Moats: 'We have to drive our feet'

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For a defense, strong, sound tackling is paramount.

But it might be one of the toughest things to practice in season, as putting the pads on and hitting is a no-no during the week.

So how do you work on something that is so important, when you can't go full tilt?

"The biggest thing is with us not having a lot of contact in practice, we call it come to balance," explained linebacker Arthur Moats. "When we are attacking a runner off in practice, don't just reach for him because in a game if you are just reaching for him you are more than likely going to make an arm tackle and it's not going to be too efficient. If you come up and you are two handed tagging him in a nice football rated position, broken down and stuff like that, you are going to have a higher rate of success.

"Ultimately the fundamentals of tackling we have to drive our feet. A lot of the tackles we miss, we are holding on to them, but we are not driving our legs and that's ultimately how we are going to have a lot of tackles."

Moats said earlier this week that one of the areas where the defense needs to work is on the tackling. Fellow linebacker Ryan Shazier said that showed on film and is something they police each other about.

"We see that on film that we could have done a better job of tackling," said Shazier. "We didn't stress it, but we harp on each other when we don't make the tackles we are supposed to make. We get on each other when we miss tackles.

"I feel like we didn't have to stress the issue. I feel like we are going to go out and be ready for this game."

Whether Shazier himself will be ready is yet to be seen. His shoulder injury forced him to miss the last two games, and while he returned to practice he said it's up to Coach Mike Tomlin whether he plays or not.

"I feel like I was doing good for the little part I was in," said Shazier. "It's all up to coach. I am going to see what he says. If he doesn't feel that I am ready, I am not ready. If he feels like I am ready I am going to do everything I've got.

"I feel like coach is going to think about the decision, and whatever he thinks is best for the team he is going to do. I am going to do whatever I have to do, practicing and doing what they ask me to."

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