Be Dominant: Forget trying to figure out the Wordle answer for today.
The real word of the day in Steelers training camp is dominating.
Because if you talk to any of the players on defense, that’s what they think that defense can, should and will be in 2022.
But they have to do it on the pitch.
“Time will tell,” Cameron Heyward said. “We have work to do.”
Heyward believes the Steelers have the pieces in place that will allow the defense to dominate. But like he said, it’s just about doing it.
“We have Defensive Player of the Year (TJ Watt), a guy like Minkah (Fitzpatrick), those are your standout plays,” Heyward said. “I like to think we have a lot more than that. Guys like Devin (Bush), Myles (Jack) and Robert (Spillane) are all capable of being our inside linebackers. Our corner play is going to be good with Levi ( Wallace), Ahkello (Witherspoon). The defensive line position, we’re pretty deep there. It all comes together for a great defense.
He’s not the only one feeling this.
Fitzpatrick has his take on whether defense will be improved or dominant in 2022.
His answer was simple and direct.
“Because we can be,” came the reply.
A little more in depth, and he just stated the facts.
“Because we have good players,” Fitzpatrick said.
With leaders like Heyward, Watt and Fitzpatrick on defense, three All-Pros and a plethora of talent on defense, their answers make perfect sense.
But they also admit there’s work to be done, especially on run defense, which was last in the NFL in 2021.
“The run defense,” Heyward said of what needs fixing. “Today is one of our challenges. I know we have a lot of short-range drills, a lot of running-focused drills. Even though it’s not good today, it must continue to improve. Even if it is good, it has to continue to improve.
“It’s up to the players to hold on, make sure they’re accountable and do what’s necessary. Too often there can be 10 people right, one wrong and that hurts. the defence. The coaches can’t do much. They give us the playbook, it’s up to us to execute it.”
And if they perform, they don’t need to talk about being a dominant defense with each other. The results will come by themselves.
“I don’t think we’re looking at it because we have to talk about it, we just have to do it,” Heyward said. “At this point, some guys are at different stages of their careers. But we think when we step onto the pitch, we should be the No. 1 defense in this game.”