- Turnover time:* *You often hear turnovers come in bunches, and that has been the case for the Steelers as of late. Two weeks ago the Steelers had an interception and forced fumble against the Chargers. This past week they had two interceptions and a forced fumble against the Cardinals. Coach Mike Tomlin said there is no set formula to them occurring, just good defensive play.
"The guys are just playing hard and taking advantage of opportunities when presented," said Tomlin. "We had a tipped pass from Vince Williams that was a one hand catch by Lawrence Timmons. You don't see a lot of that. We had a turnover the other week where Cam Heyward punched the ball out of Joe Flacco's arms and Ross Cockrell was able to secure the ball and work the sideline to keep his feet in. Those are examples of things that have gone on in terms of us being able to secure turnovers. I am not going to make a big deal out of it. Some of it is fortune. Some of it is guys are playing hard and creating their own fortune because of it. I just hope that it continues."
- Taking notice:* *It's hard not to notice tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who at 6-9, 320 pounds, often makes some of his teammates look small. That size, and a little more, played a part in Tomlin first noticing Villanueva during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles last year, before the ball was even snapped.
"I looked across the field during the anthem and there was a guy standing over there about a head taller than everybody else saluting during the anthem," said Tomlin. "It kind of got my attention. I wanted to know about this enormous individual over there saluting. He had the frame of a tackle, he had a tackle background, we thought it was worth our time to take a shot at it and he has proven it's been worth our time."
Tomlin said he isn't surprised by the success that Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who has stepped in at tackle for Kelvin Beachum, is having.
"I am not shocked by anything Al does," said Tomlin. "He is a unique man, a talented man, a sharp guy. He is a very gifted athlete. I think he is capable of doing anything he puts his mind too. He played receiver his last year at West Point. I wouldn't put anything past Villanueva."
- Showing respect: Defensive end Cam Heyward was fined by the NFL after the Chargers game for wearing eye black with the word 'Iron' on one and 'Head' on the other in honor of his late father, Craig 'Iron Head' Heyward. The elder Heyward played at the University of Pittsburgh and later for 11 seasons in the NFL, but lost his battle to cancer in 2006 at age 39. Despite the fine, Heyward wore the eye black again against the Cardinals and Tomlin respects what he is doing, honoring his father and others who have battled or are battling the disease.
"I had a brief conversation with him and I understand his perspective," said Tomlin. "He's trying to pay homage and honor those that deal with and fight cancer. Boy, what a worthy cause. I know we spend a lot of time in the National Football League collectively honoring those and I think what he is doing is a part of it. I understand the league office probably has a different view. I'll let him sort it out with those guys. I understand the gist of what he is trying to do and I respect him for it."