Steven Nelson’s current team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, may both be AFC squads, but the cornerback wasn’t rooting for his conference in Super Bowl LIII. Not at all.
Nelson made an appearance on Fox Sports 1’s “Fair Game” and discussed his feelings toward the New England Patriots as they headed into the Super Bowl. New England knocked out Kansas City in overtime during the AFC championship — Tom Brady and Phillip Dorsett even connected with Nelson in coverage. That’s probably why Nelson, who joined Pittsburgh this offseason, was not rooting for New England, one of the Steelers’ and Chiefs’ conference rivals.
Steven Nelson’s dream of playing in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, close to where he grew up in Georgia, was destroyed when Tom Brady and the New England Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.
The veteran cornerback was part of the Chiefs defense that was shredded by the Patriots offense in a 37-31 overtime win for New England. Nelson recently appeared on FOX Sports 1 show “Fair Game” with host Kristine Leahy, and he made it quite clear which team he was rooting for in Super Bowl LIII between the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
“I was like, screw the Patriots, because we should’ve been in the Super Bowl. Kudos to them for making it, but I wanted the Rams to win,” Nelson said.
How long did it take Nelson to move on from that crushing loss to the Patriots?
“I’m moving on, but it kind of hurt me for maybe a week,” Nelson said. “It didn’t help because that was my birthday week. So it was like, ‘Man, come on.’ I wanted to go to the Super Bowl, and I’m from Atlanta and the Super Bowl was in Atlanta. It’s all good, though.”
Nelson didn’t have a particularly good game against the Patriots, and he was beaten by Phillip Dorsett for a touchdown right before halftime, which gave New England a 14-0 lead.
He left the Chiefs in NFL free agency and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers — another one of the New England’s rivals.
The Patriots will host the Steelers at Gillette Stadium during the 2019 regular season, so we’ll have to see if Nelson has more thoughts on the defending champs at that time.
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The Pittsburgh Steelers filled a major gap on defense by signing Steven Nelson this offseason, and Mike Tomlin had nothing but praise for the cornerback.
This was the first time the Pittsburgh Steelers ever signed a player during the legal tampering period. Steven Nelson was on the Steelers’ radar all offseason and amidst the cornerback signing frenzy that occurred early, they decided to throw their hat in the rink.
The former Kansas City Chief played well against Pittsburgh, but head coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers had their eye on him long before this offseason. Tomlin said the Steelers first liked Nelson when they watched him in the Senior Bowl coming out of Oregon State. The corner played both inside and outside, something that caught Tomlin’s eye early.
But it’s Nelson’s versatility that pushed the Steelers to make a move. Tomlin was quoted by Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette saying it’s his inside and outside game that makes him the player they wanted.
Nelson joins Mark Barron as Pittsburgh’s major offseason additions. This defense needed to fill the cornerback and inside linebacker role and while they still might add to the positions in the draft, they certainly landed quality help in the open market.
Nelson is hoping to replace Artie Burns as the Steelers’ long-term solution on the outside. After failing to meet expectations, Burns has become mostly a bench-warmed in Pittsburgh. He may get another try to contribute this season, but it’s hard to imagine his time as a starter will come again.
Pittsburgh fans were thrilled to see a young and talented corner join the mix. It’ll be Joe Haden, Nelson and Mike Hilton running things in the secondary this season. For the Steelers, they’re hoping that combination turns their less than impressive backfield into something offenses need to worry about.
Nobody for the Pittsburgh Steelers recorded more than two interceptions during their—well, let’s just call it what it is—pathetic display of taking the ball out of the air last season. As a team, they managed just eight interceptions.
Steven Nelson, the cornerback that they just gave a three-year, $25.5 million contract, got half of that number all by himself last season. In fact, his four interceptions would be the most by any Steelers player in a season since Troy Polamalu had seven interceptions in 2010.
In fact, in the Mike Tomlin era, Polamalu, who did it twice, is the only player to have had more than three interceptions in a single season. And there have only been 14 three-interception seasons in that same 12-year span. Sean Davis and Ryan Shazier were the most recent to do it in 2017, and Artie Burns and Shazier again did it the year before. Burns had had one since, and Davis had none last year.
So the notion of asking a player what his favorite interception was might be a little foreign for Steelers players right now, since it’s been rare for anybody to even have more than one. Nelson had one in mind from last season, however, and it came against an AFC North opponent: Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.