It was one of the most beneficial free agent signings the Steelers had in quite some time. Adding cornerback Steven Nelson to the roster for the 2019 season was one of a series of moves which moved the Steelers secondary from average to elite. Overshadowed at times by the addition of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Nelson put up numbers placing him at the very top of the league at the cornerback position. Unfortunately, some around the league still did not recognize his great season as he wasn’t selected to the NFL Pro Bowl.
Nelsons exact stats for the 2019 season vary depending on the source. According to profootballreference.com, Nelson was targeted 74 times for 37 completions and 491 yards. He had one interception and did not surrender a touchdown. Other than interceptions, Nelson’s numbers were better than his Pro Bowl teammate Joe Haden who gave up 44 completions and five touchdowns according to PFR. Unfortunately for Nelson, interceptions seem to be what gets the attention of those following the NFL.
The disrespect of Nelson continued on Tuesday as Bleacher Report published an article of power rankings for the 2020 season. In the description that has since been changed, the report initially said “Defensively, the cornerback spot opposite Joe Haden remains an area of concern.” The statement brought reaction from Nelson himself.
Who controls that account I need answers we going to have a chat— Steve Nelson (@Nelson_Island) February 4, 2020
As with many issues that arise when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, there is a tendency for some of the national media to not really be in tune with what is going on with the team. In the same description, the article also speaks about how the Steelers need more help at wide receiver without even mentioning the Steelers leader in the category in 2019 in rookie Diontae Johnson. Even as Maurkice Pouncey struggled on the offensive line at a level in 2019 which was unheard of compared to the rest of his career, Pouncey continued to be praised by media members who probably just assumed he was playing at a high level rather than judge his performance for themselves.
As for Nelson, I hope he continues to use The fact he is constantly overlooked as an elite cornerback as fuel for his 2020 season. If Nelson can match his play statistically from 2019, it would be extremely difficult for those in the national media to overlook him yet again. But with other stellar play by his teammates on the defensive side of the ball, Nelson’s name has yet to register among others across the NFL. But as for Steelers’ Nation, we understand the gem that we had in 2019 and are looking forward to an even better 2020.