Ngày đăng: 08/11/2018

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, 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 James Conner Jersey , he knows that,” Bradley said. “We’ve got to make sure we concentrate on every play, to get everything right, 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.” The Pittsburgh Steelers have been here before. Often in fact.A jarring early-season misstep filled with mental breakdowns and missed opportunity is kind of their thing.So too, it seems Roosevelt Nix Color Rush Jersey , is finding new ways to explain the erratic behavior of All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown.Even a day removed from a 42-37 home loss to Kansas City that dropped the two-time defending AFC North champions to 0-1-1, the talk didn’t center on a defense that gave up a franchise-record tying six touchdown passes , but on the latest outburst by the talented if mercurial Brown.The four-time All-Pro 鈥?who caught nine passes for 67 yards against the Chiefs 鈥?responded to a tweet by a former team employee who suggested Brown wouldn’t put up his eye-popping numbers without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger by suggesting “trade me let’s find out.”The post caused an immediate stir on social media but not in the Pittsburgh locker room, even after cameras caught Brown venting on the sideline in the second half and slowly trudging off the field even as his teammates celebrated Roethlisberger’s diving 3-yard touchdown run with 1:59 to go that pulled the Steelers within five.Brown did not make himself available to media afterward and was nowhere to be found Monday, leaving his teammates to try and explain away his behavior. Again.“I’m not worried about his frame of mind,” veteran wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said. “I know football is No. 1 to him. He works his butt off to be the great player that he is. As long as he brings that same energy in practice and brings that same energy to the game, I don’t have any problem with him, because I’ve seen guys who don’t care in this league and they don’t last long.”The issue with Brown has never been work ethic. The former sixth-round pick is the only player in NFL history to post five consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions. Yet the 30-year-old has become increasingly volatile. During minicamp he complained about having the spotlight on him , then arrived at training camp in a helicopter . He called a reporter who noticed him limping off the field during workouts at Saint Vincent College 鈥?in full view of fans 鈥?a clown. Last Friday he issued a bizarre soliloquy about his status, calling himself “an exceptionalism” before adding he’s “not an ordinary guy.”Of that there is no doubt. And his teammates stress there is no issue with everything that comes with having Brown in the fold.“AB is a hell of a player and I’m glad he plays for our team,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “It’s as simple as that. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the world.”At the same time, Heyward made it a point to steer the topic away from Brown, who had nothing to do with Pittsburgh’s defensive issues against the Chiefs.“If we ain’t talking about football, we’re talking the wrong thing,” Heyward said. “All this other stuff is beside the point.”The point being the Steelers find themselves preparing for a Monday night trip to surprising Tampa Bay (2-0) at crossroads, familiar territory during their run to four straight playoff berths.Last fall, it was the national anthem debacle that preceded an overtime loss to Chicago. Two years ago they started 2-0 only to get drilled on the road in Philadelphia by a rookie quarterback named Carson Wentz. In 2015 they celebrated the first day of October by blowing a fourth-quarter lead at home to Baltimore. Back in 2014 they allowed Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon to spark a late rally at Heinz Field , one of two games the Buccaneers would win all season.Each time, the Steelers chose patience over panic. Each time, they recovered to reach the postseason.“I think you panic when you know you’ve lost control,” Heyward Bey said. “We haven’t lost control.”Maybe, but it looked like that way at times against Kansas City. The secondary, playing without injured veteran cornerback Joe Haden, looked flat-footed at times and lost at others. There was no pass rush to speak of 鈥?the only sack came when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes crashed into nose tackle Daniel McCullers. After spending camp talking about improved communication, the Steelers spent plenty of time looking at each other before Mahomes snapped the ball, as if trying to figure out where they were supposed to go.“We’ve got to make sure we’re on top of each other,” cornerback Mike Hilton said. “We’ve got to make sure we know what we’re doing so explosive plays like we gave up yesterday don’t happen all the time. It’s a copycat league, so some team might be doing the same thing Kansas City did.”A team like, say, the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is unbeaten thanks in large part to 35-year-old quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has gone over 400 yards in each of Tampa Bay’s first two games. What looked like a mismatch two weeks ago looks far different now.“It’s a big week,” Heyward-Bey said. “It’s a Monday night game. It’s prime time against a team that’s thrown for a lot of yards and scored a lot of touchdowns and are confident. We’ve got to find a way to light our fire and put theirs out.”___