EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: It's inevitable, even if it's also unrecognized by design at times.
The defense comes up with a takeaway, a tackle for a loss or a big pop, such as the one free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick delivered on tight end Eric Ebron, a "Welcome-to-Pittsburgh shot," as Ebron described it.
The offense scores in "Seven Shots" or in the red zone, regular occurrences that commenced on the first day in pads when rookie second-round wide receiver Chase Claypool went up and over veteran cornerback Joe Haden and came down with the ball in the end zone, mostly because Claypool, according to Haden, "wouldn't let me knock it out."
It's what head coach Mike Tomlin references as "ebb and flow," and it's as much a part of Steelers training camp as sweat, even in a pandemic.
"One man's success is another man's failure," Tomlin assessed. "One unit's success is another unit's failure.
"There is going to be ebb and flow and it's all the story you choose to tell."
Just don't tell the Steelers' defense.
"What practices are you watching?" Fitzpatrick countered, when asked about the offense making its share of plays.
"The only time we get beat is when we mess up. There aren't too many times where the corners aren't going to win 50-50 balls. There aren't too many times where (outside linebackers) T.J. (Watt) or Bud (Dupree) aren't going to win the rush. The only times big plays happen on us is when we make mistakes.
"The type of offense we have, knowing (quarterback) Ben (Roethlisberger) and everybody out there, they're going to take advantage of it."
Added Watt: "We just feel super fast, super physical. We're flying around and we're making a ton of plays, making life very difficult on the offense."
Part of what the defense is honing at Heinz Field is an attitude.
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ATTENTION-GETTER: Defensive coordinator Keith Butler has had a lot to say about his unit, and he also offered the following revelation regarding Claypool:
"If we had to play him, we would find a way to double (-cover) him and try to take him out, if we could."
Butler isn't coaching Claypool but he's noticed him.
"When I first saw him, I thought he had brick hands there for a minute," Butler continued. "But I've been really impressed with him as of late. That size and speed is something that's hard to defend, especially when you get in the red zone and stuff like that and you start playing jump-ball with a guy and he has that size that he can body you up or he can out-jump you.
"It makes it tough for us to defend a guy like that."
THINKING-MAN'S GAME: It'll be challenging for Fitzpatrick to get his hands on the ball this season more than he did last season upon joining the Steelers. But he plans on being every bit as impactful, in part by playing the "intellectual" game Ed Reed used to play for the Ravens.
"It's a game of details back there," Fitzpatrick maintained regarding the free safety/centerfield position he excelled in a season ago. "There are times where there are drops and we don't make a lot of plays but we still need to be in the right position. We make plays as safeties just by being in the right position.
"We might not get a 'pick,' we might not get the pass break-up, but simply by being in the right position and making the quarterback not throw to a certain area and taking away a certain receiver throughout the game we make a lot of plays.
"People love the big, splash plays and the interceptions and the forced fumbles and stuff like that. But as an elite safety or a great safety you do a lot of unknown things and one of them is being in the right position."