Shortly after the Pittsburgh Steelers lost CB Cameron Sutton in free agency to the Detroit Lions, they went out and signed veteran CB Patrick Peterson. Peterson has been known as one of the best cornerbacks in the league since getting drafted by the Arizona Cardinals fifth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, going on to eight Pro Bowls and getting named a first-team All-Pro three times.
For Peterson, his prolific football career began at LSU where he was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2010 and went on to win several awards that season campaign including the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Jim Thorpe Award, and the Jack Tatum Trophy. During his time at LSU with the Tigers, Peterson was coached by current Steelers DB Coach Grady Brown, who was a defensive quality control coach during Peterson’s sophomore season.
When Peterson was asked about working with Brown again after their time together at LSU, Peterson commended Brown’s coaching style and the impact he had on him in college.
“You want to know something real cool about me and Grady?” Peterson said to the media on video from Steelers.com. “So, Grady was my college coach at LSU. Grady coached me two years at LSU, and we had an unbelievable relationship. So, Grady is actually one of the guys who helped me understand the importance on how to study, how to continue working on your craft. And he jokes about this all the time because he has been in the college level forever, but he’s still bringing those college tendencies here on point of emphasis, on technique, point of emphasis on eyes.”
Brown is an experienced coach who has been all over the college ranks, working at LSU, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Southern Miss, South Carolina, Birmingham Southern, McNeese State, Louisville, Old Dominion, and Houston before moving to the pros to work with the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his time in college, Brown coached the likes of Peterson, S D.J. Swearinger, CB Marcus Jones, and others who made the transition from college to the pros.
Brown’s attention to detail and focus on film study has left a mark on Peterson since his days with the Tigers, adopting those same principles that have helped him carve out a long and fruitful NFL career. Brown has implemented those same principles in Pittsburgh, putting an emphasis on taking the football away, which resulted in Pittsburgh leading the league in INTs last season.
For Peterson, it’s not just a reunion with his former coach, but also a good friend who helped him become the professional he is today. Having the combination of Brown and Peterson in the DB room will only help the development of young guys like Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice Jr. while Brown looks to utilize Peterson in ways to maximize his experience as Peterson looks to extend his NFL career.