Now that training camp is underway, and the roster for the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: CB Cameron Sutton
Stock Value: Up
Two passes defensed, plus an additional interception, is a pretty good day at the office for third-year cornerback Cameron Sutton, who basically had a career game as a sub-package defender for the Steelers last night against the Los Angeles Chargers.
He’s only credited with one tackle, that coming late in the game after giving up a first down inside the red zone, but his three times that he got his hand on the ball were big for the defense. He was the only player on either team to do that more than once in the game.
All three of those plays came in the fourth quarter. Up until then, the Chargers weren’t really moving the ball much, and Sutton wasn’t always on the field, but they played extensively in their dime once the game got to the final frame.
His first pass defensed actually was a pass in the end zone, breaking it up with a great play working against Mike Williams. It was second and goal from the five and he had great position against the wide receiver with his eyes on Philip Rivers, extending out his arm to bat the ball down. He had a second pass defensed working against Williams down the field later with under three minutes to play, that coming on first and 10, but in both of those instances, the Chargers were able to score not long after Sutton’s plays.
Not after the last one, however. With Rivers backed up to his own one-yard line, he didn’t have much choice but to just heave some deep balls at the end of the game. His final pass was caught by Sutton over the shoulder to end it, his third pass defensed of the game.
Before that, he also had a big play on special teams, working on the hands team after the Chargers’ second touchdown against the onside kick. He went up and cleanly fielded the rapidly-spinning ball, even landing, albeit somewhat softly, on his head for his efforts.
The bye week is a time to make adjustments, and it wouldn’t shock me if we see the coaching staff work on finding ways to get more opportunities for the young cornerback, who his really coming into his own in 2019.