The Steelers prepare for the Week 6 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
FLIPPING THE NICKEL:** The secondary will have a new look when the Steelers visit the Dolphins on Sunday.
"I'm in the first nickel package, increasing my role," rookie cornerback and No. 1 pick Artie Burns said. "More and more playing time for me means more time for me to make plays."
Rookie safety and No. 2 pick Sean Davis had been playing the slot-cornerback position when healthy in the five-defensive backs nickel defense and was also working as a backup safety.
"'Ducey' (cornerback William Gay) is playing nickel (slot) and I'm back to safety, that's how we're going for this week," Davis said. "A little less for me, I can really get fully detailed into my work at safety."
Gay starts at cornerback in the base defense opposite cornerback Stephon Tuitt.
GOLDEN RETURN:** Safety Robert Golden (hamstring) was a full participant in practice for the second day in a row and confirmed he'll return to starting at strong safety, as he had in the first three regular-season games.
Golden didn't play against the Chiefs on Oct 2. or the Jets last Sunday (Jordan Dangerfield started in Golden's place).
"I love playing this game and I'm happy to be back," Golden said. "I'm just doing my job, go out there and try to communicate and do what the coaches tell me to do. I've been doing it for a while now. I've been in this defense for a while now. I just finally got the opportunity to be the full starter (this season).
"I'm just embracing the role and going out there and just trying to get this team wins."
TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE: Wide receiver Sammy Coates (finger) didn't practice for the second day in a row and said it's his expectation that he'll have to practice at some point in order to be able to play on Sunday in Miami.
"Most definitely," Coates said. "You want to play, you have to practice. They aren't going to know what you can do (without practice)."
Coates said he's dealing with pain and swelling issues after getting stitches at halftime of the Jets game.
"I got it numbed up when they put in the stitches," he said. "I couldn't really feel my hand."
Coates is doing what he can to stay ready in advance of returning to practice.
"You have to move on and keep staying in shape while you wait," he said. "We have a lot of talent on this team, we're not worried about that. Guys will be making plays all around.
"It's going to be fun to watch our guys compete if I can't go."
NEXT MEN UP: Defensive end Cam Heyward assessed a defensive line he won't be a part of in Miami due to a hamstring injury.
"It's not like this is Ricardo's first rodeo," Heyward said of veteran defensive end Ricardo Mathews. "He's played on some good teams before, he's had to step in. This is what we brought him in for. And then with (rookie nose tackle and No. 3 pick Javon) Hargrave, he's another pass rusher that's gong to help us out. He's going to have to play big.
"We can show some different nickel looks. (Defensive end) L.T. Walton will be up this week. It's not like we're going to lose a guy in the rotation. Last week, L.T. didn't really get a lot of snaps (Walton was officially listed as not having played against the Jets) because he didn't get a lot of snaps in practice. This week we're stressing (Walton) a little bit more. It's not like we're going to overuse (defensive end Stephon) Tuitt."
"I'm going to be an extra set of eyes, I'll have my pom poms out cheerleading but they're going to have to pull most of the weight. Hopefully, they get it done."