Many fans bemoaned the pick when it came in, but Pittsburgh Steelers rookie cornerback Cameron Sutton has begun endearing himself to those who initially turned the cold shoulder toward him in vain hopes of the team nabbing another cornerback in the first round of the draft.
The Steelers had a bit of a theme to their draft this year, a class that was filled with high-character individuals who loved football and lived it. I don’t know that any epitomizes this more than does Sutton, and his comments given to the team’s website published earlier this week only further serve to drive home the point.
One of the questions posed to him was simply why he chose to play football. His answer? “It’s my first love”, he started. “I am in love with it, from the first time I knew what it was. Constant grind, constant sacrifice”.
Sutton is perhaps best known for coming into the league as a player who has already prided himself in understanding every assignment for every player on the field on any given play. That is a product of intense study, and a serious love for the game, and “all the little ups and downs that come with it”.
It’s even about “all the little things that people don’t see”, Sutton continued. “They just see the results when you step out on the field”. But for a player as dedicated as he is, he knows how much work went in before the on-field product became a possibility.
He embraces the entire process of football, including “what it took to get to that point” of delivering on the field. “I love every aspect of that”, he said. “Even the aspects like how to take care of your body, the studying you have to do to prepare for the games, the mental aspect of it all, the physical aspect. It’s something I really enjoy”.
That simply isn’t the case for every player who plays the game. A lot of players are no big fans of going to training camp, for example. I can recall more than one very notable player on the Steelers’ Super Bowl roster from a decade back who talked openly about not enjoying the process.
Part of the reason that football means so much to Sutton is about sacrifice, and it’s about far more than just the sacrifices that he makes. He said that he is motivated to play by his family. “They sacrificed so much to give me the opportunity I have. Why not do the same for them, my teammates and this organization”, he asked.
“They believed in me like nobody else has and I can’t do anything but repay them for everything they have given to me”.
He has yet to deliver as a player on the field—of course, he has yet to have that opportunity—but he has already won me over as a person. Humble, dedicated, intelligent, passionate. All adjectives that seem to fit him well at this point.