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Patrick Peterson: Joey Porter Jr. ‘Has All The Intangibles To Be Better Than Me’


It still feels somewhat remarkable in hindsight that the Pittsburgh Steelers were not only able to sign Patrick Peterson this offseason, but also draft Joey Porter Jr.—in the second round. It seems like something close to a perfect combination of a changing of the guard, while the old guard is still present.

And that old guard, Peterson, soon to turn 33, is entirely on board with being a part of that transition, of passing the torch to the younger generation of cornerbacks, from himself to not just Porter but also Cory Trice Jr., the Steelers’ seventh-round pick.

Porter in particular, might just be his special little project, and for good reason in his eyes. “I just want to continue helping him in [as] many ways that I can, because he has all the intangibles to be better than me”, Peterson told Amanda Godsey in an exclusive interview after OTA practices yesterday.

Mind you that would be no small feat. Peterson is very likely to be a Hall of Famer in time. The fifth-overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in 2011, he already has a dozen years of high-quality play under his belt, including eight consecutive Pro Bowls and three All-Pro nods. Though he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl since 2018, he has still continued his admirable level of performance. And he wants to show Porter how to do that.

“Whatever I can do to help him accelerate the game as fast as I can”, he told Godsey. “I want to be able to give him all the nuggets to be successful early in his career, because I feel like if he’s able to taste that success early and get into a routine, understand what he needs to do from a Monday through Saturday to get his body and mind prepared for a game, I think the better off he’ll be, the longer he’ll be able to last in this game”.

Peterson’s stated goal is to play 14 seasons, which he is well on his way to accomplishing. All he has to do is play out his two-year contract that he signed with the Steelers this offseason. My sense is that by the end of that deal, however, he’ll want to continue playing.

Part of his natural mentorship comes simply from family. He had that in the form of his older cousin, Bryant McFadden, who broke into the league as a second-round pick with the Steelers in 2005 and had a successful career in his own right.

Peterson was training with McFadden and other Steelers, like Ike Taylor, while he was still in high school. He understands how valuable that seasoned, experienced voice can be in the trajectory of a young player’s career. Of course, Porter has his father to lean on, but to have an active player at his position in his ear of the stature of a Patrick Peterson is priceless.

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