Keith Butler On Mike Hilton: ‘We’re Kind Of Excited To Have Him’

Are you still not on the Mike Hilton bandwagon? If not, why? The Pittsburgh Steelers young cornerback has had a strong showing so far not only during training camp, but in the team’s first preseason game as well.

On the heels of Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake signing the praises of Hilton last week that included him comparing him to two former cornerbacks that he personally played with during his own career in Pittsburgh, defensive coordinator Keith Butler also talked very positively about the Mississippi product and former undrafted free agent during his Thursday morning interview on Steelers Nation Radio.

“We’re very pleased with Mike and what he’s done and what he’s shown,” Butler said of Hilton.” He’s done a good job on the slot inside and he’s a good blitzer. He’s got a good feel for blitzing and a good understanding of our defense and we’re kind of excited to have him.”

Hilton did indeed do a good job in the slot and on special teams in the team’s preseason opener against the New York Giants as he registered four total tackles that included a sack via a blitz off the edge. Additionally, one of his tackles came on a fourth and short run and he also recovered a fumble on a punt. In short, he was hard not to notice Friday night.

Hilton’s opportunity to shine for the Steelers during the offseason is obviously a result of young Steelers cornerbacks Senquez Golson and Cameron Sutton both missing extensive time during training camp with hamstring injuries and Butler was quick to point that fact out Thursday morning.

“Some guy’s failure is another guys dadgum reward and not necessarily failure but being out of practice and somebody else has got to take up those reps,” Butler explained. “And if they take up those reps and they do well, then obviously you’re going, ‘hey, you know we’re going to see what they can do in a game.’ If they can do something in a game and you sit out too long, that’s the way the NFL is. Somebody will take your positron and that’s not trying to threaten anybody, or anything like that, that’s just the nature of the game.”

The Steelers will keep five cornerbacks at a minimum this year and more than likely six in total. Assuming Sutton makes it back from his injury in the next few weeks, he’ll obviously be on the 53-man roster along with Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, William Gay and Coty Sensabaugh. That sixth and final cornerback spot has Hilton’s name written all over it right now, barring an injury. Should the team wind up keeping seven cornerbacks in total, rookie draft pick Brian Allen is likely to get that spot, but I think he might be headed for the practice squad to start the season.


  • PghDSF

    If Golson gets cut and clears waivers, does he make the PS instead of Allen?

  • george

    God I hope not.

  • Dennis Nevinsky

    Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, William Gay and Coty Sensabaugh make 4 cornerbacks and Mike Hilton makes 5. I think you missed Cameron Sutton.

  • george

    He said assuming Sutton makes it.

  • Sam Clonch

    They can’t cut him if he’s hurt. Hard to believe that a healthy, recent 2nd round pick would clear waivers (even if he does have an injury history). I’d expect someone to take a chance on him.

  • PghDSF

    They can cut him. They would have to give him an injury settlement.

  • NickSteelerFan

    To be clear, this is for 2018 not this year:
    I like the lineup in dime with 4 CB’s being Burns, Sutton, Allen and Hilton (with any combo of Gay/Cockrell/Sensabaugh being your backups). There are body types to cover any type of RB/WR/TE with tons of youth and speed. Still may go through a bunch of growing pains this year, but I’m very optimistic for next year

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I believe you’re right, Dave. And I believe we will someday see Golson playing for another team. The business of the game doesn’t allow the team to keep him around, but he likely has talent and if he can ever get on the field to show it, hopefully NOT for the Bengals, we’ll all finally see – just not in a Steelers uniform.

  • SteelersDepot

    “Assuming Sutton makes it back from his injury in the next few weeks, he’ll obviously be on the 53-man roster along with Artie Burns, Ross Cockrell, William Gay and Coty Sensabaugh. “

  • MP34

    More “dadgum”.

  • falconsaftey43

    I think he has the team made at this point.

  • John Noh

    That is pretty much the kiss of death for Golson’s continued future as a Steeler, I’d say. Forget “can’t make the club from the tub”. He’s too injured to even make it into the tub.

  • John Noh

    NO! The Golson experiment has been an abject failure. Time to cut ties and move on. The only question is whether he or Limas Sweed deserve the dubious distinction as the biggest second-round bust for the Steelers in the Colbert era.

  • Jaybird

    Let him get healthy , then cut him. That will take careful of the injury settlement. Let’s face It, they are not going to give Golson reps at this point. They aren’t taking them away from Hilton, Sutton, or . So let him heal the next two weeks an let him go before they owe him his salary for the year.

  • Mr. Goodkat

    If he wasn’t our guy we’d probably have interest in him too.

    To a CB needy team that hasn’t invested in his injuries, he’s a relatively attractive option at this point in the offseason.

  • WilliamSekinger

    This organization has missed on sooo many cornerbacks over the last decade that I’m joining Butler in being excited about this kid. Not everyday a UDFA CB makes an NFL roster let alone being talked about potentially contributing in nickel/dime packages in his first year with the club.

  • Anthony Barnes

    Mike Hilton!!!! Future Super Bowl MVP!!!!!!!

  • Rotten Sircus

    I’d really like to see Senquez on the field at some point during pre-season …is he really that fragile ?? ?

  • Alan Tman

    He does remind me of Chris Oldham.

  • Alan Tman

    That’s why I say if he comes back healthy I would cut him immediately before he gets hurt again.

  • Alan Tman

    I’d wait to see if he tries to get back on the field healthy again. Then cut him.

  • Alan Tman


  • Sweed, no question. Golson has been injury plagued, which can’t always be helped. Sweed’s failures were on the field.

  • History says yes.

  • StolenUpVotes

    As I said before this man is going to make a play sometime this season that’ll win a game for us

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Dave –

    I have a serious question for you. (You may have answered it in one of your podcasts, but I haven’t heard them all yet).

    What are the odds of Sutton NOT making the 53?

    He’s never on the field. He won’t have the reps to be ready (mentally) to go week one. We’ve already got Gay as starter in the slot. Hilton has been playing great in the back up slot role. Sensabaugh has got the back up CB spot locked up. Allen is healthy as a horse and improving more and more each day at boundary CB.

    Why is Sutton such a “lock” to make the 53?

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    He’s played well but man is he ever tiny.

  • Taylor Williams

    Golson is smaller.

  • Taylor Williams

    It’s sweed. Golson never made it to the field, but sweed completely ruined his chances everytime he saw the field. The guy had enormous talent too.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    hilton and i are almost identical in size, that’s what cracks me up.
    mike hilton : 5’9″ 184 lbs.
    mike mosgrove 5’9″ 185 lbs

    senquez golson 5’9″ 175.

    looks like golson needs to put some meat on his bones.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    if sutton doesnt get back to full speed by end of preseason they can ir him with chance to return. though they dont even have to designate who can return anymore.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i’m not dave but i can answer that. sutton is a 3rd round pick. of all steelers picks in the first 3 rounds i can think of VERY few who have not made the team the year they were drafted. even doran grant who was a 4th stuck on the practice squad the 53 bouncing back and forth. as far as getting on the field with gay, sensa and hilton all performing well i guarantee if he’s not ir’ed to return they will ease him into it. as for 2018. gay has about a 90% chance of not being here. that leaves the 2018 cb corp as burns, cockrell, hilton, sensa. assuming they don’t draft another cb( they shouldnt, they need a safety) sutton would have easy access to the 53. burns and cockrell would be your outsides (assuming cockrell is given a new contract/ is given a new tender) leaving hilton, sutton and sensabaugh as backups/slots.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i dunno. alonzo jackson was pretty bad. kendrell bell.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    injury settlement.

  • Zuami Montanez

    What about Cam?

  • John Noh

    Alonzo was bad, yes. Kendrell had a promising start to his career, at least.