Final thoughts: Safety first

SAFETY FIRST: One of the biggest developments in what became a 24-19 Steelers' victory at Heinz Field was the presence of safeties Mike Mitchell and Shamarko Thomas in the secondary together for the first time.

The Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Green Bay Packers in Week 2 of the 2015 preseason at Heinz Field

Both had missed time due to injury during practices at St. Vincent College but they were able to play four defensive series together against Green Bay, two against starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

"I think it's critical," Mitchell said. "Amy time we can get out there in a game setting, in a competitive environment against one of the better quarterbacks, in my opinion probably the best quarterback in the league, it's a good opportunity for us to grow and develop.

"I thought we did some good things out there."

Mitchell and Thomas began playing consistent snaps with each other last week.

"Definitely beneficial," Thomas agreed. "I feel like the more and more we did the drives were on the same page and the communication was great. It definitely was a great thing to get out there with him.

"The practice helped us, those couple of days. We watched film together after practice and before practice. When we got to the game we just stuck to the plan."


PROPER RESPONSE:** The defense allowed a 10-play, 80-yard drive for a touchdown in 5:06 and a two-point conversion the first time the Packers got their hands on the ball.

But the Packers' second series began at the Green Bay 1-yard line following a punt and ended with James Harrison sacking Rodgers in the end zone on theird-and-10 from the 1.

"We were annoyed to start off a game like that, just get them in rhythm like that," defensive end Cam Heyward said. "I like how we reacted and responded and were able to dig ourselves out of a hole and really apply pressure to the quarterback."

Added Mitchell: "We knew we had kind of given them a little bit the first drive. And then we knew we wanted to hold them down there with the field position that we had from a great punt. We knew it was important to deter them from getting a first down.

"We ended up getting a bonus with a sack and a safety."

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