It’s that time of the Steelers offseason when we read stories about players having huge chips on their shoulders—here’s one about Cory Trice, the rookie cornerback who lasted until the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Trice has not forgotten that every NFL team passed on him through six rounds—not sure if the Steelers are one of those teams that Trice has not forgotten about—and is determined to show them all that they made a mistake—maybe even the Steelers.
By my count, there are at least 15 Steelers who should and likely will have chips on their shoulders at training camp and probably during the 2023 regular season. Who are they?
Read on to find out.
Cory Trice Jr.
Why? See above.
Joey Porter Jr.
Porter was supposed to go in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft but was passed over by all 31 teams (the Dolphins had to forfeit their first-round pick) and didn’t get selected until the first pick of the second round the very next night.
Was Porter still technically a first-round pick? Not according to the tears he shed when the actual first round ended the night before. Maybe that’s why his father, Peezy Sr., informed his old team that his son’s new team would be getting a peeved-off football player.
Psyche! Pat Pete seems too nice to carry a chip on his shoulder.
Dan Moore Jr.
The Steelers selected Broderick Jones in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Not only that, but Pittsburgh traded up three spots to ensure that Jones would be the pick. Any team that does that would surely expect the rookie to start sooner rather than later. But Moore has been the starting left tackle for two years. How dare the Steelers? Moore will just have to see about that.
Calvin Austin III
He was born into a petite body, and now he’s trying to have a career as a professional football player. Hopefully, he’s big and strong enough to carry a chip without it hindering his 4.3 speed.
Some are suggesting that Pickens has a chip on his shoulder, and now the second-year receiver out of Georgia wants to prove to everyone that he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder. This is why he will be playing with a chip on his shoulder in 2023.
He’s never, ever going to be on the same level as Joe Burrow. No, his ceiling is like Kirk Cousins or something. Ewww! Plus, did you know he has really small hands? He’s like circus folk, carnies, a nomad. Smells like cabbage. There are two things Pickett can’t stand in this world: People who put limits on other people’s potential and Najee Harris—he’ll never be a number one running back in the NFL.
I can’t think of a specific reason why Johnson would have a chip on his shoulder in 2023, but have you ever seen the man smile? Heart attacks look at him and say, “Why so serious?” Johnson is so sullen that Steelers fans are now pleading with him to take up TikTok instead of practicing football.
The Steelers signed Trubisky at the onset of the 2022 free-agent frenzy but drafted Pickett in the first round not long after that. Pickett became the starter by Week 5, and now Trubisky has been relegated to career-backup status, complete with a contract extension and everything.
Ben Roethlisberger retired, Trubisky was signed and Pickett was drafted—all within a few months. After not playing a snap during the 2022 regular season, Rudolph entered free agency and didn’t get a single offer—at least not one that he liked. Rudolph is now back in Pittsburgh after signing a one-year deal to be the third-string quarterback in 2023. Rudolph is determined to show the Steelers that they made a mistake.
Sure, he retired and is finally over the Steelers moving on from him after the 2021 campaign, but he is still a little hurt that Pittsburgh approached Rudolph about coming back as the third-string quarterback.
And he still thinks the Steelers should have selected someone else in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Alex Highsmith was a walk-on at Charlotte. I mean, come on, bruh! What promises did the Steelers make Golden?
He’s like the Diontae Johnson of kickers when it comes to looking happy.
He was a third-round pick from tiny Georgia in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He’s been trying to prove himself ever since.
Steelers fans now rank him behind Joe Walton when it comes to the organization’s all-time worst offensive coordinators.
With Broderick Jones on track to be the starting left tackle and Dan Moore Jr. determined to learn right tackle, where would that leave Okorafor, the starter on the right side the past three seasons? As I’ve said before, Okorafor was born in Nigeria and may be too polite and respectful to carry a chip while playing American football. In fact, he might actually take pride in becoming the new swing tackle. “I have been recently placed in charge of garbage time! When you think of garbage time, think of Chuks!”