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Ex-Steelers LB Doesn’t Love that Steelers Gave Cordarrelle Patterson No. 84

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Terrence Garvin does not love that the team gave away Antonio Brown’s No. 84.



Former Steelers wideout Antonio Brown
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) during the first half of an NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 18, 2018, at TIAA Bank Field. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire)

Newly signed Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver/running back and kickoff return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson will indeed wear No. 84 after asking about three other numbers.

Patterson has worn No. 84 his NFL entire career and when he was in college at Tennessee. He listed No. 10, 13 and 18 as other possible numbers. But instead, will receive No. 84 and stick with it.

No. 84, of course, is well-known to be former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown’s number. Wide receiver Rico Bussey was given No. 84 in training camp and the preseason in 2021, but no player has donned No. 84 in a regular season game since Brown left Pittsburgh following the 2018 season.

Brown commented on the move, reacting to it by saying he might have to retire with the Raiders.

And one of his former teammates, Terrence Garvin, does not love giving it away, either.

“Nah, I wouldn’t have given that 84 away. That’s still 84. You know what I mean? That’s AB 84. Best wide receiver in the league for multiple years. Never forget. I know the relationship went bad, but that’s still the best receiver in the league for multiple years,” Garvin said. “I just don’t think they should have done that. I don’t love that he’s putting the 84 on his back.”

Cordarrelle Patterson signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Steelers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The move was made, coincidentally, on the same day where kickoff returns are being brought back to prominence.

Patterson is one of the best, if not the best, kickoff returners of all-time. He has had nine such kickoff returns throughout his career, and he averages 29.3 yards per kickoff return. That is likely where the onus of this move is coming from, as Patterson should fill that role immediately. Mike Tomlin noted there would be a change in body type on these kickoffs, but not just that, returners themselves had to be more than just pure speed, but have excellent vision. Patterson checks that box.

“Body types might change. How’s it going to affect field positioning and thus scoring. Roster building, you know, the importance of the return,” Mike Tomlin said about the new kickoff rule at the NFL owner’s meetings. “It’s the ramifications, the seeing around corners, the unintended consequences.”

As for what Patterson does on offense, he worked with new Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith in Atlanta, so that connection is obvious. But he has been a wide receiver and running back in the past. Patterson should be the third running back behind Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris while adding a gadget play element.

He only had 50 rushes for 181 yards a year ago, though the season before that, Patterson added 695 rushing yards on 144 carries, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Regardless, he is a versatile weapon that the team can work into their gameplan, and will certainly allow for some ingenuity with the new kickoff rules in place.