• Steelers hope new additions will help improve defense

    By: Chase Williams

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - Week 1 of Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) have come and gone for the Pittsburgh Steelers. While much of the attention was paid to the leftovers of the Antonio Brown drama, the defense is quietly trying to become right, after what they believe to be, a wrong 2018 season.

    “We feel like we’re a championship caliber unit,” Linebacker Vince Williams said. 

    Williams and company are frustrated over not reaching the playoffs last season after starting the year with a 7-2-1 record. 

    “Last year we didn’t do what we wanted to or what we were capable of,” Safety Terrell Edmunds said. “We just want to come out, limit our mental errors, limit our mistakes, and it will be a good outcome.”

    Aside from the mental aspect of the game, the Steelers were adamant in upgrading the talent on that side of the football. Trading up to draft Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick was evidence that change needed to happen. 

    “They jump up to get a guy that high, they expect a lot out of him,” cornerback Mike Hilton said. “We expect a lot out of him. He’s a guy that’s going to step in Day 1 and be very productive.”

    If Bush isn’t ready to face the rigors of the NFL on Day 1, the Steelers will call on the just signed free agent, Mark Barron, to play inside linebacker. He sees a group eager to prove doubters wrong.

    “I don’t know if it’s been that way or if that’s something new,” Barron said. “But I felt that energy as soon as I got here.”

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    Vince Williams says there aren’t egos on the defense and to get where they want to be, they have to start building a comraderie during OTA’s.

    “Everybody is unselfish,” rookie cornerback Justin Layne said. “Everybody is trying to help each other. Help the younger guys. It’s been great.”

    Expectations are no doubt very high for the Steelers defense, especially with the amount of resources they’ve poured into it this off-season. But now they have to go out and prove the right decisions were made. Terrell Edmunds says they have a long way to go, but this group “feels different.”


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