The Steelers finally have something that they have not had in many years. Even with the great defenses of the early, mid and late 2000’s the Steelers never had two true lock-down capable corners. Quality corner back play during those years was typically attributed to great pass rushes and run defense.
Now the Steelers truly have a quality tandem on the outside of their defensive backfield. Joe Haden and Steven Nelson are both capable of being legitimate lockdown corners with or without a quality pass rush in front of them. Factor in a front seven of Cam Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu, Bud Dupree and TJ Watt and these two corners have a chance to have one of the best years of their career.
Currently, according to Pro Football Focus, Joe Haden is ranked as the top corner back in the NFL in passer rating allowed.
Joe Haden ranks 1st among CBs in passer rating allowed
QBs when targeting Joe Haden have a rating of 36.6 👀 pic.twitter.com/pMQcWmrUdJ
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) September 28, 2020
Quarterbacks are having a very tough time when targeting Joe Haden. Part of that equation is the pressure being put on quarterbacks by the guys mentioned above. Another piece is that Haden is a quality corner and has been since he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2010 as the seventh overall pick out of Florida.
With Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, and Minkah Fitzpatrick holding down the secondary the Steelers are poised to have a great defensive year. This defense does not rely solely on their front seven; this is a balanced defense that has no true weak link.