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Steelers News: Members of the Steelers recognize the Bears’ tremendous history

The Pittsburgh Steelers go head-to-head with another storied franchise in the Chicago Bears on Sunday, and even current players recognize the Bears’ storied past.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of those classic storied franchises in the NFL. When you ask anyone to list the teams who would be considered a “classic” team, you would probably get a list filled with the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and undoubtedly the Chicago Bears.

The Bears’ history speaks for itself, but it’s been awhile since the “Monsters of the Midway” won a world championship. But that fact doesn’t mean the current Pittsburgh Steelers players don’t recognize just how special some of the Bears’ players in history were.

Time for us to check out the news from outside the walls of BTSC heading into the Week 3 game:

Flowery prose could never capture the essence of the Chicago Bears. Two-word uppercuts — Soldier Field, Doug Plank, Bronco Nagurski — have a much better chance, and sometimes even these tags are a word too long.

So if you’re talking Bears history, feel free to forego full sentences. Just blurt out names and references. “Monsters of the Midway” is about as long as you’ll need to go.

Mostly stick with these …

Ditka.

Butkus.

Singletary.

‘85 Bears.

46 Defense.

Gale Sayers.

Da Bears (soft ‘s’).

Sweetness...

Le’Veon Bell can relate. His name first came up in connection with Payton’s in 2014 when Bell posted three consecutive games of at least 200 all-purpose yards. Nobody had done that since Payton in 1977 (none before that, either).

“I obviously know he’s one of the greatest runners to ever play the game,” Bell said Thursday. “So to even be compared and mentioned with him is an honor.”

A few stalls down, cornerback Joe Haden chimed in.

“Oh yeah, I’m a real big Walter Payton fan,” he said. “Just the running style. Love watching his highlights.”

James Harrison went into a Marshawn Lynch routine Friday afternoon after practice. Only instead of “I’m just here so I won’t get fined,” Harrison’s response was “I’m just doing what I’m asked.”

Harrison was asked every which way about not playing a snap against the Vikings, and that was his response every time.

It was the second time in as many days when the Harrison saga created some awkward moments. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler was visibly uncomfortable when he was asked about Harrison’s demotion Thursday after practice.

Butler is one of the longest-tenured coaches on Mike Tomlin’s staff. He’s been with the Steelers since 2003. But Harrison, who turned 39 in May, has him by one year. His rookie season was in 2002.

“Mike answered all that stuff,” Butler said. “I’m not interested in talking about it to be honest with you.”

What Tomlin said Tuesday was that Anthony Chickillo had bypassed Harrison on the depth chart and that was the reason he played Sunday after rookie T.J. Watt was injured.

It looks like Chickillo will start for the second time in three games on Sunday when the Steelers visit the Bears. The Steelers announced Friday afternoon that Watt won’t play Sunday.

Harrison didn’t say much Friday in his first interview in more than a week, but he did confirm that he and the coaches have talked about his playing time. When he was asked if he knew there was a possibility that his role was being reduced he said, “Possibility, yeah.”

Former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Antonio Brown insisted he is “not really” the lead choreographer for the Steelers' touchdown celebrations. With the league loosening its rules against such displays, the Steelers twice did a faux group dice-roll after scoring Sunday.

“We're just happy to be in the end zone, happy to get the win and happy to have a good time,” Brown said. “Hopefully, we can get some offensive linemen in there with us.”

The new concern with a celebration not costing the team: getting it done in quick fashion. Officials have been instructed to immediately begin the play clock after a score.

“We can't take too long celebrating,” Brown said. “We've got to be able to give ‘Boz' (kicker Chris Boswell) enough time … to get the play off.”

The Steelers have started their season with two wins, but without their star running back, Le’Veon Bell, putting up the huge numbers he’s accustomed to.

While this hasn’t stopped the Steelers yet, Bell’s success often has gone hand-in-hand with the Steelers’ best performances of the past few seasons. Part of Todd Haley‘s plan has to be getting Bell back into the mold of superstar playmaker soon, and the Bears could be the perfect opportunity to realize that objective:

KEY MATCHUP:

Bears’ defensive front vs. Steelers’ offensive line and Bell

The Steelers will face a different defensive look in Chicago than in their first two opponents for a number of reasons. For one, the Bears’ basic alignment is a 3-4 defensive front instead of the 4-3 front used by both the Browns and Vikings.

The 4-3 front relies on four extremely physical defensive linemen to plug the gaps and occupy the offensive linemen, leaving the three linebackers in the formation free to roam and attack gaps in the offense. The 3-4 operates the same way, but puts a larger onus on the linebackers to beat linemen because there’s one less defensive lineman to clog up holes.