In today’s era of fanboy “journalism,” picking the Steelers to go 9-8 gets you labeled a hater.
But this hater has a few causes for optimism, albeit on the inevitable road to 9-8.
I like cornerback Patrick Peterson. He’s versatile. A glue guy. He says and does the right thing. He’s not a bull***t artist. Peterson will make the defense greater than the sum of its parts. He’s going to make young players like rookie corner Joey Porter Jr. improve faster.
I like Porter. I like what he’s shown. I like his attitude. Peezy’s kid is real. No phony showbiz. He got roasted Tuesday by George Pickens’ gone-viral catch, but rebounded and snared an interception.
I like Pickens’ performance. But the second-year wideout oozes phony showbiz. He’s got potential to be AB Jr. Jr. Jr.
I like Nick Herbig, the rookie edge rusher. If he turns out to be good, that’s going to help when T.J. Watt gets hurt. Which he will.
I like RB Najee Harris scoring twice on the ground Tuesday during the “Seven Shots” drill. (“Seven Shots” is mostly for passing.) Harris has had two subpar years with the Steelers. The Steelers need better, and Harris needs the Steelers to commit to his improvement. If you want to be a running team, be a running team. Don’t half-ass it. “Balance” = a whole lot of meh.
That’s it for now. Not bad for a non-fanboy.