The Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of Steeler Nation are still riding the positive energy coming off the team’s Week 1 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. And now, Steelers cornerback, Cam Sutton, believes that they have the best defensive unit in the entire NFL.
“It’s more than just a saying, we have to keep showing that week in and week out we have to prove it,” said Sutton on The Cook & Joe Show on 93.7 The Fan.
The Steelers Must Rely on their “Intimidating, Hard-Hitting” Style of Defense
Are we witnessing the best Steelers defense in over a decade? It’s a small sample size, but if Week 1 is any indication of the defense moving forward, they’ll be in great shape. The unit as a whole limited the high-powered Bengals offense to just 338 total yards while picking off Joe Burrow four times and sacking him seven times. They also produced nine tackles for losses. Sutton accounted for one of those interceptions in the second quarter.
IT IS RAINING TURNOVERS IN CINCINNATI! pic.twitter.com/a2PL0QuEIi
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) September 11, 2022
“We’re playing tenacious football, guys are running around with high energy and we’re creating havoc.”
Sutton was also asked if the Steelers can bring back the hard-hitting and old school defense that Steeler Nation has grown to appreciate over the years.
“There are definitely different types of ways that you can bring those attributes to game while still being cautious of all the rules and regulations. We’re not out there to hurt anybody, we just want to give ourselves the best advantage of making a play to help us win the game.”
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year, T.J. Watt, was officially placed on injured reserve this week and the Steelers will look to continue the defensive intensity for the next 4-6 games.
“T.J.’s approach to the game will not change… he’s still in the building, he’s still in meetings and he’s out at practice on the field with us. For us, we’ll make the adjustments necessary to fill his void.”
Sutton adds that you can’t replicate what Watt does on the field, but they will add more “wrinkles” to the defense to replace what he brings to the table.
One of those wrinkles is Alex Highsmith who had himself a day on Sunday, leading the team in total tackles (9) and sacks (3).
“We expect him to do that and he expects it for himself. He’s a guy who comes in each and every day and puts in the work and it shows.”
Another wrinkle could come from David Anenih who was signed to the 53-man roster this week to provide depth at the linebacker position. However, to echo what Sutton said, it will be a collective effort to fill Watt’s void.
Looking Ahead to Sunday’s Game Against the New England Patriots
Sunday will be the first time since 1998 that the Steelers and Patriots have played without either Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady at quarterback. That game featured Drew Bledsoe and Kordell Stewart.
“It’s going to be cool,” when Sutton was asked about how the game will be not facing Brady. “They [Patriots] have a lot of skill guys… Mac Jones does a great job of controlling the offense and managing the game well. They play really good complimentary football.”
The last time these two teams played came on Sept. 8, 2019, at Foxborough in a 33-3 shellacking of the Steelers. It’s not likely we see a similar outcome this time around, especially with it being the Steelers’ home opener. The Steelers open up as home underdogs, but don’t tell Cam Heyward that.
Cam Heyward on being a home underdog after beating the AFC Champs on the road.
— Josh Rowntree (@JRown32) September 15, 2022
Do you think that this year’s Steelers defense can replicate some of the best defenses in NFL history? Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the comments, below!
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