Hilton gets a well-deserved honor

Posted Dec 27, 2017

Mike Hilton was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

He is quiet and unassuming off the field, mild-mannered and polite, and always with a smile on his face.

When he gets on the field, though, Mike Hilton is a different person and it has shown this year. He is aggressive, high-energy and filled with a passion for a game he loves.

And that never shined as much as it did on Monday against the Houston Texans.

Hilton recorded three sacks against the Texans, the most in a single game by a Steelers defensive back since Troy Polamalu did so against the Texans in 2005, and became only the third Steelers defensive back to do so in history, joining Polamalu and Carnell Lake.

His impact didn’t go unnoticed as Hilton was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, the first time in his young career he has won the honor.

“It feels good to be out there and just make plays and help the team win,” said Hilton. “I had a big day and hopefully it can carry on.”

Hilton helped lead the Steelers to a 34-6 win with six tackles, which included the three sacks, and a forced fumble.

Hilton winning the award shows how far he has come in a year, considering at this point last year he was on the Steelers practice squad.

He originally signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as undrafted rookie free agent in 2016, but was released in the preseason. The New England Patriots added him to their practice squad ahead of the first game of the 2016 season, but he was released a week later. It wasn’t until Dec. 13, 2016, that his fate changed and the Steelers signed him to their practice squad. He proved himself in training camp and the preseason this year, and made the 53-man roster.

Hilton is sixth on the Steelers with 50 tackles, has four sacks, eight quarterback pressures, two interceptions, five pass defenses and one forced fumble. He also has nine special teams tackles.