Davis' hard work being rewarded


The Steelers prepare for the Week 12 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

ARROW POINTING UP:** Second-round pick Sean Davis has experienced just about everything in his first season with the Steelers.

Last Sunday in Cleveland, Davis started at strong safety and experienced playing 100 percent of the defensive snaps in the Steelers' 24-9 win over the Browns.

"It felt great," he said. "Gotta continue to ride like that."

It's been anything but a smooth ride for Davis.

He opened as the "nickel" cornerback on Sept. 12 at Washington and played 47 percent of the defensive snaps.

He didn't play at all on defense on Oct. 16 at Miami (12 special-teams snaps).

Davis has absorbed being asked to learn two positions initially (safety and cornerback), a back injury and some high-profile mistakes (a 15-yard face mask penalty in the final minute against Dallas).

But he never stopped working or believing even as his role has fluctuated.

"I didn't think it was going to go like this," he admitted. "It's been a crazy ride. We still have a lot of ball to play but I'm happy. I've been working hard and it's paying off.

"I feel like I've had a crazy rookie year so far but I'm an optimist guy, always smiling. I always see the glass half full rather than half empty. I know it's a long season. I know what I'm capable of doing and I'm a hard worker."


FINDING A ROLE:** Wide receiver Landry Jones was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster on Oct. 15.

He played 62 percent of the offensive snaps in Cleveland.

"I can always be better but it's fun for me so far," Hamilton said. "I always knew I could play, It's just finding opportunity and going out and getting it. It's been fun for me for the Steelers to give me an opportunity to go out and play. I can't complain right now."

Hamilton is a former sixth-round pick of the Bengals in 2013.

He was active for the Bengals' playoff game on Jan. 4, 2015 but didn't play.

He spent time in the Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Miami and Carolina organizations before signing with the Steelers in August.

His first five NFL games with the Steelers have resulted in eight catches for 122 yards and a touchdown and, in Hamilton's estimation, growing confidence among his teammates in his game.

"It grows every week to me, being a part of this offense and really contributing and showing these guys that I belong and I can play," Hamilton said. "It's been worth the wait, especially being around a Hall-of-Famer quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) and good guys like (center Maurkice) Pouncey and Antonio Brown, good professionals like that."


NOTHING TO DO WITH IT:** Defensive end Stephon Tuitt said after the Cleveland game he had been playing, in part, for injured defensive end Cam Heyward.

But Heyward didn't want any part of that.

"I don't need to inspire them," Heyward said. "These guys are professionals, they did their jobs. They're good at what they do.

"Tuitt had a hell of a game, not because of me, because he put in the work and he did what he needed to do. I know these guys' professionalism, and they did a great job week in and week out. I was just happy to get that (losing) streak broken."

Heyward thinks a defense that registered eight sacks against the Browns can do what it did in Cleveland repeatedly.

"It needs to be repeated," he said. "I think  we have blueprints of what we need to do. Now we just have to do it week in and week out."

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