Bringing pressure:** Following the Steelers 38-16 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football there wasn't a lot to complain about. Unless you listened to defensive end Cameron Heyward. Heyward wasn't happy with the Steelers' pass rush, which didn't generate a sack on Redskins' quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Coach Mike Tomlin thought Heyward's assessment was accurate.
"I agree with Cam," said Tomlin. "We have to create more disruption. We have to get after the quarterback more, particularly when we are ahead. Sometimes game circumstances provide opportunities. That game circumstance should have provided more opportunity for production in that area. We'll go back to work."
Significant matchup: Tight end Jesse James will continue to be a weapon for Ben Roethlisberger in the passing game this week against the Bengals at Heinz Field, but James, along with tight ends David Johnson and Xavier Grimble, will also be called upon heavily for their blocking ability against a formidable Bengals' defensive line.
"We get quality contributions from our tight end positon in the run game," said Tomlin. "That is an element of the matchup up that is a significant one this week. The Bengals have some enormous defensive ends, some guys that create ridiculous physical mismatch issues on the ends of the lines of scrimmages. Guys like (Carlos) Dunlap, (Michael) Johnson, (Margus) Hunt and (Will) Clarke. They are generally capable of dominating tight ends. The work of Jesse and others are going to be on display this week so keep an eye on that one."
Up to the challenge: Rookie cornerback Artie Burns was slow getting started this season, hampered by injuries until the final preseason game. But Tomlin said he is happy with the progress Burns is making, and the more he is on the rise, the more playing time he will see.
"Our offense, when you are working on our card defense, you get challenged," said Tomlin. "Artie is already showing signs of being one of those young guys that welcomes that challenge. He always is looking for the matchup against No. 84 (Antonio Brown) and that helps him from a growth and development standpoint."