Football in shorts is, well, football in shorts, but there comes a point where football is still football.
Plays have to be made.
If a quarterback throws a 50-yard pass to a streaking wide receiver, and he drops it, do the coaches care if he is in shorts or game pants? I doubt it.
The same can be said about defensive players. Sure, they aren’t hitting and tackling, but when plays present themselves, it is important to note who can, and can’t, make those plays.
The following interaction with NFL Network report Aditi Kinkhabwala and Ryan Shazier perfectly shows the point I am trying to make.
Ryan Shazier: The young guys are making plays.— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) June 1, 2017
Me: They're in shorts.
Ryan: OK, so we know they can make them in shorts. #Steelers
Make plays. That is what is key right now, and rookie Cameron Sutton is reportedly turning heads throughout the team’s first two weeks of Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
Per Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer-Reporter, had this to say about how Sutton has adapted to the NFL game.
“I’m really liking what I’m seeing from rookie cornerback Cameron Sutton.
He had a nice interception this week, leaping high to come down with a pass. The young corner has shown good aggression in jumping routes and making plays on the football. He gets his hands on the ball - a lot.
I think Steelers fans are going to be very happy with him, as well. He looks like a player.”
The news of Sutton getting acclimated quickly to the system in the Steel City shouldn’t come as a huge shock to those who watched his tape while at Tennessee. Although not the tallest defensive back, his versatility is ridiculous. He can play inside, outside, return punts and kicks and even transition to more of a safety role if need be.
However, as the Steelers saw with another very intelligent player last year in Sean Davis, throwing a lot at rookies, even ones with tremendous football smarts, doesn’t always work out. Expect the Steelers to keep Sutton primarily in the slot, barring injury to others, and try and beat out the likes of William Gay and Senquez Golson for meaningful repetitions.
In the meantime, it seems as if Sutton is acclimating himself to Pittsburgh just fine...but then again, they are wearing shorts.