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Defense continues to deliver

If you want to sum up the performance by the Steelers defense on Sunday, the best way to do so would be listening to what Titans quarterback Vince Young had to say.

"They did some things that I haven't seen before," said Young after the Steelers 19-11 win in Tennessee.

That is something that this defense takes pride in, bringing a new look each week that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau draws up, showing opponents something that they might not have seen on tape and using it to their advantage.

The defense created seven turnovers, the most since they had seven takeaways against Baltimore in 1997. They got production up and down the line-up, from Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu to defensive end Steve McLendon, who was signed off the practice squad the day before the game.

"Everybody knows their role and plays their part, does their assignment," said cornerback Bryant McFadden, who had an interception. "The coaches do a great job preparing us each week. The rest is playing hard, physical and violent football.

"Coach (Mike) Tomlin says he wants a violent team out there; a violent team that plays within the rules. We want to be attackers. We want to throw our bodies around and play without a seat belt. We don't drive the speed limit, we don't wear a seat belt when we are out there playing."

The way the defense is playing right now is reminiscent of a defense of the not so distant past – the 2008 version. Last year the defense let some games go in the fourth quarter. This year, like in 2008, they are doing their best to make sure that isn't the case.

"That is what we are trying to get back," said defensive end Aaron Smith. "Last year we had some games where we let teams pull it out at the end. That's where we need to get. That's the type of mentality we have to have, to want to finish games and want the game in our hands and be able to put teams away."

The Titans mounted a late surge against the Steelers, scoring a touchdown with just 58 seconds left on the clock. They were able to get the onside kick, but the defense wasn't about to falter, holding on strong until the end.

"For us to be a good team we are going to be put in situations where we have to close out the ball game," said McFadden. "We have held up our own. We know we have to do that. We are just trying to make sure we start the season fast and finish even faster and be consistent and maintain this throughout the year."

The defense has a trust in each other, one built on a bond that the players have on and off the field. They are a close unit, there for each through good and bad, in football and in life.

"I don't think people understand how close we are," said Taylor. "You can tell on the field by the body language how close we are.  

"When you have 11 guys who play for one goal and that is to be the best, no egos, just buying into what Coach LeBeau is trying to do, it's a good time every time we go out there and play defense."

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