The Detroit Lions bolstered their defense by signing former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Cameron Sutton to a three-year deal on the first day of free agency. The move comes as the Lions look to revamp their secondary, which ranked 30th in the league last season. Sutton joined the “Ermanni and Edwards with Maz Show” here at the Woodward Sports Network, and shared his enthusiasm for his new team.
It’s just all for us to keep coming together and really try to do special things here.
Sutton’s decision to join the Lions was heavily influenced by Campbell’s reputation and the energy he brings to the game.
From Mike Tomlin to Dan Campbell
Sutton’s first conversation with head coach Dan Campbell was full of that energy and emotion. He shared that Campbell is deeply invested in his players and those around him, both on and off the field. Sutton’s connection with Campbell was a driving force in his decision to join the Lions. When asked about that first conversation, Sutton exclaimed:
It was high energy! It was a little emotional… we just share that same love really for life, you know, not just about football, he’s the same person, not just in the building but out of the building as well… he’s very affectionate for the players and the people that are in his circle around him.
Reflecting on his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers and coach Mike Tomlin, Sutton expressed gratitude for the life lessons and knowledge he gained:
Mike T was everything, man… the effect is bigger than just football, you know, it’s bigger than just the X’s and O’s… the way he was able to teach the game and understanding the fundamentals or the schematics of the game, he’s a true historian, his knowledge goes back. It is endless… and just his overall dedication to his craft, man… it was really special to see. And it definitely molded me in a lot of ways, just carrying myself in the right way, you know, knowing how to move around rooms and people, and all those different factors that just kind of help you progress in life.
Sutton’s Impact on the Lions’ Secondary
Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and the coaching staff were quick to recognize Sutton’s potential in their secondary, which was in dire need of an upgrade. Sutton’s versatility as a defensive back who can play multiple positions will be a valuable asset to the team. According to Pro Football Reference, Sutton held opposing quarterbacks to a 47.9% completion percentage and a 65.3 passer rating last season. He had a career-high 15 passes defensed.
Sutton is fully committed to making an impact on his new team and in the community. He remarked:
I’m here to play football. I’m here to make an impact on the community and the people around me, and obviously in this organization.
Focused on his role within the defense, Sutton noted:
It’s all about the defense, man. It’s all about getting to that ball and creating opportunities for the offense.
When asked about playing with Aidan Hutchinson, Sutton described the experience as “electric.” Sutton also drew parallels between his former teammate, TJ Watt, and Hutchinson, highlighting their shared approach to the game and relentless pursuit on the field.
Sutton’s Mental Approach, Leadership and promise to Detroit
Sutton, who turned 28 in February, is one of the veterans on the Lions’ young defense. The cornerback has expressed a readiness to take on a leadership role, emphasizing his mental approach to the game. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin praised Sutton for his football IQ and maturity, as well as his on-field talents. Sutton’s understanding of the game at a deeper level is a significant factor in his ability to play and excel at multiple positions.
When asked what he’s bringing to the Detroit Lions and their fans, Sutton said:
I’m just bringing myself, you know, I’m not bringing nothing short of who I am each and every day… a true gritty person… someone who is going to come out here and compete, someone who is never gonna take a day off, a play off. Someone who’s going to lead and going to just do his job, man.
He also expressed his desire to put the city on the map:
I’m here to put this city, not just the team, but the city on the map.
Reuniting with Emmanuel Moseley
The Lions have also added Emmanuel Moseley to their secondary, who was college teammates with Sutton at Tennessee. Moseley recently spoke of their shared goal to be leaders on the team, fostering a competitive environment that will drive the group to excel:
We just want to be leaders of the group… Coach as much as we can, learn from (the guys returning), things they do well, they can learn from us things we do well and most of all we’re just going to compete in that room. The competition makes things better and that’s how I learned, that’s how I always got better. I’ve known Cam from college. He was always smart. He’s always smart, always physical, helping me with my game so I’m ready to continue to learn from him and also can teach him things I can do, and just bring that to the group. I think that’ll be great.
Wearing Number 1 with Pride
Sutton will don the number 1 jersey for the next three seasons. He considers it an honor and privilege, but also acknowledged the swagger that is associated with the number. He explained:
It’s definitely an attitude… the number doesn’t make you, you make the number, but you bring that full attitude out… it’s an honor and privilege to wear number one… I have to bring that full attitude each and every day.
Sutton’s Impact on the Detroit Lions
Cameron Sutton brings a wealth of experience, passion, and a winning attitude to the Detroit Lions. His ability to adapt to different positions, his commitment to making a positive impact on the team and the city, and his enthusiasm for working with Coach Campbell and his teammates make him an excellent fit for the Lions. As Detroit continues to build a strong foundation under Coach Campbell, Sutton’s passion, leadership, and commitment to the game will undoubtedly play a crucial role in the team’s success.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
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Photo Credit: © Cameron Sutton’s Instagram: @camsutton20 via Jeff Nguyen, Detroit Lions