PITTSBURGH: Cam Sutton isn’t choosy. He can’t afford to be. The Pittsburgh Steelers defensive again has spent an excessive amount of time throughout his 4 seasons within the league bouncing round from spot to identify.
Nickelback. Dime again. Safety. Cornerback. Special groups ace. Sutton’s duties have typically shifted from all the way down to down, possession to possession, week to week.
Hes the Swiss Army knife, too like (nickelback) Mike Hilton,” Steelers All-Pro linebacker T.J. Watt stated of Sutton. “He can do no matter you ask him to do.
It’s virtually a job requirement for gamers like Sutton, ones who don’t fairly match one specific function and as a substitute discover themselves carving out a worthwhile area of interest by dabbling in all of them.
That fixed dabbling has include apparent advantages. There isn’t a state of affairs the Steelers can place Sutton in the place he feels uncomfortable, together with the beginning cornerback spot on Sunday evening when the AFC North champions (12-4) host Cleveland (11-5) at Heinz Field.
Veteran Joe Haden is on the reserve/COVID-19 checklist and unavailable. That leaves Sutton as the most suitable choice to play reverse Steve Nelson as Pittsburgh searches for its first playoff victory in 4 years.
Its very thrilling, Sutton stated. Im not essentially nervous. Im very anxious.
Anxious to assist erase the reminiscences of his solely different postseason look, a 45-42 beautiful house loss to Jacksonville within the 2017 divisional spherical. He noticed 12 snaps that day, all on particular groups, because the AFC’s second-seeded crew fell behind by three touchdowns early and by no means recovered.
Obviously we had a fantastic profitable yr, Sutton stated. But we had an early exit.
One the Steelers are hoping to keep away from this time round. How Sutton fares in opposition to Jarvis Landry or whomever else the Browns line up in opposition to him could have a big say in the way it goes. Sutton has a wholesome respect for Cleveland, stating the Browns are enjoying with plenty of ardour, plenty of starvation.
Weve acquired to match that and intensify that to a complete different stage, he added.
Something that hasn’t been an issue for Sutton throughout his breakthrough season, one by which he’s discovered himself across the ball often. Sutton recorded a fumble restoration in three straight video games at one level and his lone interception got here early on in a 38-7 destruction of the Browns at Heinz Field on Oct. 18.
The uptick isn’t a shock to defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who has spent the final 4 years treating Sutton as a 5-foot-11, 188-pound roll of duct tape, placing him in no matter place occurred to work throughout a given week. All that bouncing round has paid off. Sutton’s understanding of the protection is deep and goes far past his project on a given play.
He is aware of what everyone seems to be doing,” Butler stated. “He is aware of the place his assistance is and that’s in all probability the most important factor for him when it comes to enjoying the place the best way he has performed it as a result of he is aware of what he has beside him and whats behind him. That at all times helps when you might have gamers like that.
It might additionally make Sutton a gorgeous and modestly priced goal when he hits free company within the offseason. He has the abilities to play on the skin but additionally has a bodily streak that permits him to thrive when lined up inside in opposition to tight ends. Asked if he has a place desire, Sutton drew on his time in Pittsburgh as proof it doesn’t actually matter the place he performs simply as long as he does.
Im at that time now, Im at that stage, confidence in myself and my capacity and confidence round me, I dont even wish to restrict myself, Sutton stated. “Why? I really feel like Ive type of been productive in my time and its one thing Im going to attempt to construct upon.
Be it with the Steelers or elsewhere. It’s telling of Sutton’s skilled method that he lights up when speaking about second-year defensive again Justin Layne. Following a sluggish begin to his profession in 2019, Layne’s enjoying time has slowly elevated in sure packages and there’s a really actual likelihood Layne take over Sutton’s Jack of All Trades/Master of None function subsequent season.
Not that it issues to Sutton. He has an acute appreciation for the transition Layne is making from school starter to NFL handyman.
Hes on that studying curve, Sutton stated. J Layne is my canine. Hes very hands-on. Definitely a man I prefer to personally take by myself. Hes that man youve acquired to provide him that additional discuss, that additional push, hold constructing his confidence, assist him have that composure and controlling himself. … I really like his play and the route that he’s going.
Consider it Sutton’s means of paying it ahead.
I’ve simply had a very good job of simply having the ability to perceive all the things, having the ability to be taught from plenty of veteran guys, Sutton stated. “Maybe I’m not having many of the reps I might wish to have on a constant foundation, however it’s about studying from the fellows in entrance of you then once you get these reps, you possibly can be taught from that. … (You’ve simply acquired to) hold that sense of wanting extra for your self.
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