Challenge accepted**: Stephon Tuitt has been given the challenge of covering and trying to shut down the opponent's best receiver, and Cockrell has answered the challenge. It comes as no surprise to Coach Mike Tomlin that the talented, hard-hitting and intelligent safety is able to handle the challenge.
"I am not surprised by it," said Tomlin. "If you watch Ross work on a day-to-day basis you are not surprised by the progress. He has that level of commitment to preparation and growing as a player. I appreciate his approach to work and his day-to-day demeanor and the work that he puts in even more than I do the contributions he has given us thus far in stadiums and they have been solid."
- Helping the young guns: Ben Roethlisberger has always been one to help young receivers, and Tomlin has even said many times, 'It all starts with No. 7.' As he has matured, so has his ability to step up to the plate and be there as a guiding force for them.
"I have said this many times about Ben and it's true," said Tomlin. "Over the course of the 10 years we have been together, he has gone through the natural maturation process you would expect a guy to go through over a 10 year period. This guy has been doing it and doing it at a high level for a long time. He knows what he is doing. The way that he communicates and develops and nurtures relationships with those guys might be different than the way he did it six or eight years ago because he is different. It's all positive. He does a heck of a job of it. I know the guys look up to him and respect him and don't want to let him and us down."
Holding the line: For the second straight week injuries forced some changes on the offensive line, with Chris Hubbard filling in at right tackle for Marcus Gilbert, similar to the way B.J. Finney stepped in at guard against the Chiefs for Ramon Foster. In both cases there was no disruption of play, and Tomlin said much of that is a credit to the veteran line.
"The offensive line was stellar," said Tomlin. "They have had adversity in recent weeks in terms of the opportunity with Hubbard. But if you look back two weeks ago B.J. Finney and so forth. I think you can tip your cap to solid veteran guys who have been in the mix continually like Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro for dropping an anchor and being a good source of stability for the others who have been able to come in and put their hand in the pile."