The Pittsburgh Steelers added new faces in a variety of places on the defense this off-season, especially in the secondary. But don’t forget about a corner that has been an underrated staple for this Steelers defense for a few seasons now.
We all know how much the Steelers coaching staff absolutely love defensive guys with versatility. CB Cam Sutton is Mr. Versatile himself. The 2021 season was a great display of the cornerback doing just that.
In an article recently released by The Athletic, writer Mark Kaboly gave a few thoughts about every Steelers’ defensive and special teams player on the current roster. Here’s what Kaboly said about Sutton:
“The Steelers don’t have a true No. 1 lockdown corner, but Sutton would be the closest to that. He has played 68 games in five seasons, including starting 16 a year ago. Sutton moved from outside to inside, which allowed him to be on the field (1,089 snaps) more than any player other than Terrell Edmunds (1,145) a year ago. Sutton will be put in a similar role again this year, starting outside in the base and moving somewhere in the inside — nickel or dime ‘backer — in sub packages.”
Sutton was the defense’s “Ironman,” a season ago and will probably be in a similar situation this season as well.
Even with the return of Ahkello Witherspoon and the addition of Levi Wallace, Sutton is the Steelers’ best “known” commodity at the cornerback position. However, Wallace has said that the team had him taking reps on the inside as well during Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp as well.
“Football’s football,” Wallace said. “You’re still covering receivers. I played some inside back in Buffalo too so it’s nothing that is new to me and I accept the challenge.”
It seems like the Steelers defense is going to deploy a variety of looks against offenses in 2022, but Kaboly is right, Sutton is the closest thing to a No. 1 corner on roster.
HC Mike Tomlin spoke highly of Sutton at the end of the season, while comparing him to All-Pro defensive playmaker, Tyrann Mathieu.
“Cam Sutton is that type of guy for us — and he’s always been.”
“He’s outside corner capable. He’s inside corner capable. He’s safety capable. Many weeks, he does all three in one football game, and so it has good variation to what it is that we do. It makes us a tough nut to crack. And we’re appreciative of that versatility.”
He can play anywhere and is starter capable at a variety of positions. He opens the door for players like Minkah Fitzpatrick and TJ Watt to do what they do best. Sutton is the unsung hero of this Steelers defense and he deserves some of the credit.
Obviously, Witherspoon, Wallace, and Sutton are the team’s top three corners on roster, but I just look for the Steelers to utilize Sutton on the inside a lot more than the other two corners, just because of his talent to play that spot.