Artie Burns and Joe Haden don't believe the Pittsburgh Steelers have a clear-cut No. 1 cornerback.
The two feel they share that role.
Haden has been a top cornerback in the league throughout his career and Burns Alex Lewis Jersey , a 2016 first-round pick, feels like he's starting to come into his own as he enters his third season. The two hope a full offseason and training camp together can help a young group of Steelers defensive backs regain some swagger.
"Right now, I'm just trying to show him the way I go about my business," Haden said. "Training camp is one of the biggest spots where we can see growth and we can see what the offseason did."
Haden spent his first seven pro seasons in Cleveland. He feels an entire spring of organized team activities and minicamp with Burns and the Steelers will only prove beneficial as the team works through training camp and the preseason.
"I'm trying to understand the whole defense, not just the corners and safety, but also the linebackers and defensive linemen," Haden said. "I'm just trying to get the whole system from the ground up and get an overall grasp of the defense."
Cleveland released Haden on the eve of the 2017 regular season and the Steelers immediately acted. They quickly signed the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback with the hope he could give a young secondary an instant jolt.
"Having a veteran guy in your room that got to the level everybody wants to get to," Burns said, "you kind of sit back and think that you can learn from him to get to that point."
The Steelers did just that last season.
Pittsburgh ranked 16th against the pass in 2016, but Haden provided a necessary boost as the Steelers ended fifth in passing yards allowed. A 45-point outburst by Jacksonville in the AFC divisional playoff marred an otherwise strong season.
"I think the communication was the biggest thing for us, just no blown coverages," Haden said. "In the Jacksonville game, there were a couple times where people were just running free. We have the ability, we have the players, we just have to be on the same page and make sure everybody's covering their man."
That has been the focus for Burns. He has carried a noticeably different Morgan Moses Jersey , more confident swagger during training camp practices. He's still locked into regular one-on-one practice battles with four-time All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, a daily matchup Burns welcomes.
"Ever since I got here it's been a battle with (Brown)," Burns said. "It's just something I expect from myself. I don't even request it. I just step up, we go at it and go to work."
It has already paid off for the third-year cornerback.
Burns jumped Brown's slant route during the team's first padded practice and picked off Landry Jones's pass in the end zone. He also jumped a Ben Roethlisberger pass and came up with an interception that would've been returned for a touchdown.
Burns said that sort of intuition comes with experience.
"You can feel the speed of the receiver," Burns said. "A play can only go for so long, so once you figure out the timing of it, that's when you have a chance to make a play on the ball."
Burns seeks similar game-changing plays alongside Haden in the secondary this season.
"(Haden) is helping us in certain situations that he has already been put in before," Burns said. "That's what Joe is doing for us."
NOTES: Coach Mike Tomlin said Brown was sent to Pittsburgh to be evaluated for a "minor, day-to-day" injury. Brown missed the previous two practices with his undisclosed injury. Tomlin wouldn't say what sort of injury. ... S Morgan Burnett (hamstring), Sean Davis (groin), T.J. Watt (hamstring), Vance McDonald (foot) and Alejandro Villanueva (undisclosed) also missed practice on Thursday.
Didi Gregorius was pleased after ending a long power outage with a pair of home runs. Bryce Harper felt relieved after escaping serious injury when twice hit by a pitch.
CC Sabathia was just surprised, not realizing why the crowd gave him a prolonged ovation in the fourth inning of a superb outing.
Playing a team with a winning record for the first time this month, the New York Yankees beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Tuesday night for their 10th win in 12 games.
In a matchup of division leaders, Harper gave the Nationals a scare when he fell to the ground in pain after getting hit on the right elbow by a 90 mph pitch from Sabathia in the fifth inning. The 2015 NL MVP remained in the game but then came out after he was hit on the left foot by Dellin Betances‘ 89 mph slider leading off the eighth.
”I feel fine. Elbow feels OK Womens Sean Couturier Jersey , and the big toe just hurts a little bit,” Harper said. ”I already got an X-ray on the toe. I’m fine.”
Gregorius has had a ”That’s Life” season, following the song’s lyrics of ”You’re riding high in April, shot down in May.”
He hit .327 with 10 homers and 30 RBIs through the season’s first full month, slumped to a .151 average with one homer and five RBIs in May and began the night with no homers and one RBI in June.
”It’s just getting to know myself through that slump,” he said. ”I’m still not out of it.”
He drove a hanging curveball from Tanner Roark (3-7) into the Yankees bullpen in right-center during a two-run second that also included Austin Romine’s sacrifice fly. It was just the second home run for Gregorius since April 27.
He sent a fastball into the right-field second deck leading off the sixth for his fourth multihomer game, third this season. Gregorius has hit 11 of his 13 long balls in homer-friendly Yankee Stadium. New York leads the major leagues with 105.
”When Didi’s at his best,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone explained, ”he’s into the ground – his feet really drive into the ground.”
A big league-best 43-19, New York was coming off a 7-2 trip. Sabathia (4-1) allowed four hits over 5 2/3 innings in his first outing against Washington since 2009 and lowered his ERA to 3.27. He is 11-0 in 17 regular-season starts following a Yankees loss since the start of the 2017 season.
Fans applauded at length in the fourth when the video board informed fans the strikeout of Michael A. Taylor was Sabathia’s 1,500th since joining the Yankees for the 2009 season. The 37-year-old left-hander’s three strikeouts raised his career total to 2,893.
”I didn’t know what was going on, and Ro told me turn around,” Sabathia said, referring to Romine.
Only then did Sabathia toss the ball to the dugout as a keepsake. Boone wasn’t surprised by Sabathia’s obliviousness to his own exploits.
”For being a superstar and everything Nazem Kadri Jersey , he’s so not into himself,” Boone said.
Chad Green, Betances and Aroldis Chapman finished up, with Chapman completing the five-hitter for his 18th save in 19 chances.
Harper, who leads the NL with 19 homers but is hitting .215 since May 1, had been hit by a pitch just once previously this season and had not been dinged twice in a game since Aug. 16, 2013, at Atlanta.
”Kind of worried me when he started walking off the field,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
A free-agent-to-be, Harper had walked in his first two plate appearances.
”It just hurt, so trying to walk down the first base line, there was no point,” he said. ”No ill feelings at all.”
Nationals All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy made his season debut after recovering from right knee surgery on Oct. 20. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts as the designated hitter and did not hit the ball out of the infield.
”His timing could have been a little bit off,” Martinez said. ”He’s going to be fine.”
Bob Boone, father of the Yankees manager http://www.officialbruinsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-brad-marchand-jersey , is a Nationals executive and rooted against his son.
”They pay him,” Aaron Boone said. ”My boys are actually with my mom and dad in San Diego right now. They flew in today, so it’ll be a split household. I know my mom will be pulling for me. And my boys will be pulling for me, that’s for sure. So that’s fine. Somebody in the house can cheer for the other team.”
Taylor made a terrific catch on the warning track to snag Neil Walker’s drive with a runner on in the fourth, sliding into the wall with both legs. Taylor stole second two innings later, then was called out on a replay review.
Washington gave 19-year-old outfielder Juan Soto his first game off since his major league debut on May 20. He is hitting .328 with three homers and eight RBIs.
Brandon Drury shifted to 1B from 3B in the second game of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s doubleheader.
”Adding some versatility to his game certainly, yeah, puts him in a better position to be able to help our club again at some point,” Boone said.
Yankees: RHP Luis Cessa will get a few more rehab starts. The 26-year-old right-hander, sidelined since mid-April by a left oblique strain, allowed two runs over 1 2/3 innings for Class A Tampa on Monday night.
RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.81 ERA) starts Wednesday night for the Yankees after allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings to win at Toronto last week. RHP Erick Fedde will be broug http://www.officialusafootballs.com/denver-broncos
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