Football is family. It’s a brotherhood. So it’s no surprise to hear the Pittsburgh Steelers’ veterans – defense and offense – are lending a helping hand to rookie corner Cameron Sutton. But Sutton seemed to single out Artie Burns in particular when it comes to guys he’s leaning on.
That’s what he told reporters after practice today via the team website.
“We talk every day,” Sutton said. “Always around each other. It’s not just in the facility, it’s outside the facility. I’ve been to his house a couple times since I’ve been here so far. It’s just building that bond.”
Sutton can look towards Burns as sort of a blueprint for a rookie season, even if their body types are different. Despite being raw out of college, Burns quickly made his way onto the field last year and showed steady improvement over the year. Sutton is much more seasoned but can takeaway the still massive adjustment it takes to make the leap from college to the pros.
It’s that bond that creates a culture and ultimately, a close-knit team.
“When you’re tied to a string on the field, like I said earlier, you know what guys are thinking out on there on the field. And it makes the whole game slow down for you. You just have the opportunity, like I said, the fellowship with your brothers on and off the field and become one unit.”
Communication at any position in football is key but it might not be tougher anywhere than the secondary. Cornerbacks and safeties are on an island, generally having to communicate non-verbally, and in hostile environments. Fans make things loud for the opposing offense at Heinz Field but it stresses the defense too; noise is noise, after all. It makes life tough for anyone, especially a rookie.
Sutton has been working as an outside corner throughout OTAs, ostensibly to backup Ross Cockrell and Burns, along with Coty Sensabaugh, who I haven’t heard much about during these practices. By all accounts, Sutton has impressed with his football IQ and aggressive nature, leading to more than one interception during OTAs.
He may not be able to carve out a starting role right away but will help out on special teams and give the Steelers some much-needed cornerback depth. That’s a thought we haven’t gotten to enjoy in quite some time.