This and That

This & That: Do it Tuitt, no panic & more

A little bit of this, and a little bit of that as the Steelers prepare to take on the New Egland Patriots.

Do it Tuitt: With Cameron Heyward out for the second straight week with a hamstring injury, it's up to others on the defensive line to step up. And one player ready and willing to take on the responsibility is Stephon Tuitt.

The Steelers prepare for the Week 7 matchup against the New England Patriots.

"I am one of the starters," said Tuitt. "I am next in line to be a leader for the defensive line. I am not a talker. My actions are what I do. We are going to work hard this week and next man up is going to do his job.

"I've got to play a little bit bigger. Next man up has to step up a lot. We lose that veteran out there. We have to replace that through our play, through the next man up."

The defense will have their hands full this week against the New England Patriots, a team that is first in the AFC.

"We have to go out and do what we do," said Tuitt. "We play physical football. We are playing at home. If we do our assignments and pay attention to detail, we will be good."

No panic: The Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday against the Patriots after having successful outpatient arthroscopic surgery on his left knee

The team will miss Roethlisberger while he is out as he is the leader on offense, but have plenty of faith in Landry Jones.

"(Ben) is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, if not the best quarterback," said Ryan Shazier. "It kind of hurts when he is hurt. But we have the next man up mentality. We believe in Landry. We just have to do our job and we can still get this 'W.'"

Le'Veon Bell said it's not about just one player putting the responsibility on their shoulders to step up, but it's everyone's duty.

"We just have to put faith in ourselves and go out and execute," said Bell. "We will be fine. We know we have the players and the personnel to do it."

Keep it simple: William Gay has yet to take the field for the Steelers, but he is preparing this week in the event anything happens to Landry Jones against the Patriots. If he does go in, he knows exactly what to do.

"If I have to play, all I have to do is lean on the playmakers in this locker room," said Mettenberger. "That starts up front, trusting those guys. Obviously 26 (Le'Veon Bell) and 84 (Antonio Brown) make a quarterback's job a lot easier. I just have to go in there and take care of the football and get it to our guys."

A nation like no other: The Steelers are celebrating their annual Alumni Weekend, welcoming back players who have played at Heinz Field during the last 15 seasons. Among those returning are Jerome Bettis, Plaxico Burress, Kendrell Bell, Lee Flowers, Casey Hampton, Kordell Stewart and more.

All of them are excited to be returning to Pittsburgh, and be back in front of the Heinz Field crowd one more time when they are honored during halftime of Sunday's Steelers-Patriots game.

"There are no better fans in all of football," said Burress. "And I mean that. Steelers' fans embrace football. They embrace Steelers Nation. They are the most loyal fans I have been around.

"I remember when I was with the Giants, it was my first year there and we were going to our second road game and we were playing in San Diego on Monday Night Football. I was sitting in the back of the bus and looking out at the hotel as we were arriving and asking where are the fans. They were like what are you talking about. There were maybe five or 10 people there. They were asking what I meant. I was telling them the fans would be everywhere at the hotel when I played for the Steelers, in the lobby, waiting to greet the players.

"That is when I realized how much the fans loved Steelers football. I don't care where we played, if you made a play you heard the fans. They were there and they let you know it. Wherever we were, we saw the Terrible Towels swinging and you could hear the fans. They were always there for us. Always."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.