James Pierre is a second-year cornerback who joined the Steelerslast season as an undrafted free agent.
Injuries have required Pierre to play too many snaps. Pierre started Sunday’s game vs. Denver at Heinz Field. He deputized for corner Cam Sutton, who has (of course) a groin problem.
Pierre has no pedigree and little experience. Foes know that.
Denver targeted Pierre constantly on Sunday.
He got beat by Broncos WR Courtland Sutton for a 39-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Pierre was in single coverage. There was no deflecting blame.
But Pierre didn’t shrink. He made plays.
Pierre had a fingertip breakup.
Pierre ran down Denver RB Javonte Williams from behind after a 49-yard run, tackling him at the Steelers’ 2. (Denver ultimately settled for a field goal. That's a four-point swing.)
Ultimately, Pierre sealed the Steelers’ 27-19 victory with an interception in the end zone at the game’s death.
Pierre is the Steelers in a microcosm: He’s not that good, but he persevered.
The Steelers aren’t that good, either. But perhaps they can persevere.