Joe Haden has been there and done that, but for fellow Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cam Sutton, last week against the Buffalo Bills was the first time he’s started the season as a starter at outside cornerback. Sutton played mostly as the team’s Nickel and Dime slot defender the last few seasons.
Sutton also played in the slot some when the Steelers brought James Pierre onto the field as either a Nickel or Dime arrangement, but wherever he was playing, Sutton was a big part of the Steelers’ shutting down Buffalo’s deep passing attack.
The Bills used four wide receivers extensively on Sunday, and they were mostly held in check. Stefon Diggs was targeted 14 times and caught nine for 69 yards (4.9 yards per target). Cole Beasley (5 yards per target) and Emmanuel Sanders (6.5 yards per target) were also kept out of the end zone and largely kept in check.
Head coach Mike Tomlin credited the versatility of Sutton, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Tre Norwood in not only being able to cover from multiple positions, but to allow the Steelers to disguise their coverages as well.
“When you have guys that are position-flexible, that have a nice skillset in that regard,” Tomlin said. “It allows you to have some interchangeable parts and do some different things and add some complexities that hopefully keep the dogs off you.”
Sutton was the sixth-highest graded cornerback in the NFL in Week 1, according to Pro Football Focus. Haden was the top corner, according to PFF, making the Steelers the only team with two cornerbacks in the top nine.
Highest-graded CBs Week 1
1️⃣. Joe Haden- 85.1
6️⃣. Cameron Sutton- 77.8
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) September 15, 2021