Offseason Program

Getting help from a different source

Switching sides: The hiring of former cornerback William Gay, who played 10 seasons for the Steelers, as a coaching intern would immediately have people assuming he is working strictly with the secondary.

But that isn’t the case at all.

Gay has been working with the team’s receivers, giving them an education in what a defensive back is seeing from them and it’s already paying dividends.

“It’s been nice to work with him,” said James Washington. “He played on the other side of the ball. When a defensive back does something I will ask him why did he do that, what did he read from me and it helps me get rid of those indicators that lets a defensive back know I am breaking.

“In the film room he is giving us ideas on how to study better, how to learn from film better.”

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Finish: Stephon Tuitt returned to the field for the first time during OTAs and had a message to deliver.

It was simple. It was direct. And it was just one word.

Finish.

“Overall I think we just have to finish better,” said Tuitt. “Once we finish better, we are going to be really great. Everybody finishing in practice. Defensive linemen finishing the sacks. Defensive backs getting more interceptions, finishing the plays.”

The first person Tuitt points to as far as finishing, is himself. He said it’s something he worked on this offseason and it’s going to be a focus heading into the 2019 season.

“Finishing. Being a better finisher,” said Tuitt. “If I can do that, I will be more dominant, be a better player for the team. More consistent and finish.

“Just what I can do quicker, faster, and be more comfortable with myself.”

That faster aspect of play is one that Tuitt knows can benefit him. Especially when it comes to sacks. Last season he had 5.5 sacks. But he knows in his heart he could have had more.

“All of the defensive linemen, we joke about me,” said Tuitt. “I get there right before the quarterback is ready to throw the ball. It’s just understanding what I need to do to get there faster. Taking the next step to get there. I am there. I am always there. I just need to get there faster.

“You can make the impact play. You stop the drive, stop the offense at the line of scrimmage. The ability to stop them. The ability to be confident in what you are doing. The ability to be faster. That is the key.”

Sounds so easy, right. Just get there a little faster. Forget the fact that someone is getting paid to try to prevent him to doing that. 

“It’s a lot of hard work trying to get a sack,” said Tuitt. “It’s the offensive line’s job not to allow you to get a sack. When you get one it’s like you are taking away from what they are getting paid to do. When you get in the quarterback’s head, and the person who is getting paid to stop you from getting there, that is an exhilarating feeling. That is like I am dominating you, and I am going to dominate you as well.”

He said it:

T.J. Watt on the defense:
“We are flying around, getting our swagger. We are having a fun time. At the same time, we are very serious. We’re very detailed. I am happy with the progressions we are making.”

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