PITTSBURGH — Joey Porter Jr. is a rookie that the Steelers clearly have high expectations for in his rookie season. So much so, that it appears they are incrementally starting to give Porter a bit more responsibility.
Veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, who has taken Porter under his wing, confirmed that Porter took some first-team reps on Thursday. Just as Porter said he was getting comfortable the day before, it now appears that the Steelers are starting to test the rookie and see what he can do at this point in the process.
“We’re already seeing a lot of him,” Peterson said. “He’s working with ones, twos, and threes. That guy is getting all the looks that he needs to make sure that he’s prepared when his number is called. But you can expect to see him on the field early and quite often.”
Meanwhile, Joey Porter Jr. himself is starting to feel out the NFL environment. He acknowledges the growing pains that come with being a rookie in the NFL, but the growth, learning, and progress is his goal. Of course, he still has the chip on his shoulder from falling out of the first round, and that is a factor that keeps motivating him day in and day out. Part of the transition that has made it easier for him is Peterson taking him under his wing. For Porter, that has been a huge boon.
“Man, he’s been great,” Porter said. :He’s really taken me under his wing, showing me the ropes. I’m glad to have him on my squad, because, without him, I wouldn’t be able to learn so much about the game so fast like I am right now.”
So, with him starting to trickle into first-team reps and getting lots of reps overall, it seems Pittsburgh is preparing to allow Porter to get some playing time early on. Now, it will up to him to prove he deserves that.