Outside linebacker Sutton Smith embracing opportunity to play fullback for Steelers | TribLIVE.com
Steelers/NFL

Outside linebacker Sutton Smith embracing opportunity to play fullback for Steelers

Kevin Gorman
1487666_web1_gtr-steelers07-053119
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers linebacker Sutton Smith goes through drills during OTA work out May, 2019 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
1487666_web1_gtr-steelers08-053119
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers linebacker Sutton Smith goes through drills during OTA work out May, 2019 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Sutton Smith couldn’t help but smile while talking about being the Pittsburgh Steelers’ only two-way player on Thursday, a day after taking his first two practice reps on offense at training camp at Saint Vincent College.

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Smith as pass-rushing outside linebacker but are tinkering with the idea of playing the sixth-round pick as a run-blocking fullback.

The the 6-foot, 238-pounder last played running back at Francis Howell High School in Saint Charles, Mo., where he rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior. He played strictly defense as a pass-rushing defensive end at Northern Illinois, where he recorded 30 sacks and 58 tackles for loss. Smith was a two-time MAC defensive player of the year and the school’s first two-time, first-team All-American.

“Honestly, I’m here for whatever he needs,” Smith said of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. “I’m here if he wants to put me at wide receiver or whatever. I like to see myself as an athlete, so I try to do my best. I mean, I played running back in high school and I was OK at it, and he saw it on film and thought it could translate into the fullback setting so I think it’s going to be a good thing. It’s just getting the feel.”

While Smith is attempting to learn two positions at the same time in his first NFL training camp — forcing him to switch jersey numbers from 51 to 42 to become position eligible — he also knows the two-way flexibility could increase his chances of making the team.

“It puts a little bit on my plate, but it’s not something I can’t handle,” Smith said. “It’s definitely an opportunity that I want to have, and it’s a great opportunity to show what I can do so I really like it.”

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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