Patrick Peterson isn't short of opinions as far as the Pittsburgh Steelers' is concerned. The black and yellow's schedule features nine home games and four prime-time games. The Steelers are just one of three teams to be featured on "Thursday Night Football" twice. The Steelers' first "TNF" game will come against the Titans in Week 9. Their second one will be against the New England Patriots in Week 14.
Peterson likes several phases of Pittsburgh's schedule. The two Thursday night games, however, is not one of them. He initially thought that someone was playing a prank on him when he saw that he would be playing multiple Thursday night games.
"It's tough enough getting up for the first Thursday night game, better yet another one," Peterson said during the latest edition of the "All Things Covered" podcast featuring Peterson and former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden. "I get it. They want to find ways to get ball on TV, but at the end of the day, you've got to think about our bodies. Especially with me being in Year 13, my body doesn't recovery like it used to. ... To have two Thursday Night Football games, I think, is a bit bizarre."
Peterson, who is entering his 13th season, said that he is fortunate to be at the end of his career as far as NFL scheduling is concerned. Peterson foreshadowed a not-too-distant NFL calendar that will also have Wednesday night games. The NFL, Peterson feels, is working toward having football games played on a near nightly basis, similar to the NBA and MLB.
"Football is the No. 1 sport," Peterson said. "They want to make sure that the product is being shown all the time."
As far as the 2023 season is concerned, Peterson is looking forward to the Steelers' Week 1 matchup against the 49ers, who are coming off back-to-back NFC Championship Game appearances. Peterson is familiar with the 49ers after sharing a division with them for 10 years as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
"At the end of the day, their brand of football is running the football, play action, screens, misdirection," Peterson said of a 49ers offense that boasts several Pro Bowl caliber players including running back Christian McCaffrey, wideout Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle and offensive tackle Trent Williams. "That's their brand of football. Finding ways to get George Kittle the football, having a great run and pound game. For the most part, I don't see nothing changing. The only thing that would probably change is a trick play in there."
Peterson mostly played down facing his former team in Week 13. He did not, however, hide his excitement when it comes to becoming part of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry. The Steelers host the Ravens in Week 5 before ending the regular season in Baltimore.
"The Baltimore Ravens. Watching (the rivalry) growing up and being in the league, that is always a 'Sunday Night Football' game and is always a meaningful, low scoring football game. It's always a defensive football game. When me and the kids and the wife were watching those two play, they always say, 'It's a boring football game.' ... As a defensive player, you want it to be on you to win the ballgame."
Peterson, who said that he was actually disappointed that the Steelers did not have an international game on the schedule (he was hoping to take his entire family on the trip) is excited about the prospect of playing his first regular season game in Las Vegas when the Steelers face the Raiders in Week 3.
The reasoning behind Peterson's excitement may surprise you.
"When you have an opportunity to play a prime time game in a big time city, you know I've got to find a restaurant that I've got to go grub to," Peterson said. "I don't know how coach Mike T. does it just yet, but typically they give us about a 2.5-hour window. I've got to find me somewhere great to eat."
Cuisine aside, Peterson is expecting Steeler Nation to make its presence felt inside Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium. Despite the game being played out west, Peterson has first-hand experience of Steeler Nation taking over a visiting stadium.
"They took over our stadium," Peterson said of Steelers fans invading Arizona during his time there. "Twice!"