When and if the Pittsburgh Steelers met with cornerback Artie Burns at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, one has to wonder whether or not the Miami product was asked if he thought he could cover wide receiver Antonio Brown. On Thursday, Burns finally got his first shots at covering the league’s best pass catcher and he reportedly went 1-for-2 on isolated matchups, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
According to a post-practice report by Fowler, Brown scored against Burns on a counter move during the team’s daily seven shots period of practice. The rookie, however, reportedly somewhat got some revenge as he managed to break a deep pass intended for Brown even though the Steelers wide receiver hinted after practice that the ball had been under thrown.
“I had him beat,” Brown said after Thursday’s practice, his first of the season.
Burns had a more diplomatic response when it came to describing what it was like to finally get to cover Brown.
“You can’t panic,” Burns said, according to Fowler. “You always have to stay cool no matter what situation you’re in. He came up on me fast. I just have to trust my eyes, trust my training. To be out here covering him, it helps my level of game rise up.”
While it’s hard to judge how Burns is actually looking so far during practices by just reading the several media reports that are out there, it appears as though the rookie is handling himself well so far. Besides, we have plenty of OTA and training camp practices ahead of us so it’s silly to draw any hard conclusions right now regardless of how positive or negative the daily reports might be.
With all of the above said, Steelers guard Ramon Foster reportedly told head coach Mike Tomlin on Thursday that he thought Burns looks good, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network. Tomlin’s reported response? “He better. He’s a first round pick!”
If you’re like me, you look forward to hearing about and seeing these two players go against each other the remainder of the summer as both are sure to have future several dances scheduled together on their upcoming cards.