There could also be nobody position within the NFL through which confidence is more essential to perform your job than is that of cornerback. It’s the one position where the stakes are so clearly high on any given snap. You’re the person who’s answerable for not allowing the wide receiver to get behind you, and today, that is going on greater than ever.
For this reason reason, I won’t ever find myself surprised by a cornerback talking himself up beyond what is perhaps generally perceived as reasonable. You type of need to consider that you just actually are the very best at what you do, or no less than very near it, whether the stats show it or not.
Fortunately, perhaps, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ahkello Witherspoon is only one such cornerback. The sixth-year veteran, recently appearing on the Getcha Popcorn podcast with Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens, was asked to call his top five cornerbacks within the NFL without delay—and he just so happened to make his own list, in no specific order, as he said.
“We’ll go myself, [Jalen] Ramsey; I like [Marshon] Lattimore; I like J.C. Jackson; I like Xavien Howard”, he offered up as his top five cornerbacks within the league. “He touches loads of footballs—you’ll be able to’t argue with that”.
For the record, I’m totally on board with Witherspoon showing this confidence in his game. As I said earlier, you’ve gotten to be supremely confident to excel on the cornerback position. It’s probably best in case you consider that you just’ve never truly lost a one-on-one rep without some mitigating factor outside of your control, or no less than not with out a lesson learned to make sure you won’t lose that very same rep again.
Also, he was specifically told that he could put himself on the list, in order that makes it harder to go away yourself off of it when you’ve gotten the query framed that way. It makes you appear to be you don’t consider in yourself in case you don’t. Context is essential. But nevertheless, he said it.
A former 66th-overall draft pick of Colorado with 6’2” height with a solid athletic profile, even when lacking elite speed, Witherspoon is definitely physically gifted. He has had an up-and-down profession as knowledgeable, nevertheless, having been shifted out and in of starting roles.
He spent his first 4 seasons with the team that drafted him the San Francisco 49ers, before signing a one-year, $4 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021. They traded him to the Steelers shortly before the regular season began in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick.
Pittsburgh was in no rush to get him on the sphere, and in truth was only lively for one game in the primary half of the season. After a major foot injury suffered by Joe Haden, nevertheless, and a series of struggles by James Pierre, they did call upon the veteran, who would log 364 of his 268 defensive snaps in the ultimate eight weeks.
In that relatively short span of playing time, he recorded three interceptions, which was a recent career-high, and nine passes defensed, which also matched his previous best. All credit to him, he was playing superb ball, and the very best of his profession, down the stretch last season.
Which is why the Steelers re-signed him and allowed Haden to walk, though they’ve still given themselves options. They still have Cameron Sutton returning for his sixth season in Pittsburgh, and to them they added Levi Wallace, coming over from Buffalo, on an identical two-year, $8 million contract Witherspoon also signed.
The precise playing time hasn’t been worked out yet, but the chance sits before him to live as much as his own hype. There’s a fairly good probability he could find yourself being the Steelers’ primary cornerback in coverage in 2022. If he desires to be on anybody’s list of top five cornerbacks whose last name isn’t Witherspoon, he had higher get to work.