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Beanie Bishop Taking the Long Road to Steelers Roster

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Beanie Bishop is hoping to take the long road to the roster after signing with the team.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Cb Beanie Bishop
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Beanie Bishop during rookie minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Friday, May 10, 2024. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — If the Pittsburgh Steelers slot cornerback battle is circled on your list of battles to watch, count me in, too, not just on the actual fight itself but on who is involved. So far, it’s Josiah Scott and fiery West Virginia product Beanie Bishop. Coming out of West Virginia, Bishop was looked at as someone who could come in and compete in the slot from day one, even if he was undrafted. But he has to prove his understanding first to win a slice of the job.

And I emphasize the part that says just a slice of the gig because the Steelers have split up their slot cornerback duties in the past. Since Mike Hilton left, the Steelers have decided to shift towards a pass-down slot that can double as the dimebacker and run-down slot. Consider Arthur Maulet as the run-down slot and Cam Sutton as the pass-down nickel. They have worked that out over the past few seasons.

As it stands, Bishop projects to be involved in that run-down slot role likely. He stepped on Thursday, in particular, breaking up a pass intended for Roman Wilson and forcing a fumble, too. Bishop has looked to compete with Wilson, and the rookies will likely face each other more than a few times over the Summer.

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Roman Wilson at the team’s first day of OTAs, May 21, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

I’m looking forward to it, you know. Two young guys coming in and competing for a spot on the team. Like you said, steel sharpens steel,” Bishop said on the matchup with Wilson.

But Bishop has to carry himself with a special mentality to make the team. Going undrafted after being underrecruited coming out of high school only adds to Bishop’s fire. On the field, he likes to chirp at wide receivers and get in their head. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in bite.

“I like to hit guys in the mouth. A lot of receivers don’t like to play like that. There are a lot of receivers who are pretty and stuff like that. I don’t like to be a pretty player. I’m one of those nasty and physical guys. I play with an edge to my game and I’m fearless,” Bishop said.

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Beanie Bishop

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Beanie Bishop during rookie minicamp at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Friday, May 10, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Bishop never gets comfortable, mainly because he does not have the luxury to do that. It vibes with Mike Tomlin’s motto of not seeking comfort. But that is never something that Bishop has done during his football career. Now, at the precipice of the NFL with a chance to make a roster, Bishop is not looking away from the challenge.

There might be another outside signing coming in to compete in the slot. That can not be ruled out in any capacity. But Bishop has the right mentality to take on any challenge that he will face from the Steelers organization, and so far in practice, he is proving his words have plenty of bite.

“I always knew I was never the biggest guy. It’s one of those things that helps me every day whenever I think about getting comfortable,” Bishop said. “But I am here, and I’m here to show what I can do.”

The Steelers hope to see what Bishop can do throughout the Summer. To make the team, he will have to make a dent in special teams, too. Bishop is comfortable there, having already had experience playing on special teams from the beginning of his college career. He pointed out Mike Hilton’s path to a roster spot as the type of trailblazer he would like to follow onto the Steelers’ 53-man roster. While he has the right mindset, it will be up to him to showcase that mindset, turning into tangible plays on the football field.