Tuitt: 'We play hard. We practice hard.'

For the Steelers rookies it's time to do one thing, follow the leader.

"You have to pay attention to the veterans and what they are doing," said linebacker Ryan Shazier. "These guys have been here for a while. They have been here for a long time and understand the process. We haven't been here before and we have to listen to what they are saying and mimic what they do.

"Those guys know what they have to do, know how to take care of their body, know what they are doing to make sure they are ready for each and every game we play. We have to make sure we pay attention to those guys and use that to help push us."

It's so easy for them to look ahead, to think about what the future holds with a playoff berth already clinched. But there is so much more to accomplish, a huge game on Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals with the AFC North title on the line.

All the rookies have to do is look around the locker room, see what is happening on the practice field, and watch the actions on the field of the veterans to know exactly what they have to do.

Just follow the leaders.

"You can just see how hard the veterans are working, how hard they run to the ball, and are using their technique," said defensive lineman Daniel McCullers. "When you see that you just want to do the same thing.

"We have a hard working group of guys and we have been playing well lately. They are always on us, making sure we focus and work hard each and every practice. That is how Cam (Heyward), Steve (McLendon), the guys on the defensive line are. They want you to work hard and then when the game comes around you are prepared."

And Sunday night, there is no choice. Every player, rookie and veteran, must be prepared.

"We play hard. We practice hard," said defensive end Stephon Tuitt. "When you see us we are out there, we are running to the ball, we are correcting our mistakes. Sometimes we yell at each other, but we want to make sure we are perfect at our job."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.