Postgame Takes

'Tomlin Takes' on Burns, AFC North & more

Late to arrive: Cornerback Artie Burns saw very little playing time against the Browns last week, only getting snaps on special teams. Burns has had his struggles this season, but that isn't why he was on the sidelines.

"He was late to a Saturday walk-through, and then it was my choice not to play him," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "You know, we'll keep working with Artie. He had a good week of practice last week. I don't want to make more out of it than what it is, but he was late, and we wanted to be focused with the guys who were wired-in appropriately where they needed to be in the hours leading up to kickoff. And so, he suffered the consequences of that. We'll roll that ball back out and get back on task with him and others this week."

Coty Sensabaugh started and saw the majority of snaps in Burns' place but suffered a toe injury against the Browns. Tomlin was asked if he felt comfortable going with Burns if Sensabaugh can't play.

"I'll let you know after I watch this week's preparation, not only in regard to him, but Coty," said Tomlin. "We'll let his availability be our guide in terms of whether or not he plays, and I mean what I say when I say that."

Let's get physical: The defense has taken it to another level in recent games, something that Tomlin attributes to players just having a better understanding of what is asked of them.

"I think that the better you have an understanding of your job, the better that you have an understanding of how your job fits into the bigger picture, there's a couple things that happen," said Tomlin. "The more that you communicate, and the faster people play, and I think good communication and fast play produces physicality. It produces certainty in movement, and I think that allows guys to play fast and free and thus, more physical."

AFC North football: If there is one thing Tomlin loves, it's divisional play. And this week will mark the third straight AFC North game for the Steelers, and the fifth of six divisional games.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us," said Tomlin. "We are excited about the opportunities that the journey presents. This weekend is no different than any other. Our hair is standing up for obvious reasons. It's AFC North football. It's a road game in Baltimore. Got to love the National Football League.

"We'll continue to do it this week, we'll do it with an edge as we prepare for more AFC North ball. That is significant for us, our third consecutive AFC North game, this one being on the road. Our senses are heightened obviously."

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