Mike Hilton has been the feel-good story of the season. In training camp, and through the preseason, he won himself a roster spot. After about two weeks of splitting time with William Gay, he won himself the starting job in the slot. With Hilton, his greatest attribute so far may not even be his coverage. It may be his ability to blitz off of the edge
Mike Hilton excels blitzing off of the edge
What is great about Hilton is how well he times his breaks, As you can see below, when the ball is snapped he is about three to four steps in and is right off of the line of scrimmage.
The right tackle has no idea that Hilton is coming, who blows by Austin Howard to force a quick incompletion.
This sack is a perfect display of what Hilton can bring and why he likely is going to stick in this role. He shows the bend to get around the tackle and completely loops around him to wrangle in Joe Flacco.
In Week Four, the Steelers blitzed Mike Hilton on six passing plays. Flacco was 2-5 for seven yards and was sacked once. Hilton also added four tackles and a last-minute interception to seal off the win The Steelers have stumbled upon a slot cornerback. They have also found themselves a new trick up their sleeves. They have experimented with blitzing Joe Haden off of the edge as well, and the ability to threaten both of them as surprise blitzed is just one more thing that teams have to watch for.
Cameron Sutton is scheduled to come off of the Injured Reserve close to Week 8. However, at this point what to expect of him would be to replace William Gay rather than Hilton. It will be interesting to see in the offseason what the Steelers do, but Hilton has earned this role moving forward for the rest of the year.
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