Skilled worker:** William Gay continues to have his way with opposing offenses, most recently against the Giants when he had three tackles, one sack and a quarterback hurry. He is bringing pressure, giving the defense an element they need during key December football.
"He is just a highly skilled worker," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "When we talk about James and his contributions to us with the younger players that is one of the things we talk about. James is a power player. There is a physical aspect of his game and that is highly appreciated. If you are not careful, you miss the fact that he is highly skilled. I think his success lies in that skill, his techniques. He wins one-on-one confrontations not only because of his physical talents but because he has great detail in his work."
Ben shows confidence: Against the Giants both Jesse James and Ladarius Green dropped passes that they should have caught, passes they know they should have caught. And in both instances, instead of being gun shy, Ben Roethlisberger went right back to them. And they both responded to Roethlisberger having confidence in them with key catches.
"That is just a function of being (Ben)," said Tomlin. "That is an element of the job description he embraces. He realizes he is the face of our group and our franchise quarterback and the unofficial things that come with that. He is a central catalyst to group cohesion and particularly in the passing game. He has always done a great job of challenging guys and giving the opportunity to respond, which is what he did in both instances. That has been consistent with what he has done not only this year, but largely over the course of his time here."
A thinking man: Stephon Tuitt continues to impress in the secondary, taking on a tough assignment each week, from covering the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. to A.J. Green. It's a task he hasn't minded, especially in a young secondary that includes rookie cornerback Artie Burns, and Tomlin isn't surprised by his success.
"We really liked him in the draft, liked his skill set," said Tomlin. "Liked his approach to play. Thought he had a very cerebral game and that has proven to be true. We are thankful he was available to us. He has been a consistent performer for us and one that has been consistently on the rise. We have challenged him in ways that maybe aren't fair to him. Oftentimes we treat him as a much more seasoned player than he is in what we ask him to do. He has a great attitude in terms of accepting those challenges and equally important his play has been solid."