We are now at a point during the offseason in which we find ourselves looking at training camp just around the corner for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the league, and a lot has changed for them over the course of the past several months. They have lost a number of players in free agency, through releases, and retirements. But they have also brought in a number of new faces to replace them.
We all know that roster turnover is an ever-present reality for today’s rosters, and it seems that over the course of the past half-decade or so even the Steelers have proven to be as susceptible to the annual shakeup as anybody. With that in mind, we should take the time to get to know some of the new faces with training camp soon to be here.
As we continue to march forward toward training camp, we also continue to introduce you to the new faces on the Steelers’ roster that you may be seeing there if you choose to attend. We have started with their draft class, and are now up to the first of their two picks in the third round, cornerback Cameron Sutton.
Sutton seems to me to be a player who is very easy to like. I don’t know that he has the most infectious personality in the world, but he bleeds football and is a very cerebral player who prides himself in understanding everything that is happening on the field and using that knowledge to his advantage.
It is yet to be determined what sort of role the rookie will have for himself by the time the regular season begins, and if that can be altered by the time the season ends, but for the most part, I am given to the impression that he spent most of his spring working with the third-team defense, and largely on the outside.
Now, that is not necessarily very surprising for a rookie draft pick to be given such low reps. That is actually fairly typical for teams to force rookies to start from the bottom of the depth chart and work their way up, though high draft picks are sometimes given the exception, as T.J. Watt was.
What we did learn about Sutton during OTAs is that he seems to be fully healed from the injury he suffered during his rookie season and has shown that his aggressiveness in coverage can translate to the NFL level, as reporters have written that he was able to get his hands on a lot of passes to break them up, and intercept a couple, during the spring.
That is good to hear during the spring, but training camp will be another story. Especially when we get into the preseason, Sutton is really going to be tested, and that test is going to go a long way toward determining the coaching staff’s level of comfort with him on the field.