PITTSBURGH, PA — Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr. has been named the team’s 2023 Joe Greene Great Performance Award, given to the team’s Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Porter Jr. has become a significant part of the Steelers’ defense in just his first season, taking over as the team’s No. 1 cornerback and spending nearly every game shadowing opponents’ top wide receiver. This season, he’s recorded 43 tackles, 10 pass deflections and an interception while allowing just a 50% completion rate and only one touchdown.
The honor is voted on by members of the local PFWA branch and is given to the team’s most valuable rookie. Porter Jr. was likely in contention with names such as Keeanu Benton and Nick Herbig.
“The good thing is he’s done well, but he’s got so much room for improvement. He could be so much of a better player,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said on Porter’s season. “He’s got a lot of things that obviously we want him to continue to improve this year, but as we work into the off-season, he’s got a lot of room to jump and improve, and you’ve got to push him that way. So it’s been good. We were deliberate, and I think it worked out well for him.”
Moving forward, Porter Jr. is going to be a pivotal part of Pittsburgh’s defense and allows them to build off a growing secondary. With Porter Jr. and Minkah Fitzpatrick, along with veterans such as Patrick Peterson and Damontae Kazee, the Steelers have the building blocks to put more pieces of the secondary together over the offseason.