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Tomlin Takes

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'Tomlin's Takes' on rookies, turnovers and more

Young guns: The Steelers have not been shy about using rookies in the starting lineup this season, and two who have been a steady force for them have been center Kendrick Green and left tackle Dan Moore Jr.

Green was selected in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, while Moore was taken in the fourth round. The two have started every game this season, and their growth is evident on a weekly basis.

"Their play is one thing and it's getting increasingly more steady and more consistent and good over the course of play," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "And that's a reasonable expectation. They're talented young people.

"I'm equally as impressed with their demeanor. You get in hot AFC North road venues and things of that nature, playing against the type of people that they played against. It was cool to have conversations with them and see them engaged and see that the moments weren't too big for them. They could communicate and not only communicate what was happening on the field, but just communicate in general. They're built for it.

"Oftentimes you go into the draft process, you work your tails off to find out whether or not their built for it, but you don't really get confirmation of that until you're working with them. I think we're getting confirmation."

Not on his radar: The Steelers defense has only two interceptions and four fumble recoveries through seven games, numbers lower than what they have become accustomed to in the past when they were among the league leaders in takeaways.

While it's been a topic of conversation among the Steelers' faithful, it's not something that has Tomlin concerned. 

"I'm not overly concerned about the lack of interceptions to be quite honest with you," said Tomlin. "We're playing good ball. The more detail we play with, the more game circumstances that lend itself to the ball getting turned over. We'll get them. In the meanwhile, we better tackle well. We better get people off blocks and do fundamental things. When you do those things. You're more opportunistic. We've been opportunistic around here in the past, I expect us to continue to be.

"We're not going to change our approach or what we're doing or who we're doing it with. We're going to keep rolling the ball out and playing and knowing that as we get better, as we get more detailed, as we get in hotter game environments, that the environment is going to be ripe for turnovers and we've got to capitalize on it then. As we get further down the line and the numbers are still where they are, maybe that's a discussion for us. But it's just not a discussion for me. It's not registering big on my radar as I sit here right now."

Take a closer look at scenes from the Steelers' Week 8 game against the Cleveland Browns

Right on schedule: With a Monday night game, the Steelers practice schedule switches up a little bit, but the preparation certainly doesn't for the coaches.

"The extra day gives the players an opportunity to get well physically and that's a good thing. Particularly some of the veteran players that we minimize some on Wednesday," said Tomlin. "They get an opportunity when Thursday becomes a Wednesday, like we're doing this week. It gives them an opportunity to participate more at the beginning of the week than they would on a normal Wednesday, so it's good from their perspective.

"From a coaching staff perspective, it doesn't change our approach whatsoever. We're always trying to get eight pounds in a five-pound bag. We're working business as usual."

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