Moats: 'He is one bad guy'

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The next man up.

He isn't the guy always getting the reps with the starters in practice. You don't often see his jersey being worn by the fans on game day. And he doesn't always grab headlines, until his moment comes.

But his role, well it's the same as every starter on the team. To be ready and uphold the standard.

"Coach (Mike) Tomlin always preaches that the standard is the standard regardless of who is in there," said safety Rob Golden. "Whenever somebody goes in there we try to uphold the standard and do what we can to get this team a victory.

"That is the attitude that you have to have, especially in some situations when you know you have to play multiple positions. I play strong and free safety. If Mike (Mitchell) goes down I have to be ready. If Will Allen goes down I have to be ready. You always have to prepare like you are going to be the next man in there and then go in and hold up the standard."

Golden is among those who have taken that next man up role and run with it, starting against Arizona last week for Allen. But he isn't the only one. Not by a long shot. Cody Wallace, Darrius Heyward-Bey, DeAngelo Williams, Sean Spence, Vince Williams, Alejandro Villanueva, Mike Vick, and oh yeah, Landry Jones are among the many who have stepped up when called upon to either start, fill in, or take over in game and they have upheld the standard.

"The next man up, he is one bad guy," said linebacker Arthur Moats. "You never know who is waiting in the wings. A lot of times there are plenty of talented people on this roster, but having that opportunity makes all the difference. Guys getting these opportunities with this next man up motto is working out really well for us."

The Steelers prepare for the week 7 match up against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Being prepared is the key. It doesn't matter if players are getting snaps with the first team, second team or scout team, they are preparing as if they are the starter and that is why the next man up has been so effective.

"That might be our 12th man," said defensive end Cam Heyward. "That is our motto around here. No matter what the situation is, we have to be ready for it. They are prepared. We always talk about it, talk about being ready for your moment. Everyone understands you are only one play away from being in the game. We commend those guys, but we expect it as well."

Golden, who had eight tackles and a pass defense against Arizona, knows that players who don't start are going to be called upon all season to be that next man up because that's just how things go in football. And how valuable will each player's contribution be?

"Very valuable," said Golden. "Whatever you have to do to get the team a victory is definitely something you want to do. I was happy I was able to go out there and uphold the standard."

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