We take a look at some of the more significant
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position battles that will be fought during minicamp Justin Layne Jersey 2019 , OTAs and training camp this offseason." />Skip to main contentclockmenumore-arrownoyesHorizontal - WhiteBehind the Steel Curtaina Pittsburgh Steelers communityLog In or Sign UpLog InSign UpFanpostsFanshotsSectionsSteelersOddsShopAboutMastheadCommunity GuidelinesStubHubMoreAll 322 blogs on Horizontal - WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Latest NewsSteelers Film Room2018 NFL Draft AnalysisLatest NewsFiled under:Latest NewsPittsburgh Steelers 2019 Camp Battles: Mike Hilton vs. Cam SuttonNew,10commentsWe take a look at some of the more significant position battles that will be fought during minicamp, OTAs and training camp this offseason.EDTShareTweetShareSharePittsburgh Steelers 2019 Camp Battles: Mike Hilton vs. Cam SuttonCharles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsWhile it would be fair to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 roster looks to be set at several positions, there are still a handful of starting roles yet to be decided and a number of backup up jobs remain up for grabs.Over the coming weeks, BTSC editor Jeff Hartman and myself will take a look at some of the more obvious key names that will be fighting position battles throughout minicamp, OTAs and training camp later in the year, each taking a different side in the fight and providing our thoughts on why our pick will be the winner. So far we have weighed in on the impending battles between quarterbacks Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph, runnings backs Jaylen Samuel and Benny Snell Jr. wide receivers James Washington and Donte Moncrief, tackles Matt Feiler and Chukwuma Okorafor and linebackers Devin Bush and Mark Barron. Today we move onto the cornerbacks.Mike Hilton vs. Cameron SuttonWhile Mike Hilton may have arrived in Pittsburgh a year earlier than Cameron Sutton, his debut season with the Steelers was a brief one in 2016, signed to the practice squad a few weeks before the end of the season after being released by the New England Patriots. Both players took part in their first training camp in 2017, but it was Hilton who emerged in the far stronger position. The former Ole Miss product claimed the starting role as the nickel corner and Sutton began the year on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury in the final preseason game, returning for the final few games of the season in Week 13. Hilton kept the job heading into 2018, with Sutton limited to a backup role and playing on special teams.Despite being an active part of the defensive game plan at the start of the season, the only snaps Sutton saw after Week 8 were three plays at the end of the Steelers blowout win over the Carolina Panthers. Through the first seven games of 2018, Sutton saw more than 40 percent of the available snaps on defense each week, but was limited to just special teams duties once the team returned from their bye. As the secondary faltered, Sutton found himself back in the mix at practice, seeing snaps over Hilton in training. However, he was still limited to just 30 snaps on defense in the final three games of the season. Jeff HartmanThis is an intriguing camp battle considering Hilton’s game time was scaled back at the end of last year. Hilton’s 2018 just wasn’t as good as his 2017 season, and many suspect it is because the league has been able to catch up with him, how the Steelers use him, and his weaknesses.However, for a guy who has literally fought for every inch he has earned with the Steelers, I feel a bounce back season is going to happen. Hilton is a smart player with tremendous blitzing skills, and he will benefit from having a better supporting cast around him in 2019. Terrell Edmunds will have a year under his belt, Joe Haden and Sean Davis return and Steven Nelson should help iron out any kinks on that side of the defense.With that said, I do see them using Sutton more this year, but I still think Hilton wins the battle entering Week 1. Will he keep it? That depends. In my opinion https://www.thesteelerslockerroom.com/authentic-juju-smith-schuster-jersey , a huge indicator for how the Steelers feel about Hilton will come this offseason. Hilton is currently without a contract since he hasn’t signed his tender. He wants a new deal, but do the Steelers give him that contract? Or just wait and see how this season goes? If they give him the deal you have your answer, but if they don’t give him that brand new contract this job is up for grabs.Simon ChesterIf Sutton is ever to repay the faith the Steelers had in him when they selected him in the third-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, now would be the time to do it. With free agent signing Steven Nelson and Joe Haden seemingly locks for the two starting roles on the outside and the latest third-round draft pick in Justin Layne all but guaranteed to be part of the final 53-man roster, Sutton is far from certain to make the team this year.But if he has hopes of breaking into the first team in 2019, perhaps his best opportunity will come at nickel corner. Hilton suffered a notable drop off in play from 2017 to 2018, a fact highlighted by grades of 83.1 and 69.9 in the respective seasons by Pro Football Focus and confirmed by anyone with eyes who watched the decline of the secondary last season. That being said, he was limited by an elbow injury suffered in Week 3 for much of the year and was hardly helped by the play of some of those around him.While Sutton has had his moments in certain matchups, his struggles in games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens in the first half of the 2018 season were clear for all to see when given extended playing time. Having played multiple positions for the Steelers last year, his versatility alone will likely keep him in the Black and Gold for one more season, but his chances of taking the starting role might rely more on Hilton declining than his own improvement.Praised for his man-coverage skills coming out of college and commended for his instincts, the coaching staff needs to see more of the skills he showed as cornerback at Tennessee if he is to be a starter. The criticisms back then centered around his passive nature in press coverage and his inability to locate the ball once it is in the air, a skill he appears to yet lack. Improving his tackling would not hurt either, another issue the scouting reports highlighted back in 2016.Steelers vs. Browns: 5 Winners and 5 Losers after the tie in Cleveland The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns kicked off the regular season alongside Lake Erie, and in horrible playing conditions the teams finished Week 1 with a big, fat, ugly tie. The 21-21 stink-fest was nothing to write home about, yet there were some good aspects to glean from this performance.During the game, some perform well while others fall short of the standard. This is where the Winners and Losers column comes in. After the game, when the dust (or mud) settles, we decipher who falls into which category. As always, feel free to comment on the list in the comment section below. Be part of the conversation!WinnersJames ConnerStat Line: Rushing: 31 carries, 135 yards, 4.4 ypc, 2 TDs, 1 FumbleReceiving: 5 receptions, 57 yardsIf you take away the fumble, Conner didn’t merely play a tremendous game — he likely would have considered it one of his best considering the circumstances. Conner showed he’s more than capable of shouldering the load and doing many of the things Le’Veon Bell does for the Steelers when he’s on the field. A tremendous effort and a huge confidence booster for the young back moving forward.T.J. WattStat Line:11 Tackles, 8 solo JuJu Smith-Schuster Jersey White , 4 sacks, 5.5 Tackles for Loss, 4 QB Hits, Blocked FGIf Watt’s performance in Week 1 was any indication of what he’s going to be doing rushing from the left side this year — watch out. Watt was nearly unblockable and took up permanent residence in the Browns’ backfield next to Tyrod Taylor. It wasn’t only promising to see Watt collecting what would be a season’s worth of sacks for some players in a single game, but it was also a plus to see him do this without suffering any setback from the hamstring injury which kept him off the field for the entire preseason. Watt also played well last year in Week 1, but I think we can all agree this performance was night-and-day better than the 2017 version.Ryan SwitzerStat Line:Kick Returns: 3 for 69 yards, long of 28, 23-yard averagePunt Returns: 5 for 56 yards, long of 22, 11-yard averageNo, Switzer didn’t take a kick back to the house, but man is it nice having an experienced and exciting return-man running back kicks. Switzer did a nice job managing space and making something out of nothing each time he touched the football. Although small in stature, Switzer will improve the Steelers’ field position if he continues what he was doing on Sunday throughout the regular season.Pass RushStat Line:7 sacks, 11 QB Hits, 1 Forced FumbleSome will suggest it was against Cleveland, as if that doesn’t count, but the Steelers’ pass rush was all over the Browns’ offensive front. It made it seem as if the 56 sacks from a year ago was no fluke, but a sign of things to come for this defense. Cameron Heyward, Bud Dupree and Jon Bostic all registered sacks alongside Watt, but the defensive front, including Stephon Tuitt, was dominant for the majority of the game.QB SneakI still can’t believe we witnessed the Steelers running a quarterback sneak — and it was successful.LosersBen RoethlisbergerStat Line:Passing: 23/41, 335 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, QBR: 22.8, RATING: 60.5, 2 Fumbles LostRushing: 3 for 16 yardsShould fans just start expecting an early-season dud from Roethlisberger every year? Last year in Week 1 he wasn’t as bad as he was this year, but we all remember the start he had to the 2017 season. While the three interceptions he threw in the first half (a new record for Roethlisberger) weren’t all his fault Womens T. J. Watt Jersey , the rust and lack of rhythm with the passing attack was glaring. At a time when the Steelers were running the ball at ridiculous clips, the passing attack seemed disjointed the entire game. The offensive line didn’t play its best in pass protection, but even when Roethlisberger was awarded sufficient time, it very rarely ended in anything positive. If the Steelers are going to win this year, they’ll need better play from their most important offensive player.Chris BoswellStat Line:3/3 XP, 0/1 FGs, Missed 42-yard game-winnerMaybe it’s a bit harsh putting Boswell in this category, but that game-winning field goal just has to be made. Yes, it was a 42-yard attempt — not a gimme my any stretch — but Boswell has made his money, figuratively and literally, by cashing in on those opportunities. It was disappointing to see the kick sail wide left, and now a tiny bit of doubt creeps into my mind whenever Boswell lines up for another big field goal.OfficiatingStat Line:These guys suckThis isn’t me crying over spilled milk. This is me venting about how poor the officiating was on both sides. There were a combined 23 accepted penalties, but there were far more than 30 flags thrown in the game. At a time when the NFL wants to improve its officiating, it seems across the league they’re moving in the wrong direction. The one play which bothers me the most was the missed call on the punt which clearly hit Nick Chubb’s facemask and was recovered by Sean Davis. There’s no way of knowing for sure, but if that call is reversed, the outcome of this game likely is far different. Buckle up fans, this is going to be a long season with the zebras.Joe HadenStat Line:3 tackles, 2 soloHaden didn’t play poorly, but after leaving with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter it looks as if he might be on the shelf for some time. Hamstring injuries don’t just recover in one week, and it’s sad considering how the secondary was looking with him on the field compared to with him on the sidelines. It just seems as though Haden continues to struggle to stay on the football field.Antonio Brown’s targetsStat Line:9 receptions, 93 yards, 1 TD, 16 targetsI love Antonio Brown. He’s a tremendous player, but Roethlisberger’s infatuation with forcing him the football can be a bit much at times. The connection between the two is typically uncanny, but it was far from that on Sunday in Cleveland. The two could never find their rhythm and, throughout the process, other wide receivers’ targets diminished.Here’s the breakdown of the receivers, based on targets:Antonio Brown — 16JuJu Smith-Schuster — 8James Conner — 6Justin Hunter — 5Jesse James — 5Ryan Switzer — 1
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