PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ current starting slot cornerback may be listed as Antoine Brooks, but the battle is by no means done. Only a few days through training camp, Arthur Maulet and Antoine Brooks are having a competitive battle for the spot.
For a man who has worked in the secondary with Mike Hilton for so long, Teryl Austin is impressed by what he’s seen so far through practice days.
“Those guys are really starting to turn it on,” Austin said. “You know for the first part of OTAs and minicamp they were feeling it out, but now they’ve both adapted well and they’re starting camp strongly.”
Austin added that the team does like Cam Sutton in that slot role, but they would much rather keep him outside and strengthen the team with two capable slot cornerbacks.
“We know Cam can play in the slot, but we’d like to not have him there right now,” Austin said. “We’d like to strengthen our football by having those two guys be capable.”
Austin did say that the Steelers will figure it out in due time. And if need be, they trust Sutton’s ability to move back into that role in the matter of a week if needed.
Still, as the Steelers are trying to figure out just who will play in the slot, Austin reiterated that they would like some Hilton qualities.
“You would always like a guy with some Mike Hilton skillset,” Austin said. “Mike was unbelievable in the run game with the timing of those blitzes. So if you can get any of that out of these guys, it’s a positive.”
It seems right now that the Steelers are trying to figure out what they have in Brooks and Maulet. However, they will not slam the door shut on James Pierre or anyone else who may be able to play outside while Sutton kicks inside. The battle is ramping up, but it remains fluid.