Tha Sports Junkies 101

Steelers’ Artie Burns Is Ready For His Moment

Artie Burns jgirl4858 via


Pittsburgh Steelers first round draft pick from Miami, Artie Burns, is ready to make an impact in his rookie year.

Throughout the past few seasons, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been searching for a cornerback to start on the opposite side of the field of veteran William Gay. They have picked several secondary players in the past three drafts and even traded for Brandon Boykin last year, only to see him start one game and then let him walk as a free agent. Antwon Blake even looked like a possible candidate, until the Tennessee Titans gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. But the Steelers are ready for a young star to take the role in Artie Burns.

Throughout training camp, the only stories that we have heard regarding Artie Burns are connected to a nagging quad injury. But his health is finally back, and the fans and coaches got to see him in his first game of his NFL preseason career against the Carolina Panthers.

Burns started and played the entire first half. He wasn’t spectacular by any means, but he did look healthy. He did make a couple great reads on the ball, and nearly made a diving interception. Albeit it was game 4 of the preseason, which is nothing like the competition he’ll see in the upcoming regular season.

After the game, Mike Tomlin was asked about if it was important to let Artie Burns get acclimated to the environment of an NFL game.

“It was important for him to play because he hadn’t. He’s played football before, but it was great to see him go through a process of game readiness and go out there and execute even if for a short period of time. Hopefully he can check off some of the boxes that go along with playing and focus on what’s real next week.”

What’s “real” is that the Steelers are playing on the road against the Washington Redskins, who are coming off one of their more successful seasons of the recent past. Artie Burns, if he plays, will get a chance to line up against Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

Burns was able to answer post-game questions for the press for the first time as well. He was asked how it felt to get on the field and how he thought he did.

“Well it definitely feels good. I had a great game and it’s almost been a year. I’m a team guy and I’m glad I could show them what I could do. It felt really good to be out there again. I did some things that were good, but I definitely have some things I can work on.”

He was also asked about what he wanted to accomplish in the game and how he believes his role will be defined when the regular season begins.

“You know, I just wanted to get my hands on a couple balls and make a couple tackles and I feel like I did well. I got close to picking one off. . . I really don’t know. You’ve just got to take it day-by-day and come work hard and we’ll see what my role will be when that day comes. I love going against the ones, the great receivers that we have, so I hope to get back up to speed to be ready when needed.”

Besides William Gay being the starting cornerback, nothing is definite yet on who will be playing in different game situations. And with the Steelers trading for former first round draft pick Justin Gilbert, guys are going to have to step up and make plays to earn their spot.

The Steelers defense has not been what people remember historically about them. This Steelers team is unlike any other they have ever had, a completely new identity. And with that new identity, the Steelers will hope that Artie Burns is the missing piece to their Super Bowl puzzle. The Pittsburgh Steelers begin their season against the Washington Redskins for the first game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader.