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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker
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Bud Dupree spent a rare fall weekend off watching the rest of the AFC North falter Lynn Swann Color Rush Jersey , one by one. First, the Browns lost in overtime in Tampa. Then Baltimore fell at home to New Orleans when Justin Tucker missed the first extra point of his career. Then Cincinnati was bum rushed by Kansas City.And just like that, the Steelers (3-2-1) were back atop the division.“We never panicked,” Dupree said. “We may have lost two games but we never panicked. We tied (but) we never panicked. We know what type of team we got.”One with a chance in a way to start over seven weeks into the season. Pittsburgh is well-rested heading into a visit from the Browns (2-4-1) on Sunday, a rematch of a 21-21 tie in Week 1 that felt an awful lot like a loss to the Steelers, who led by 14 going into the fourth quarter only to see it slip away. Another setback a week later at home to the Chiefs , the continuing melodrama surrounding wide receiver Antonio Brown and the extended absence of All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell had Pittsburgh teetering.Not so much anymore. Brown is tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns and while Bell’s exact arrival date remains uncertain — his locker remained largely untouched on Monday while he continues to wait to sign his one-year franchise tender — the Steelers have survived thanks in large part to the rapid development of second-year back James Conner .Bell told ESPN last month he planned to arrive before Cleveland visited Heinz Field. It still might happen, though it’s hard to imagine him being anywhere close to game ready if he shows up before Sunday. Now the same teammates who called Bell out when he failed to arrive in time for the opener are taking a more pragmatic approach to his extended sabbatical.Center Maurkice Pouncey laughed when asked if there was a betting pool among the Steelers on when exactly Bell will be in his familiar spot just inside the team’s locker-room door.“No bets are out there trust me, we are not gambling here,” Pouncey said.Pouncey might not be, but Bell certainly is. He’s already sacrificed over $5.1 million of the $14.5 million in guaranteed money he was expected to receive this season playing on the tag. Bell’s plan remains a mystery to his teammates and the organization, one of the reasons Pouncey shrugged off questions about Bell’s status.“Honestly I’m enjoying the ride just like you guys,” Pouncey said. “I want to see how it plays out. It seems pretty cool. I don’t know. I’m going to wait and see.”The tension that accompanied Bell’s decision to go away — and stay away — has dissipated. If anything, the Steelers have moved on. That Bell didn’t show up for work Monday hardly qualifies as news. Pittsburgh is more focused on trying to carry forward the momentum it built while beating Atlanta and Cincinnati before heading into its off week https://www.steelerssportshop.com/Kevin-Greene-Jersey , a modest two-game winning streak that suddenly made the Steelers the hottest team in the unpredictable AFC North.Not that they feel the worst is behind them.“For us to focus on something that means completely nothing at this point in the season (like the standings) is worthless,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “I just think got to be a group on the hunt.”Even if technically Pittsburgh is now the hunted, just as it has been while winning the division each of the last two seasons. Then again, things could change quickly. The Steelers host the Browns, then visit Baltimore the following week. They don’t play another division game until facing Cincinnati in the regular-season finale.What the standings will look like then is anybody’s guess. Then again, being in the driver’s seat despite its wholly uneven play certainly beats the alternative.“We don’t have to stand around looking at anybody else and wonder if a team is going to do this or that,” Heyward said. “We play every team once again in our division. We control our destiny, that’s the way you want it. But we got a lot of work to do to do that.” PITTSBURGH (AP) — There’s a certain kind of joyful mundaneness to Terrell Edmunds‘ first job out of college.The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie safety is typically up before dawn and at the team’s training facility by 7 a.m., where he spends the 11 or so hours watching film, lifting weights, attending meetings and practicing.It’s much the same when the first-round pick gets back home. Edmunds will place his legs inside a pair of compression sleeves designed to help his muscles recover quickly, flip on his iPad and look at more tape. Typically, Edmunds lets the video run at normal speed. No need to slow it down.“I just let it play,” Edmunds said. “Sometimes I don’t look into detail. I’ll see what pops up more than once and think ‘Oh I saw this before. Who are they throwing it to the most?’ Things like that.”Edmunds is a quick study. Thrown immediately into the mix thanks to a preseason injury to free agent signee Morgan Burnett Greg Lloyd Jersey , Edmunds has been a bright spot for an uneven secondary.Steady if not yet spectacular, Edmunds has earned the trust of defensive backs coach Tom Bradley and head coach Mike Tomlin for his conscientious approach to his work.“He’s gotten better each and every game,” Bradley said Tuesday. “The thing that got him three games ago doesn’t get him now. Each week there’s something he picks up that becomes easier in his repertoire as we progress in this thing.”Edmunds really hasn’t had much choice. He was supposed to spend his first season learning behind Burnett. It hasn’t quite turned out that way.The Steelers (3-2-1) signed the former Green Bay Packer to a three-year deal in the offseason, hopeful Burnett could provide leadership and sure tackling, both things in short supply for a group in transition.Instead, Burnett has spent most of his time in Pittsburgh watching from the sideline thanks to a steady stream of injuries, the latest a groin issue that’s forced him to miss each of the past four games.There is no timetable for when Burnett might be able to return and given Edmunds’ rapid development, it’s uncertain what role Burnett might fill whenever he is healthy enough to play.Burnett’s status is one of a handful Bradley has been forced to face in his first year on the job. The careful offseason plan he and Tomlin put together to revitalize Pittsburgh’s secondary makeover is in tatters. Burnett can’t stay on the field.Cornerback Artie Burns is struggling and Coty Sensabaugh and Cam Sutton — the two most likely candidates to replace the erratic Burns — can’t put together enough good stretches to provide a compelling reason to sit Burns down and let him regroup.“We’ve got to make a lot of adjustments just based on injuries and the guys that have been able to play,” Bradley said. “The things we worked on in preseason practice, we’ve been unable to play because of the different people playing different positions.”Pittsburgh enters its bye week ranked 27th in passing yards and 29th in passing touchdowns allowed. Not exactly the step forward the organization had in mind when defensive backs coach Carnell Lake stepped away in the aftermath of a playoff loss to Jacksonville in January and veterans Mike Mitchell, Rob Golden and William Gay were released in March .Bradley is quick to place the blame on his shoulders. He’s confident Burns — a standout as a rookie in 2016 — will get his swagger back.“Artie has to play more consistently, he knows that,” Bradley said. “We’ve got to make sure we concentrate on every play, to get everything right Ben Roethlisberger Color Rush Jersey , all the little things.”And maybe the big things too. Burns was beaten badly by Cincinnati’s Tyler Boyd in Pittsburgh’s 28-21 victory last Sunday, standing several steps behind Boyd as Boyd hauled in a remarkably easy 14-yard touchdown reception. Burns was replaced for a spell in the third quarter, but any long-term solution for the Steelers relies on Burns returning to form.“I think he’ll be fine,” Bradley said. “He’s got confidence in his ability and things he can do.”If Burns needs inspiration, he doesn’t need to look far. Pittsburgh finds itself in the thick of the AFC North race despite its uneven play on defense thanks in large part to veteran cornerback Joe Haden. The 29-year-old kept Atlanta’s Julio Jones in check in a 41-17 victory two weeks ago and kept Bengals star A.J. Green out of the end zone.“Joe’s athletic ability is still pretty sharp,” Bradley said. “But mentally he gets better as time goes on and I think he understands what people are trying to get done.”It’s a path the rest of the secondary is trying to follow. Work — lots of work in some cases — needs to be done, but Bradley believes the communication problems and injury concerns that have hampered his group will level off going forward.“Playing defense is a lot like driving a car,” Bradley said. “When you start out, we’re all (hands at) 10 (o’clock) and 2 (o’clock), staring constantly. Then as you start to drive more … you still see everything but you’re able to look around, talk to people and do different things. Now, as time goes on, we’ll start to play faster.”



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Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:25 pm