3 negative overreactions from the Steelers this preseason
This week on the Steelers Fix podcast, Jeremy Betz and I discussed overreactions surrounding the Steelers. We each gave three overreactions from what we have seen so far, but for the topic of the show, three of the six overreactions had to be negative.
Today, we are going to take a closer look at several of these overreactions and break down the effects of such potential happenings. We will focus on the negative overreactions today, as we previously broke down the negative earlier this week.
Overreaction #1: Patrick Peterson will be a liability in coverage in 2023.
Jeremy and I closed out this week’s show with a spicy conversation about two of the Steelers’ most notable defensive backs. Jeremy had the opportunity to go to Steelers training camp this year, and much of this overreaction was based off what he saw at training camp. The overreaction is that Patrick Peterson could actually be a liability in coverage for the Steelers. The speed is still there, as he was able to keep stride with Stefon Diggs against the Bills. However, it does appear as if his lateral quickness and agility may not be quite as good as it once was.
The experience alone makes Peterson a valuable piece to the Steelers puzzle, but if this overreaction comes to reality, the Steelers will desperately need Joey Porter to be a starting-caliber corner on the boundary. I still think Peterson has good football left in him, but if this issue with elusiveness is a permanent problem, he may have to slide inside and use his strong instinctual abilities in the slot.
Overreaction #2: Gunner Olszewski’s preseason success only proves he is nothing more than a perennial preseason darling
Outside of being the kick returner for an outstanding, Bill-Belichick led special teams unit, Gunner has never been able to be a contributor in the regular season. This is the second year in a row we have seen Gunner take advantage of increased volume in the preseason, but despite having great preseasons every year, he never turns it into in-season production. I believe his success this preseason has only proved who he is as a player: a camp and preseason darling.
With the recent releases of Cody White and Hakeem Butler, it seems imminent that Gunner makes the team once again. Unfortunately, I do not necessarily see his preseason success as a positive. This may allow him to see more snaps on offense, but his past track record sheds light on his inefficiency as a receiver. The size of Myles Boykin and the speed of Calvin Austin are more valuable to the Steelers current offense, and the more we see of Gunner, the less we see of Boykin and Austin. I hope I will be proven wrong here, but I do not see Gunner’s preseason success as a true positive for the Steelers’ outlook on offense.
Overreaction #3: Keanu Neal’s missed time may have exposed that he is not a top 3 safety on the Steelers
Neal is still only 28 years old, but his physical brand have football may have worn on him, as the last we saw of Neal was far from impressive. We have yet to see much from him in black and gold, but his time away with injuries might have exposed that he is not even a top three safety on the team. Damontae Kazee is not a strong safety, but he seems to have found his niche in Teryl Austin’s defense. The young Elijah Riley is also playing extremely well. I still think Neal is the starter at strong safety, since the Steelers do not have any other true strong safeties, but that does not take away from the fact that Pittsburgh may have three other players that are better than him. This is not necessarily a negative reaction, unless it is from the perspective of Neal.
What has been your biggest overreaction from the preseason so far? Be sure to light up the comment section below with your thoughts on this and all things Pittsburgh Steelers!
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