"Well, I won't back down
No, I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down."
LATROBE, Pa. - Those lyrics from Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down" are easily the motto for cornerback Artie Burns.
Every day in practice Burns fights the battle of going against Antonio Brown, the NFL's best receiver who just so happens to be his teammate.
It's a challenge most opposing cornerbacks dread when they face the Steelers.
For Burns, it's something he never shies away.
"Never back down," said Burns with a smile. "Never."
When it came to who was covering Brown in practice, Burns raised his hand. It's a challenge he wanted because it works for both players.
"I enjoy him making me better," said Burns. "I always want to help him get better. He is the best. To be the best you have to go against best. Me crafting against him every day, I get better. I just go at it.
"He has been a part of that difference, getting me better. He comes in every day working hard. Guarding him I have to have my best rep every time. He is ready to do something spectacular every play. If I get just a little bit better every day going against him, even if it's one percent better, that is what it's all about."
Brown has seen Burns grow by leaps and bounds as he enters his third season, and he loves going against him as well.
"Every day he is getting better," said Brown. "I think for the past couple of years it's made him hungry. He wants to compete against me. That is what we want.
"You can tell he takes it as a challenge. He is competing against me every day, giving me his all. That is what you want. You want a guy who is confident, competitive and will compete against everybody to make the team better."
And while they love going against each other, these are two intense competitors so it gets interesting.
"It gets heated out there," said Burns. "But we are coming from a good place."
All it takes is watching the two of them for a few minutes to know both want to win.
"It's a lot of competition," said Brown. "Iron sharpening iron. Friend against friend. But it's also man against man. Nothing personal and may the best man win. I love competing against him. He goes at it."
And he never backs down.
Camp Life: The Steelers are in the home stretch of training camp. The following is what is still remaining for camp practices that are open to the public. The team will also host the Family Fest on Sunday, Aug. 19 at Heinz Field.
Steelers Training Camp Schedule:
Mon., August 13 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Last Practice Alert: Tues., August 14 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers 13th day of training camp.