Seeking consistency

Artie Burns started in Cincinnati but didn't finish, a development as indicative as any of what the third-year cornerback has been trying to battle through this season.

"I think Artie has to play more consistently, he knows that," defensive backs coach Tom Bradley assessed today. "A lot of the times we have to make sure we concentrate on every play and get all the little things right.

"We'll get that put together this week."

Burns had started 31 consecutive games heading into the Steelers' Sept. 24 trip to Tampa Bay. But Coty Sensabaugh started at right cornerback that night, with Burns rotating in every two defensive series.

The Steelers prepare for the week 8 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

An injury to nickel cornerback Mike Hilton necessitated Sensabaugh moving into Hilton's position and temporarily interrupted the rotation with Burns.

Last Sunday at Cincinnati, Burns and Sensabaugh again shared the corner position opposite Joe Haden, including on the drive that produced the touchdown that gave the Bengals a 21-20 lead with 1:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Burns started that series but was removed after getting flagged for pass interference on first-and-10 from the Cincinnati 36-yard line, an infraction that moved the ball to the 50 with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter.

"Their decision," Burns said.

In the second quarter, Burns had been victimized on a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

Burns had anticipated a post route and Boyd instead went to the corner.

"Not what I saw on film," Burns said regarding what he had seen on the play.

It's gone that way at times this season for the former No. 1 pick in 2016.

"A couple things have happened to him along the way," Bradley said. "We've had some bad luck on some different situations.

"I think we'll be able to work that all out."

Burns had said at the outset of the rotation with Sensabaugh the situation was "definitely going to make or break me."

He maintained today he hasn't been broken.

"Whatever issues we have, we can take care of it," Burns said.

That's part of what's on the Steelers' agenda this week.

"Some things have happened at inopportune times to him," Bradley said. "You never look at the player as much as you look at the coach and say, 'Hey, how can I help him be better first of all?' So I look at myself from there and work down.

"I think he'll be fine. He has enough confidence in his abilities, what he needs to do, and he'll get it done."

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