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Steelers have safety valves

LATROBE, Pa. - One look at the Steelers roster and it's tough not to notice the names. Many of them are new. Others not overly familiar.

Marcus Allen. Nat Berhe. Morgan Burnett. Sean Davis. Jordan Dangerfield. Terrell Edmunds. Malik Golden.

Of those seven players, only Sean Davis saw playing time at safety for the Steelers last season.

Reason to panic?

Not at all.

Davis has been solid at safety, and is working at free safety in camp, but the team didn't re-sign Mike Mitchell, William Gay, Rob Golden or J.J. Wilcox, leaving some holes and requiring adding depth.

The Steelers signed both Burnett and Berhe this offseason, two veteran free agents, and drafted Edmunds in the first round and Allen in the fifth round. Dangerfield has played in the defense in the past, while Golden has been in the system, but never on the active roster.

The talent is there. It's just now a matter of meshing it all together.

Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers 4th day of training camp.

"We just have to continue to grow, compete, work together and push one another, hold each other accountable," said Burnett, who has been held back some during camp with a hamstring injury. "That is the ultimate goal, to hold each other to a certain standard and help the defense overall to help the team.

"You can see the passion they have for their craft. That is what I respect about this team, holding each other to a certain standard and pushing each other to get better."

Burnett, a nine-year veteran, is providing stability and leadership, even though he is new to the roster.

"I feel like as a safety that is your job on the back end of any defense," said Burnett. "I feel like the safety is like the quarterback of the defense. There is no situation where you have to come in and be rah-rah. I feel I am a firm believer that you let your work do the talking and just go about doing things the right way and earn the respect of your teammates before you give yourself that title of a leader.

"My main focus is to compete at a high level, get better at training camp, get acclimated with the plays and the way things are ran around here. Guys come in to work ready to compete. The way they hold each other accountable and push each other to get better."

One player who Burnett will be working closely with is Edmunds, the team's No. 1 draft pick this year. And so far, he likes what he sees.

"He has looked very athletic," said Burnett. "The first thing I got was that he is a very mature guy. He is very mature, beyond his age, and he is really eager to go out and learn. You can tell the passion he has for the game."

That passion is going to pay off for the defense, and the safeties in particular, making it a very competitive group.

"I just need to come out and be a consistent player and be that player that everyone wants me to be," said Edmunds. "Of course I want to start. Whatever position they put me in, I have to go out there and make a play. If that's on special teams, if that is coming in on certain packages, I am just trying to go out and compete the best way I can and help the team win.

"I never have a negative thought in my mind. I am always going out there working, pushing the guys ahead of me, and pushing them to be the best they can be. I am going to go out there and compete.

"Everybody is pushing everybody. We are trying to compete, trying to get better, and pushing each other to get better. At the end of the day we have to count on each other to win games. That is the main goal. We are not out there trying to have a 'me' show. We are out there with a common goal."

Steelers Training Camp Schedule:

Mon., July 30 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Wed., August 1 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Thurs., August 2 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Fri., August 3 – 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Steelers Fest at Latrobe (Open To Public)
Fri., August 3 – 7 p.m. @ Latrobe Memorial Stadium (Open to Public)
Sat., August 4 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sun., August 5 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Tues., August 7 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sat., August 11 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sun., August 12 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Mon., August 13 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Tues., August 14 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)

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