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Tomlin: Jury Still Out On Steelers' Pass Defense

The Steelers are off to a good start defending the pass this season, as they're ranked No. 1 in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game at just 157.7. Coach Mike Tomlin is cautiously optimistic, however, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette reports.

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"I think the jury is still out on us," Tomlin said when asked of his pass defense. "I don't run away from that. As a matter of fact, I encourage it. It's a good, working mentality for us to have.

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"We've done some nice things but due to some circumstances, one way or another, we haven't been tested like we will be. The big challenges lie ahead. We need to prepare for them."

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Of the six starting quarterbacks the Steelers have faced so far (Baltimore's Joe Flacco, Seattle's Tarvaris Jackson, Indianapolis' Kerry Collins, Houston's Matt Schaub, Tennessee's Matt Hasselbeck and Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert),  none boast a quarterback rating better than 96.0 and four are rated 81.0 or worse. Only two (Hasselbeck and Schaub) are rated among the top 20 quarterbacks in the league.

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Clearly secondary has certainly done it's job in helping the Steelers to a 4-2 start, but with highly rated quarterbacks like New England's Tom Brady and Cincinnati's Andy Dalton looming on the schedule, the unit will have to step up its game to maintain its lofty ranking.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.