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Donte Jackson Takes Pride in Being Leader for Young Steelers CBs

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Donte Jackson
Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Donte Jackson at OTAs on May 22, 2024. -- Ed Thompson/ Steelers Now

Donte Jackson is new to the Pittsburgh Steelers, coming over from Carolina via the Diontae Johnson trade in March. But he has immersed himself as a leader over the last few months. It’s a responsibility that he doesn’t shy away from.

With Patrick Peterson no longer in Pittsburgh, Jackson is now the veteran cornerback in the room. He has a ton of young cornerbacks to mold, especially rising star Joey Porter Jr.

In an interview with Jarrett Bailey of Behind The Steel Curtain, Donte Jackson said it’s up to him to making sure he upholds the standard, because he knows the young guys are watching.

Jackson is mentoring Porter just like he did for Jaycee Horn, who was selected at eighth overall by the Panthers in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jackson just wants to give Porter all the knowledge that he possibly can.

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Following his release, Peterson expressed concern that the Steelers didn’t have anyone to mentor Porter. This was before the Steelers acquired Jackson from Carolina, however. There’s still a possibility that Peterson could re-sign with the Steelers, but it’s been quiet on that end so far.

“We don’t have any other corners on the roster that’s healthy, that’s under contract. I’m not taking credit for Joey [Porter Jr.], Joey is Joey. Joey’s going to be a great player, but I was in Joey’s shoes before. I was once Joey, following the number one guys, understanding that responsibility, how important that responsibility is, how there are no days off with that responsibility. I want to be able to help Joey, help his career continue to flourish. Joey can be so special, but he has no one there that can help him get to where he wants to go,” Peterson said on the All Things Covered podcast.

So far, the vibes in Pittsburgh have been just what Jackson expected.

“It’s been great. This is a football building,” Jackson said. “It’s great to get in here with these guys, learn the system, learn the Steelers way and how everybody does things. It’s been amazing. It’s everything I thought it would be when I first found out I got traded here.”