Haden: 'It's just the beginning'

After a slow start to the season, the Steelers have turned it around at a key time, heading into their bye on a two-game win streak that has been sparked by all three phases coming together.

Those on the defensive side of the ball like where things are headed and see things continuing to come together at a crucial juncture.

"I like that we have been doing very good in our communication," said Joe Haden. "There haven't been any busts. We are doing a lot better with our tackling, trying to get the ball in front of us. Just strides with everything we have been trying to work on the last two weeks. I think our defense has done a really good job."

Last week the defense held the Bengals to just 62 yards rushing, while only allowing 229 yards in the air.
"I think we started off pretty slow," said Haden of the secondary. "The last couple of games we have been doing a whole lot better, keeping the ball in front of us and making our tackles."

The improved play is visible in all areas, and the numbers don't lie.

"A lot of people showed a lot of growth," said Stephon Tuitt. "A lot of people continue to fight through and be impact players for the defense. That comes with pushing, putting in hours, coming in positive and making sure you help your teammates out.

"Just keep pushing every week. That is what we keep preaching. The early part of the season we didn't do too good. But we just played two good football teams and came away with good wins. Just keep continuing to push and move forward."

Tuitt credits the turnaround to nobody giving up, nobody slowing down, just keeping it the same week in and week out.

"Just not putting your head down or putting your tail between your legs," said Tuitt. "Everybody came to attack every week. We continued to push, we continued to make strides and we are going to continue to do it.

"One thing I learned about football is every year is not going to be the same. There are going to be some obstacles in the way. One thing I enjoy about this team, the obstacles that got in our way, we didn't let it define us. We are going to continue to keep going."

Keeping it going it a key. The bye is a time for the players to regroup, to refresh. But it can't be a time for them to lose their momentum.

"It's super important," said Haden. "We feel like we are building. It's just the beginning. We are still nowhere near where we feel like we can be at the end of the season. Just building blocks, making sure we are trending in the right direction, going up, getting better. Having those last two games before the bye is good for us because you have something to look forward to coming back."

The Steelers have practice on Wednesday, but then have a mandatory four-day break, before returning to practice on Monday to get ready for the next portion of the season.

"We have to do what we have been doing, and that is attack every week," said Tuitt. "Especially after this Sunday, when we come back on Monday and attack the week of the Browns."