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Thread: Steelers to keep Cameron Sutton outside, let Brooks, Maulet battle for slot

  1. #1
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    Steelers to keep Cameron Sutton outside, let Brooks, Maulet battle for slot

    Steelers to keep Cameron Sutton outside, let Antoine Brooks, Arthur Maulet battle for slot

    CHRIS ADAMSKI | Sunday, July 25, 2021

    There seemed to be no shortage of possible scenarios when it came to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ plans for replacing Mike Hilton. Four days into training camp, barring something unforeseen, the list of possibilities appears to have been whittled to two.

    “It’s a good battle. You have a veteran and a second-ear guy,” senior defensive assistant/secondary coach Teryl Austin said, referring to Arthur Maulet and Antoine Brooks Jr. “Those guys are really starting to turn it on. The first part of (spring organized team activities) and minicamp, it was kind of a, ‘Oh boy, watch out,’ but now they both have really adapted well and started out strongly.

    So I think that’s going to be a really good battle, and I think it will help us as team if both of them are really performing at a high level.”

    When camp began last week, it was still a question mark who the Steelers would play in the slot in their nickel package, which they use more than any other personnel grouping. Brooks and Maulet were hardly the only names on that list, one that also included Cameron Sutton.

    Signed to a two-year extension in March, Sutton has experience at almost every spot in the secondary. Although he is expected to be an every-down player in 2021, an option for the Steelers was (and still is) to deploy Sutton on the outside in the “base” defense and in the slot in the nickel. But Austin said Sunday the team prefers to keep Sutton on the outside.

    The only way that could change is if neither Brooks — a second-year pro drafted in the sixth round last year — nor Maulet — a fifth-year pro on his fifth team — can seize the gig while James Pierre or Justin Layne busts down the proverbial door to take over on the outside, which would push Sutton to the slot.

    “He can get ready there with a week’s worth of reps,” Austin said.

    Austin added there is no “drop-dead” date to make a decision on the Brooks/Maulet competition.

    “I think it’ll shake itself out,” he said. “They usually do. Once you play a couple preseason games and you see him in a competitive situation, one guy usually separates himself from the other. It’ll work itself out. I’m not worried about it.

    “And if it doesn’t work out with either one of those, if we had to move Cam back inside, I am not worried about that either.”

    https://triblive.com/sports/steelers...ttle-for-slot/
    Last edited by hawaiiansteel; 07-26-2021 at 01:51 AM.

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    What happened to Joel?

    He was all about this battle a month ago.
    Tomlin’s coming back so what can you do?


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    I bet they would prefer if one of these guys wins the battle.

    And they have plan B ready if they don't. Where Sutton goes inside to when we have a guy in the slot and Pierre plays outside. They pretty much know that works already (because Sutton has played on the inside successfully a lot).

    So I think it makes sense to focus more on new guys and give them reps to see if they can win the job.

  4. #4
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    Brooks won't work as the slot guy unless it turns into a 90% "in-the-box" position, which I don't see how it will. Hilton was not only a good blitzer, he was also adapt at covering, something Brooks has never shown and likely will not. He's another athletic" DB from MD, i.e. Sean Davis.

    https://www.nfl.com/prospects/antoin...b-364045d28995

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    Quote Originally Posted by whisper View Post
    Brooks won't work as the slot guy unless it turns into a 90% "in-the-box" position, which I don't see how it will. Hilton was not only a good blitzer, he was also adapt at covering, something Brooks has never shown and likely will not. He's another athletic" DB from MD, i.e. Sean Davis.

    https://www.nfl.com/prospects/antoin...b-364045d28995
    Unless Brooks has really been able to improve his coverage skills, I agree, I don't think he'll be able to adequately replace what Hilton did in this defense.

    But maybe he'll surprise this summer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whisper View Post
    Brooks won't work as the slot guy unless it turns into a 90% "in-the-box" position, which I don't see how it will. Hilton was not only a good blitzer, he was also adapt at covering, something Brooks has never shown and likely will not. He's another athletic" DB from MD, i.e. Sean Davis.

    https://www.nfl.com/prospects/antoin...b-364045d28995
    was Hilton really that good in coverage?

    I seem to remember him getting praise for his blitzing but some people on here are predicting Cincinnati will regret paying him that much because his coverage skills are average.
    Tomlin’s coming back so what can you do?


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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    was Hilton really that good in coverage?

    I seem to remember him getting praise for his blitzing but some people on here are predicting Cincinnati will regret paying him that much because his coverage skills are average.
    Hilton was not great in coverage, decent but not great, but why acknowledge that if it doesn't support your agenda. You are right. The bUmgals will regret that contract
    Taking pride in the fact that I'm right so often and he is wrong so often, that Steel Maniac has to have me on "Ignore"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Unless Brooks has really been able to improve his coverage skills, I agree, I don't think he'll be able to adequately replace what Hilton did in this defense.

    But maybe he'll surprise this summer.
    The only longer shot in contention to play the slot is Maulet. Taking in Jet flunkies is no way to succeed. I think if Brooks or Maulet is our starter in the slot, we are in deep doo doo. Hilton will be missed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    was Hilton really that good in coverage?

    I seem to remember him getting praise for his blitzing but some people on here are predicting Cincinnati will regret paying him that much because his coverage skills are average.
    Not great in coverage (which is why he played the slot) but compared to what we have lined up to replace him, they make him look like Deion Sanders. You didn't want Hilton one-on-one on the opponents #1 wr outside, but that's why he played in the slot, where he blanketed receivers pretty well, underneath. If we go with Brooks or Maulet as our primary slot guys, look out.

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    Hilton was not "great" in coverage, but he was serviceable, in dizz's words, "average." As far as what he's shown to date, Brooks is "poor" in coverage. Unless he has improved dramatically (a possibility), opponents will target him as a weak link in the pass defense.

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