There had been some talk this offseason about the Pittsburgh Steelers possibly moving second-year defensive back Cameron Sutton from cornerback to free safety for the 2018 season but general manager Kevin Colbert squashed the notion and speculation of that happening during a Tuesday morning interview with Stan Savran on ESPN 970.
“Yeah, I think Cam’s a corner,” Colbert said. “You know, unfortunately he pulled that hamstring last year and that set him back. Fortunately, Mike Hilton proved that he can be that third, that slot corner, and Cam has that ability as well, but he also can play outside and he’ll stay in the corner rotation, I’m sure, unless something else would happen. But he’s a corner, he’s a smart cover guy that can play outside. And he knows what to do on the inside, he just hasn’t had the reps in there because William Gay backed up Mike Hilton in that spot last year and when we got Cam healthy and ready to go, we were already eight games into this thing and it was hard to throw him into the mix.”
Sutton, the Steelers first of two third-round draft selections last year, started his rookie season on the team’s Reserve/Injured list as a result of a serious hamstring injury he suffered during training camp and reaggravated during the preseason. He was finally activated to the 53-man roster as a designated-to-return player in late November and ultimately played in the Steelers final five regular season games as well as their lone playoff contest.
Sutton ended the 2017 regular season with 5 total tackles and a pass defensed and played a little more than 100 defensive snaps in total in five games.
The Steelers released veteran cornerback William Gay several weeks ago and that now means there’s a good chance that Sutton might get some playing time in dime sub-packages at some point during the 2018 season. Additionally, it sounds like the Steelers are comfortable with Sutton being the primarily backup at every cornerback position and that includes the slot, where Mike Hilton played very well at in 2017.
“So, this spring will be a nice adventure for him just to see what he can do and where he can contribute, but I’m sure it will be at corner or in the slot,” Colbert said.