Steelers rookie defensive end Stephon Tuitt is taking a shine to the new trend emerging in the Steelers' defense.
After notching interceptions in back-to-back games (a rare feat for the team having the least amount of takeaways during the last three seasons), Tuitt decided to show his ball-hawking skills in practice Wednesday, according to ESPN reporter Scott Brown.
Tuitt helped Jason Worilds sack Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles in Pittsburgh's Week 5 win over Jacksonville, and had a season-high 11 snaps. The notion of him racking up interceptions is tongue-in-cheek obviously, but there's more to report on Tuitt during the last few days than there has been since reports of his potential piled up this off-season.
If he's making plays in practice, it's at least loosely suggestive the game is starting to slow down for the rookie and it could mean an increase in playing time.
Starting left defensive end Cam Thomas has been less than impressive so far this season, which hasn't helped a Steelers defense shrouded by inconsistency. We noted this off-season Tuitt will eventually take over a starting role and this could be the a step toward such a move.
The Steelers had perhaps their best four-quarter defensive performance in Week 5, and face an equally hot-and-cold offense when they play the Browns in Week 6. Cleveland put up 24 second-half points against the Steelers in Week 1 and set a team record with a 25-point comeback win against Tennessee in Week 5. The Steelers are tied with Baltimore and a half-game up on Cleveland for second place in the AFC North, trailing 3-1 Cincinnati.