The Pittsburgh Steelers have a major set challenges facing them for the offseason of 2019 after they managed to miss the postseason for the first time in five years. The failure has been taken especially grievously because of the fact that the team was in position to control their own fate even for homefield advantage with six games remaining before dropping four games.
And so they find themselves getting the exit meeting process underway at least two weeks earlier than they have had to in years, since they have made it to at least the Divisional Round since 2015. Hopefully they used those extra two weeks with purpose.
While we might not know all the details about what goes on between Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his players during these exit meetings, we do know how we would conduct those meetings if they were let up to us. So here are the Depot’s exit meetings for the Steelers’ roster following the 2018 season.
Player: Cameron Sutton
Experience: 2 Years
The Steelers drafted four players in the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. Three of them made the Pro Bowl in 2018. The other one is cornerback Cameron Sutton, who fell behind on the depth chart over the course of the season in a fluid lineup at the back end of the defense.
A third-round pick out of Tennessee, Sutton was valued by the Steelers because of his high football intelligence and his ability, at least ostensibly, to line up just about anywhere in the secondary. In reality, he does possess those two qualities, but that doesn’t automatically make him any kind of answer.
He did play both the left and right outside cornerback positions in 2018 in addition to the slot and the dimebacker roles at different points of the season. In Week Two, he started in place of the injured Joe Haden, though he lost his snaps to Coty Sensabaugh.
Sensabaugh later took over the right cornerback spot, and after he got injured late in one game, it was Sutton—not Artie Burns, who was the previous starter and had been rotating with Sensabaugh earlier in the year following his demotion—who took those snaps.
During the third through sixth games of the season, he spent a lot of time playing Morgan Burnett’s dimebacker role, though he was used more like a fourth cornerback than as a quasi-linebacker. But he did spend a lot of time covering C.J. Uzomah, the tight end, against the Bengals in Week Six. He also started in the slot in one game that Mike Hilton missed.
The problem is, he didn’t do any of these things exceptionally well. While he didn’t do anything spectacularly poorly, there is a reason Sensabaugh ended up playing a lot more than he did. Entering his third season in 2019, Sutton needs to make some big strides and perhaps even compete for a starting job if he hopes to stick in Pittsburgh beyond his contract.