Burns Excited for 'Flexible' Secondary

Steelers corner aware of importance of season

Josh Rowntree
July 26, 2018 - 1:00 pm
Steelers CB Artie Burns at training camp

Josh Rowntree

Categories: 

Steelers corner Artie Burns enters his third training camp with some considerable questions. 

A year ago, Burns, at times, was a liability on defense. He finished the season with just one interception and, coupled with a late-season knee injury, saw his playing time threatened by rookie Cam Sutton. 

Now in his third season, Burns is in need of improved results with the possibility of a contract extension in the not-so-distant future. 

"I’m well aware of it and I’m looking forward to it,” Burns said Wednesday. "I’ve got a lot to prove and I’m just ready to get out there and show what I can do.”

One thing that has seemingly changed from last year’s training camp is the amount of depth in Pittsburgh’s secondary, particularly at the safety position. 

The team drafted two safeties in first-rounder Terrell Edmunds and fifth-round selection Marcus Allen. It also signed Morgan Burnett in free agency. 

"We could be real flexible this year,” Burns said. "A lot of things we want to do, we can do this year because we have a lot of guys with a lot of talent."

Burns, still in the early parts of his career himself, will look to help the younger players as much as he can.

"Me and Sean Davis, we’re two young guys who came in together,” he said. "First and second round. To be picked that high, we can help them out on how to just handle things and go about business.

"You don’t really know what to expect. You come in really blindfolded. Now, in my third year, I kind of got the routine down pat, know what to look for and now I’m kind of prepared for it and know what to look for out there." 

Steelers wideout Antonio Brown has been a fixture across from Burns in camp since his rookie year and will likely be there again this time around.

"This is my third year,” Burns added. "Ever since I got here, it’s been a battle with me and him every day. I’m looking forward to it, me and him going at it again to get better.”

Burns knows he was a target by opposing offenses at times last season, but thinks that’s part of the job description as a corner. 

"Every game, no matter who you are, they’re going to try to expose you,” he said. "Especially at corner, everyone is going to try to get an angle on us, so we’ve just got to be prepared for it and just keep going every time we go out there.”

Like his teammates, Burns appears fueled by January’s embarrassing defensive performance against Jacksonville, ending Pittsburgh’s season. 

"Just certain plays that could have helped us win the game,” he said of what stood out from the loss. “But, it’s a new year and we have a new chance to go at them. It’s a new mission.”

Hear more from Burns below.