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Stephon Tuitt progressing slowly through the Steelers' system

The Pittsburgh Steelers felt they drafted a potential first-rounder in the second round when they selected Stephon Tuitt out of Notre Dame. Tuitt's progress has been slow but he's steadily becoming acclimated to the Steelers' 3-4 scheme.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Stephon Tuitt out of Notre Dame University in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, they saw a player that could earn significant playing time.

He was just one of the many moving parts in the youth movement that has begun within the Steelers' organization, and someone Dick LeBeau declared could see significant snaps with the starting defense in 2014.

To date, that hasn't been the case. It has taken Tuitt longer than expected to get acclimated to the 3-4 scheme the Steelers deploy, to the point where veteran Brett Keisel was brought in to solidify the defensive front.

Tuitt's learning curve might be greater than some, but that's not to say he isn't still learning. As he told Scott Brown of, learning the playbook is the biggest hurdle keeping him from seeing more time on the field on game days.

"I know I can play. What's holding me back is not knowing the plays. When I start knowing the plays I'll help my team. Just like anybody in a new system, it's going to hit sooner or later."

"I literally felt like 90 percent of the plays I was in, I did right," "That alone shows progress."

Tuitt's progress is something of note, as he would not only benefit from more repetitions on the playing field, but could help add to the rotation of defensive lineman and show the ability to keep players like Keisel and Cam Thomas fresh throughout the game.

After struggling to stop the run in the first two weeks of the NFL season, the Steelers' defensive front has done a much better job bottling up opponents' running games by only allowing 105 rushing yards in the past two games, and an average of 3.5 yards per rush.

For all the naysayers that think the Steelers are nothing more than a mediocre team, Tuitt sees a team much better than its current record indicates.

"Don't let our record fool you," "We are a great team and we're going to show it when the time comes."

Tuitt's time to contribute is something that hopefully will come sooner rather than later.

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