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'When you lose, you learn lessons'

Do your job: It's a loss that still sits with Cameron Heyward and many of his teammates, a 45-42 defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Round at Heinz Field that ended a promising 2017 postseason.

But it's a loss that he has learned from, and he isn't alone.

"When you lose, you learn lessons," said Heyward. "If you don't, you aren't in the right game. It's about understanding what you did and improving on it."

And what went wrong, in Heyward's eyes, is something that they can learn from and correct. Heyward, and others, pointed to the defense not working as a full unit as to why the Jaguars offense was able to exploit them and put up 45 points. While most were playing together, others were trying to do too much, not focus on their jobs, and it hurt the entire unit.

"You have to trust that everybody is going to do their job and then execute," said Heyward. "Our coaches give us a great game plan and most of the time that is what happens. It's about executing, knowing your assignment and going out and doing it.

"If you have nine guys doing one thing, and two guys or one guy not, it sets the defense back. Every offense is going to find that and exploit it. We have to be a cohesive unit. On defense everybody has to be responsible. There can't be any mishaps.

"We have to get better on defense. We have to continue to improve. We can't continue to have those mishaps."

One of the key areas Heyward wants the defense to work on is tackling. It's something tough to simulate in the offseason, but once they put the pads on Saturday, it will be a completely different game.

"We have to work on tackling," said Heyward. "I think we were last in the league when it came to missed tackles. You clean that stuff up and we were already a Top 5 defense and that puts us in a better category when you do that. You stress it more. By the end of the day guys have to buy in. That is what we are talking about now."

Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers 1st day of training camp.

Taking advantage: With Le'Veon Bell not in training camp second-year back James Conner is going to get a heavy workload, and he is ready for it.

"I want to show it all," said Conner. "Coach (James) Saxon handles the rotation and every time I get it I am going to make it count. I am comfortable."

Conner came into camp at a weight he is happy with, between 225-230 pounds, and also came in feeling better about his ability to pass block, something that he had to get accustomed to last year.

"I definitely feel more equipped in the pass blocking game," said Conner. "That is important. The coaches know I can run the ball, but you have to pass block. I am looking forward to doing that."

Making moves: The Steelers signed cornerback Malik Reaves to a one-year contract on Thursday. Reaves, who played collegiately at Villanova, was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie free agent following this year's draft, but was released on June 14.

The team released offensive lineman Bryce Harris with a non-football illness designation.

Steelers Training Camp Schedule:

Fri., July 27 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sat., July 28 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sun., July 29 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Mon., July 30 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Wed., August 1 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Thurs., August 2 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Fri., August 3 – 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Steelers Fest at Latrobe (Open To Public)
Fri., August 3 – 7 p.m. @ Latrobe Memorial Stadium (Open to Public)
Sat., August 4 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sun., August 5 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Tues., August 7 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sat., August 11 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Sun., August 12 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Mon., August 13 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)
Tues., August 14 - 2:55 p.m. (Open To Public)

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