Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on defense, Vince & Dungy

Committed to the defense: It seems like since the beginning of time the Steelers have had a strong defense. Well, at least since the 1970s.

And that hasn't changed in recent years. Defense has always been a big focus for the Steelers through the years, and it's paying dividends as they are now the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL through Week 7.

"We have a commitment there," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "If they can't score, you can't lose. It's the kind of approach that we take. That commitment goes back to player acquisitions, the development of schematics, just the nuts and bolts things when you build your program. I just think good, winning, consistent football, top-notch defense, particularly defense that is stout against the run, is a significant component of that."

Opportunity knocks: Vince Williams leads the Steelers in tackles with 32, including 25 solo stops, through six games. He has 12 tackles for a loss, which leads the entire NFL.

He is playing some of his best football right now, and it might not be because of a huge change in his approach, but rather more opportunities coming his way.

"Vince is really consistent," said Tomlin. "I don't know that he is all around better. I think he is getting more opportunities this year. He was part of a three-man rotation a year ago with he, Devin (Bush) and Mark Barron. He is not a part of a rotation this year. In the spaces that he plays, he has been an all down and every situation player. He is playing at a high level for us. He is paying like a veteran who has experience and knows how to play."

Take a look at the best photos from the Steelers' Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium

Learning from a legend: Tomlin only spent one season working with Hall of Fame Coach Tony Dungy, as his defensive backs coach in Tampa in 2001, but it was the start of a friendship and mutual respect that grows stronger by the day.

Tomlin was asked about what he learned from Dungy, and he was as honest as can be when he answered.

"We don't have enough time to chronicle the things I have learned from Coach, in a very short period of time I might add," said Tomlin. "I only worked for him for one season."

Tomlin did however highlight some of the things he learned from Dungy, one of the most well-respected men in NFL circles.

"His approach to business, the thoroughness, the clean communication, particularly in difficult times," said Tomlin. "The clarity of thought, the commitment to a style of play and a plan, all things I have held onto over the years and think about often."

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