The Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 NFL Draft class was one filled with injuries. Keion Adams was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, James Conner missed a large portion of training camp only to have his season end with an MCL injury, and of course Cameron Sutton was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury only to return later in the season.
Sutton’s brief stint on the playing field, combined with the dismissal of William Gay after the season, has the team with high hopes for the second year player out of Tennessee this year. One of the biggest reasons there is a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding Sutton is his versatility.
The man can do it all, but how will the Steelers utilize him this year? At this point they are putting him all over the field on defense trying to see what sticks.
“I’m just moving around with different groups out there on the field, getting reps with all the different positions,” Sutton told Lauren Kirschman of PennLive. “The more you can do, the versatile you are, the more opportunities you have for yourself and opportunities to help this team win.
”Wherever they need me at, whatever my spot or position is, I’m going to go out there and give it everything I got to the best my ability and just try to make plays.”
Sounds like he is the perfect Swiss Army knife, as Mike Tomlin would say, for the defense, but moving around isn’t as easy as many might believe.
“Obviously, you just got to know what you’re doing,” he said. “That’s the fundamental base of everything. If you don’t know what you’re doing out there, you can’t make any plays on the field let alone get yourself in the right position to make plays.”
There might be a common misconception regarding the nickel and dime cornerback positions, but Joe Haden outlined how different the two spots can be on the defense.
“Nickel and corner, it’s completely different as far as calls, blitzing, where you might have to play ... just different techniques,” Haden said. “If you can get a good handle on it, you can kind of understand what everyone is doing.”
The crazy aspect of Sutton’s game, is he can play inside with the nickel and/or dime, outside, a safety in some situations and also has the capabilities, and experience, to return kickoffs and punts.
Like I said, he can do it all, and Sutton realizes this versatility is exactly what will equate to him playing more when the 2018 regular season rolls around.
“The more versatile you are,” Sutton said, “wherever they need you -- inside, outside, middle of the field, guarding tight ends -- whatever you can do to continue to create opportunities for yourself, you’re able to create more reps.”