Former Steelers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon continues to play well for the Los Angeles Rams. Pittsburgh cut Witherspoon this offseason, and he found a new home with the Rams. Coming into Sunday’s games, he was second in the NFL in lowest passer rating allowed with just 20.2 and is playing similarly to how he did down the stretch when he joined the Steelers in 2021.
Rams head coach Sean McVay has loved what the team has received from Witherspoon. He has stabilized a secondary that needed it and did not have many answers heading into the season. Witherspoon’s high-level play is a massive boon to his status on a one-year deal.
“I thought he did a good job. We had the one where there was a little bit of miscommunication between him and (DB) (Jordan) Fuller that fortunately he was able to kind of panic out of there and be able to get his hand on it. But Ahkello has made a really big impact on this defense through six games, super coachable,” McVay said. “He’s obviously got great length in athleticism and I love the way that he lets (Defensive Backs Coach and Pass Game Coordinator) Aubrey (Pleasant) really just kind of challenge him snap in and snap out. I think he’s responded really well and I’ve been really pleased with Ahkello Witherspoon. I love having him on this team.”
His 2022 did not go as planned, as Witherspoon suffered a hamstring injury early in the year against the Browns. After struggling and returning, he reinjured his hamstring, forcing Witherspoon to miss most of the season. In 13 total games with the Steelers, Witherspoon had 35 tackles, one for a loss, 11 passes defended, and four interceptions. But Witherspoon has found that quality level of play with the Rams. On Sunday, he made a gorgeous pass deflection to save a touchdown early in the game. His length and ball skills have proven to be a massive boon for a Rams secondary that came into the year without many solutions. So far, he has two interceptions and will look to impact the two teams’ matchup next week in Los Angeles.
Witherspoon’s length will give guys like George Pickens some trouble. At his best, Witherspoon is a fantastic cornerback, despite his up-and-down play throughout his career. Right now, Witherspoon is on a heater and the Steelers have to be prepared for his opportunistic style of play. They have experience seeing his playmaking side in the back half of the 2021 season. Kenny Pickett and the offense have to tread carefully with the level of play Witherspoon is showing now.