Tackling the issue: At the early stages of the season rookie Artie Burns' coverage was on point, but his tackling wasn't where he, or anyone else, wanted it to be. Physically he just wasn't playing up to the standard, and missed tackles were noticeable.
Fast forward a few months and it's a whole new ball game for Burns.
"I have just been working," said Burns, who had three tackles against the Bills and an interception and seven the week before against the Giants. "I just feel like it's something I owe to my team. I missed some tackles earlier this season. I owe that to my team to keep working on it and getting better week in and week out."
Burns said he felt pressure from within himself, and the team, to step it up.
"I feel like I let my team down on some plays," said Burns. "I feel like I have to hold myself to a standard everybody holds themselves to."
Burns said he has relied heaving on veterans in the secondary, including William Gay and Mike Mitchell, to help him in his growth, but playing time has been the key to learning the defense.
"Getting the reps helps even more, just being able to do it," said Burns. "That helps me feel comfortable and play at 100 percent."* *
Smash mouth:** The Steelers ground attack set a franchise record against the Bills when Le'Veon Bell rushed for a Steelers' single-game record 236 yards. And a large portion of that credit goes to his offensive line, who basically said they were just doing what they do this time of year.
"We just want to go out there and keep getting better," said Marcus Gilbert. "We felt the run was working well for us so we wanted to stick with it most of the second half. We did a good job. If it's not broke, why fix it. (B.J.) Finney did a fantastic job filling in for Ramon (Foster). (Chris) Hubbard's done a heck of a job. I feel like we are coming together as an offense, as a team.
"We are going out there and playing Steelers football, playing smash mouth ball. December football is all about running the ball well and playing good defense, and we have been doing that. Game 2 is over in December and now we are looking forward to this third one. It's going to be a fun one."