Paying attention to little details

Here is a look at the statistical leaders for the both the Steelers and Chargers heading into the Week 5 Monday Night Football contest.

It's working for defensive end Stephon Tuitt these days the way it's supposed to work, on game day and especially during the preceding week of preparation.

"My game right now is studying," Tuitt maintained. "Being able to study and know my opponent, I know what they're going to do.

"My ability to make sure I study my opponent is what helped me get better."

Tuitt was good enough to account for a career-high 10 tackles (all solo), a sack, two tackles for a loss and a quarterback hit in the Steelers' 23-20 overtime loss to Baltimore on Oct. 1.

"I'm just practicing hard and paying attention to little details," Tuitt said. "Last year I didn't have that much experience (as a rookie). I got a chance to have it toward the end of the season. This year I know I have the experience, I know I have the great coaching, I know I have the details, I know I have the guys to go to battle with every day.

"It's just up to me to go into every game and play hard and give them everything I have."

By studying opponents as thoroughly as he has, Tuitt has been able to narrow down the possibilities in terms of identifying how he and the Steelers' defense are being attacked.

"My brain won't be going everywhere," he explained. "I know they have three plays out of this (certain) formation. I narrow it down and I just play football after that."

Better technique has also contributed to Tuitt becoming more of an impact player.

"He's winning the line of scrimmage," fellow defensive end Cam Heyward observed. "He's playing with good pad level.

"When he's on his feet and active he's a hard player to stop."

Tuitt's quarterback drop against Baltimore upped his team-leading total to three-and-half on the season and extended his current streak to three consecutive games with at least one sack.

Not that Tuitt is keeping track.

"I'm not a selfish player," he said. "At the end of the day all I want to do is to win a championship."

That said Tuitt won't be giving any of his sacks back.

The plan is to continue collecting them as necessary.

"If I can help my defense by getting to the quarterback I'll do anything I can possibly do to help my defense win football games and go to the Super Bowl," Tuitt said. "That's my goal and that's what I'm going to continue doing as long as I'm playing football."

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