The Pittsburgh Steelers are busy preparing for the 2015 NFL season, as OTA’s are now in full swing.
One unit that is looking to make great strides in the coming season is the defensive line.
Led by defensive end Cam Heyward, this line may be the most talented the Steelers have had since the glory days of Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton.
Much of the 2015 defensive line success will depend on the continued development of second year player Stephon Tuitt.
Tuitt was taken with the 46th pick in the 2014 NFL draft and showed flashes of big play ability his rookie season. He had four regular season starts (weeks14-17) and started in the Steelers playoff appearance.
Tuitt collected 17 total tackles, a fumble recovery and a sack and started to come on strong toward the end of 2014.
Cam Heyward recently spoke on Tuiit’s progress and his expectations for 2015…
Cam Heyward: “He (Tuitt) has been in certain situations most rookies don’t get to be in. He has been in dog fights,for me, I was behind Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel and they were going through the dog fights. If they weren’t playing I would get my opportunity. We expect Tuitt to be ready to go game one. Tuitt has a high ceiling and we are going to see how high it is.”
“I think you can see from last year that he definitely has a (higher comfort) level with this defense, he’s able to run faster and play hard and light his hair on fire, because he’s not thinking as much.”
Stephon Tuitt seems up for the challenge of starting,after a year of playing behind and being mentored by former longtime Steeler defensive end Brett Keisel. Tuitt spoke recently from OTA’s…
Stephon Tuitt:“Brett Keisel taught me a lot in one year. I can’t imagine if he was here even one more year how much I would have learned… I’ve got the confidence now from the stuff that I learned from him being a great mentor, and I’m ready to pick up and roll it out”.
“I’m confident our sack game is going to be a lot stronger,” we’ve got the players to do it. It’s just a matter of getting all the parts working together.”
“I got a chance to come out here with All Pro players, getting a chance to go against All-Pro players,everything in this game is a matter of snaps to be prepared mentally and physically and … I’m just going to handle it the best way I can.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers are expecting to make great strides on defense in 2015 and having two bookend defensive ends the caliber of Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuiit will go a long way to making that happen.
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