseason Practices

As secretive as Peterson acted with where he’s been lining up on the field during Steelers offseason workouts, it’s not really breaking news that he’s trying a new position.

All Steelers Talk’s Noah Strackbein and Derrick Bell discussed Peterson working in new spots and the likelihood of him playing a versatile role in 2023.

“I think it’s going to be a committee thing,” Bell said on June 3 when asked about the different sets the Steelers have shown in their secondary this offseason. “Even though he hasn’t done it for real, for real, [Peterson] understands the point of being in the slot.

“In the slot, if you don’t understand your leverage and where your help is, you’re screwed. That’s the No. 1 thing that you have to do. The fact that he understands that is good.”

However, Bell did state that at his age, Peterson will have trouble against fast receivers in the slot because he’s not as athletic as he was earlier in his career.

If practice is any indication, though, things are going just fine for Peterson so far. Again, he would not share too much, but Peterson said he gave Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett trouble in one particular situation.

“He (Kenny Pickett) gave me the approval and said, ‘Man, when you line up at this certain position, that f*** me up,'” Peterson told McFadden.

Peterson is entering his 13th season in the NFL. He’s recorded 34 interceptions and 111 pass defenses in 184 career games.

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