The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the 2019 season much as they did the 2018 season, by allowing their playoff fate slip out of their grasp. Slow starts and slow finishes permeated both campaigns, with strong runs in between. But while the results were the same missing the playoffs, the means were quite different.
Yet again, they find themselves undergoing the exit meeting process earlier than anticipated, which means so are we. But that they still managed to go 8-8 without Ben Roethlisberger, and with the general quality of play that they faced along the way, I suppose things could have been worse.
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: 3 Years
A third-round pick during the 2017 NFL Draft and largely overshadowed by the three Pro Bowlers who were drafted around him, Cameron Sutton has gone somewhat under the radar during his three seasons with the Steelers. Could 2020 be the season that he gets a bit more of the spotlight?
Realistically, probably not, due to injury, which is unfortunate for him as he enters a contract year. The team already has its top three cornerbacks in Joe Haden and Steven Nelson, as well as Mike Hilton in the slot once they get him under contract, which should now be expected with the Collective Bargaining Agreement having passed.
Sutton has the versatility to line up both in the slot and on the outside, and he has started in both places. He has also been used as the dime defender, and has lined up in-game pretty much everywhere in the secondary with the exception of safety, though he is also said to be capable of doing that.
The 2019 season was the most successful yet for Sutton in terms of his on-field performance, which included recording a game-sealing interception in Week Six against the Los Angeles Chargers. That was a critical moment, considering the team was 1-4 at the time.
One red flag to consider about his season, however, is the fact that he was not the first player that the coaching staff turned to when Nelson sat out one game due to injury. The opportunity to start instead was given to Artie Burns, who otherwise had been relegated to special teams, and later to the bench.
Sutton has previously made multiple starts on the outside, as mentioned earlier, though his most recent start early in the 2018 season saw him pulled in favor of Coty Sensabaugh, who ultimately became their primary starter across from Haden. That was a missed opportunity for Sutton then, but one wonders if, had the same situation arisen in 2019, he would have been up to the challenge. He had better be in 2020.