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Around the AFC North: Joey Porter Jr. Gets Interception in Steelers' Debut

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr. (24) defends against Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis (13) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Joey Porter Jr. Gives Ball to His Dad After Interception in Preseason Debut

Rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. had an impressive showing in his preseason debut with the Steelers.

After missing the preseason opener (hamstring), Porter had an interception and played 24 snaps during Pittsburgh's 27-15 victory over the Bills on Saturday night.

If Porter wins a starting job, it will allow veteran Patrick Peterson to play more snaps at safety. Peterson said Porter looks ready.

"I thought he did solid, just looking at him from the naked eye," Peterson said via Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I thought he was where he was supposed to be throughout the game. It's always good to have young guys get a taste of success early."

It took a while for Porter to find his father, former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter Sr., in the stands after he intercepted Bills backup quarterback Matt Barkley. But the two Porters finally connected, and the son gave his father the football for safekeeping.

"He was all the way up there in the nose bleeds," Porter Jr. said. "He finally came down and I got the ball back and gave it to him."

Peterson and former Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor are among those who have taken Porter under their wing during training camp. They see star potential in Porter, a second-round pick who feels snubbed that he wasn't a first-round selection.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin hasn't promised Porter a Week 1 starting position, but it sounded like he would see plenty of action in Pittsburgh's preseason finale against the Falcons on Thursday.

"We can't get him enough snaps," Tomlin said. "We'll be working our tails off to make up for last week's missed opportunity. I like some of the things that he did, but, boy, we've got to see a lot more. He has to see a lot more. There's no substitute for snap exposure."

Cleveland Browns: Kevin Stefanski Will Play Starters in Preseason Finale

Many teams have become reluctant to play starters during the preseason, but Browns Head Coach Kevin Stefanski said most of his starters will see playing time during Saturday's preseason finale at Kansas City. Stefanski wants his starters to experience game action prior to hosting the Bengals in Week 1.

"We'll play the starters, probably 20 to 25 plays," Stefanski said via Camryn Justice of News5Cleveland. "There are some guys that we'll hold out from the game as well, but we'll talk about that maybe later in the week."

Starting quarterback Deshaun Watson will get his wish after telling Stefanski a few days earlier that he wanted to play.

"I would love to be out there," Watson said last week. "I'm not sure how much exactly; I know Kevin doesn't want us to play the whole game but get a little rhythm going for maybe a quarter or so against the Super Bowl champs."

Stefanski said he will be more cautious with starters who've been dealing with injuries.

"It's so dependent on the player and where they are in their rehab and what they can do and what medical suggests they should do," Stefanski said. "It's all case-by-case basis. If the guys can play in those situations, they will. If it's better off that they don't play, they won't."

Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams Thinks Shift to Right Tackle Is Going Well

When the Bengals signed former Ravens Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency, it forced a move to right tackle for Jonah Williams. That didn't sit well with Williams at first, who asked to be traded in March. However, Williams changed his mind and reported to camp, and now he's settling in after playing 11 snaps in his preseason debut at right tackle last week.

"I thought it went well. I got some live game reps, got some jitters out," Williams said via Geoff Hobson of "In practice we go hard. But game speed just feels a little different. In the stadium, feeling the pressure of a game."

Williams wanted to get his feet wet at his new position before Week 1.

"I thought the second week was a good time to get the live reps," Williams said. "I don't have to think about it anymore. We're about at the halfway point of camp, Week 2 of the preseason. It's going to keep getting better."

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