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Steelers Film Room: Stephon Tuitt controls the line of scrimmage against the Denver Broncos

Stephon Tuitt in only his second year in the NFL has made himself a key part of the Steelers' 3-4 defensive scheme through hard-nosed play. Let's take a look at how he contributed during the playoff game against the Denver Broncos.

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Stephon Tuitt made his presence known last year when he forced a fumble from Jamaal Charles in a key situation against the Kansas City Chiefs. This year he has earned the spot as a consistent starter who is almost always on the field. Even when he doesn't sack the quarterback, tackle the runner or show up big on stat columns, he's doing the instrumental things you need from a 3-4 defensive end.

First Play:

While James Harrison gets the nod on this highlight for flowing down the line and delivering a solid hit, Tuitt's play deserves a look here as well. He controls his man at the line and even pushes him into the backfield, cutting off CJ Anderson's intended path and making for a good opportunity for the backside of the defense to make a play.

Second Play:

Notice on this play how Tuitt engages his man but never loses track of the play. He maintains his edge so that Ryan Shazier can flow freely and make this play while making a lineman miss. If Tuitt allows himself to get blown up Shazier won't have the space to make this play and it could be a problem.

Third Play:

Watch Tuitt to the left of your screen as he takes on a double team, maintains the edge and forces Hillman out on a wider run, allowing for Harrison to help and Will Allen to finish the play.


Gap responsibility is incredibly important when stopping the run for any defense. The Steelers have not been consistent in that department in recent years and it has showed when offenses have had more control at the line of scrimmage. Now Pittsburgh has two stalwart defensive ends to blow the play up at the line of scrimmage in Tuitt and Cameron Heyward. This defense could have the makings of taking the number one ranking next season in a lot of stats if they get this consistency at the front and more playmakers develop the way Tuitt has.