ShareThis Page
Steelers go deeper onto their bench than usual on defense in loss to Chiefs |

Steelers go deeper onto their bench than usual on defense in loss to Chiefs

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward forces a fumble by Chiefs receiver Chris Conley during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, at Heinz Field.

In recent seasons when each is healthy, defensive ends Stephon Tuitt and Cameron Heyward have typically played 80-90 percent of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive snaps. At outside linebacker, coaches have settled on Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt as their go-to guys for virtually every play over the past year.

Not Sunday. In the home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Heyward and Tuitt spent much more time than usual on the sidelines – at times, at the same time. Also, Anthony Chickillo regularly subbed in for Dupree or Watt.

“It was just a hotter game,” Watt explained.

The gametime temperature was 80 degrees.

“It was hotter, so it was just trying to stay fresh. (Plus) we played 90 plays last week (in an overtime tie at Cleveland), so just trying to stay fresh.”

Filling in for Heyward and Tuitt were L.T. Walton (a deactive against the Browns), Dan McCullers (who played just 13 snaps all of last season) and Javon Hargrave (a nose tackle by trade).

Chickillo is the only other outside linebacker on the roster after Dupree and Watt.

“We were trying to keep people fresh for the whole year,” Heyward said. “And we have trust in everybody. If they are out there, we’ve got to play well. It doesn’t matter who is in there.”

Hey, Steeler Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here .

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.