Tomlin Takes

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Tomlin's takes hit on Burns, rivalry

  • The art of tackling: Artie Burns has been the first to admit his tackling at the beginning of the season wasn't up to the standard that he expected from himself, and the team expected from him as well. But over the course of the last few months he has improved significantly in that area, and Coach Mike Tomlin likes what he is seeing.

"He works diligently at it daily," said Tomlin. "Not only during practice, and you might ask, 'How does a guy work at tackling, when you aren't tackling.' The approach is as important as the tackling itself. I see an increased emphasis on the approach and his positioning. And I have for some time. That is aiding him in growing in that area. He needs to grow in all areas. It has been good to see him embrace the challenge of improving in that area. If that is a template, then it bodes well for him as a professional.

"He has been no nonsense in his approach. He is consistently one of the guys working after practice on sleds, popups and so forth, gravitating to the veteran players who have routines in that area, trying to find a routine of his own. A young guy that is legitimately humble and does more listening than talking is usually going to improve and I think that describes not only him, but Sean Davis and (Javon) Hargrave as well."

  • AFC North football: The Steelers-Bengals rivalry has become a heated rivalry over the last few years, with injuries to players like Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown in games against Cincinnati adding fuel to the fire. Bengals' linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the first three games of this season for repeated violations of the player safety rule, which culminated with a hit to Brown that left him with a concussion in the playoffs last season. Burfict didn't play in the Steelers 24-16 win over the Bengals in Week 2, but will this week when the two teams meet at Paul Brown Stadium. The intensity is expected to continue, but staying focused on the task at hand, and not letting bad blood get in the way, is what Tomlin is preaching.

"We have enough on our agenda with what we are trying to get done as a football team," said Tomlin. "I understand the history, particularly the recent history. We can't concern ourselves with that. We are going to come to play and play in the manner we always play.

"It's AFC North football. We understand what that means. We understand how much they would like to derail what we have going on. It's about our preparation and our play."

Effort appreciated: The Steelers made a roster move that everyone expected on Monday, releasing kicker Randy Bullock now that Chris Boswell has recovered from an abdominal injury.

Bullock was signed prior to the Giants game, and despite arriving the day before he converted on all three of his field goal attempts (34, 38, 44) and hit his only extra point try in a 24-14 win.

"I really appreciate the contributions of Randy Bullock," said Tomlin. "He was a pleasure. He put his hand in the pile and delivered for us when called upon. Appreciate the spirit in which he approached the challenge that comes with being a guy in his position. Thankful for his contribution."

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