Final thoughts: Answer the bell


Here are two final thoughts following the 2015 home opener.


MAKING AMENDS:** The defense posted its share of numbers and highlights in the 49ers game, from five sacks of Colin Kaepernick to the season's first takeaway to a third-quarter goal-line stand that denied San Francisco the end zone on three attempts from the 2-yard line and one more from the 1.

"We kind of did have a bad taste in our month," free safety Mike Mitchell said. "We know we didn't put our best foot forward (in the regular-season opener at New England). We wanted to come out and answer in front of our home crowd and let them know what they can expect when we're playing at Heinz."

It didn't hurt that the offense provided a two-score lead with which to work, scoring 16 points on its first three possessions for a 16-3 advantage that continued to grow.

But the defense was ready long before then.

"They definitely were in attack mode before they walked out of the locker room," Williams said.

"Absolutely," Mitchell agreed. "There wasn't a whole lot that needed to be said. We knew we needed to answer the bell and respond from a poor performance in Week One. No better time to do it than when playing at home here at Heinz in front of the best fans in the world.

"We knew what time it was."

BELL'S BACK: With the first two games of the regular season in the rear view mirror, the Steelers began to immediately look forward to the return of running back Le'Veon Bell from his two-game suspension.

"It's going to be exciting," Brown said. "We know what he brings to our offense and the team as a whole."

Added linebacker Ryan Shazier: "It's really exciting getting him back. Honestly, I feel like Le'Veon's the best running back in the NFL. When we're getting pieces back to our team and an offense that's already unstoppable and you're just adding another great player to it, might as well just take out the popcorn and get ready for the show.

"Those guys are going to do some great things."

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