One of the topics that we have discussed most frequently thus far this offseason as it pertains to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie draft class has been the football acumen of third-round cornerback Cameron Sutton, who prides himself in knowing everything that is happening on the field.
Apparently, that’s not just reserved for the defensive side of the ball. During an interview following an OTA session last week, Teresa Varley asked the rookie about who he was reaching out to on the team in order to help him adjust to life in the NFL.
He said that he was getting to know and work with “pretty much all of them”, referring to his teammates. “I’ve been around all the guys, and not just from the defensive side, but also the offensive side of the ball as well”.
A common theme in his comments since the draft process has been the idea that everybody on the field is tied together in terms of their duties and responsibilities, which he talks about as a defensive unit, but he is also interested in getting that same kind of perspective on the other side of the ball.
“It’s good to get around the offensive guys too to get their perspective too”, he said about getting to know and talk football with some of his offensive teammates. “You know, what are they thinking on plays, what is their mentality out there on the field in certain situations”.
It’s certainly not as though he has any shortage of contemporaries on the offensive side of the ball with whom to compare notes. The Steelers drafted three offensive skill position players during the first four rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, including college teammate and quarterback Joshua Dobbs.
“Any time you can get coached, any time you can get some help or some type of advice on the field, you’ve got to be open to that”, the four-year starter told Varley as he embarks on the newest and most significant chapter of his football journey.
He talked about coming to work every day being open to coaching and critique and embracing a positive mentality in trying to improve every day, which is of course par from the course. But his most interesting remark to me was about picking the brains of his offensive teammates.
I see that as a pretty veteran mentality for a rookie. We have seen a number of times that it could take years for players to really bridge the gap between different sides of the ball in the locker room. You have leaders of the offense, leaders of the defense. Only a couple of team leaders, usually.
Sutton kind of sounds like he’s looking to be that in the future. No, scratch that, not kind of, but definitely. He already was that in Tennessee, and he wants to bring that here. It starts with knowing what everybody is supposed to be doing and understanding their role.