Tomlin: 4 things to know for Ravens game

Ignore the record: The Ravens come in to Thursday night's game at Heinz Field with a 0-3 record, a team seriously looking to get a win under their belt making them even more dangerous than they normally are.

"These guys are 0-3, but 0-3 doesn't define them," said Tomlin. "I would imagine they are not demoralized; I would imagine they are angry. Having been in that circumstance in the past I can honestly say that is probably more the reaction when you have the type of team they have than to be demoralized. They have been in some tough football games. They are 0-3. That is what they record says, but we all acknowledge that they are a dangerous group, a talented group, one we have to get ready to do battle with on Thursday night."

  1. Next man stepped up:* *Linebacker Ryan Shazier missed the Rams game with weakness in his shoulder, and his status is still unknown for Thursday night's game. But Tomlin was pleased with the job done by linebackers Sean Spence and Vince Williams, who both stepped in on Sunday for Shazier, and played "above the line," according to their coach.

"We are going to continue to utilize both of those guys in place of Ryan," sad Tomlin. "Both guys have played for us in the past. Both guys are capable of playing good, above the line ball. Both guys are high energy guys, good communicators. We are comfortable with our depth at that position."


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Leaping Le'Veon:** Running back Le'Veon Bell was back on the field on Sunday and so was his signature leap, going airborne over Rams' defenders. Tomlin said he doesn't discourage players letting their style show through, as long as they maintain ball security.

"He is a football player," said Tomlin. "I encourage him to do what comes natural. My concern is ball security. He has been ball secure. I want these guys to play and play within their personalities. Often times when you ask those to do things that aren't them it puts them more in harm's way than letting them play and play freely. There is a calculated risk taken in the game of football. Le'Veon plays a certain way. Big Ben (Roethlisberger) plays a certain way. Mike Vick plays a certain way. The way they play allows them to be the special people they are and I never want to handcuff that."
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Group effort from D: The Steelers' defense continues to come together each week, and against the Rams allowed just 71 rushing yards and 197 yards passing. Tomlin likes what he saw from the unit.

"I thought we played good, collective defense," said Tomlin. "I thought guys worked really well together. Not only the safeties, but the defense. We kept the lid on it. We hustled. We hit. That is just a good building block for the type of defense we desire to be."

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