Ramon Foster Praises Artie Burns ‘Calmness,’ Improvement

Yesterday, Matthew Marczi wrote about Ramon Foster praising unknown cornerback Mike Hilton, a guy I admit have hyped up during the offseason. Foster praised another, more common name in the secondary, seeing improvement during spring practices.

“Artie (Burns), I feel like he’s had one of the best springs from a year-one to a year-two guy, he’s looked really good,” Foster told Mike Prisuta via the team site.

Burns, by most accounts, has had a good spring and making strides. His June arrest put a slight damper on the feel-good vibe but that won’t affect him on the football field. During the offseason, he said he’s been working on improving his strength and hand use, taking up jiu jitsu, to combat the bigger, stronger receivers in the league.

He’s also said he gained five pounds of muscle during the offseason. With the Steelers playing more man coverage, Burns’ blend of size, speed, and now hopefully, strength, gives him the chance to be the team’s best man corner. Consistency, however, will be the deciding factor, something the man opposite of him – Ross Cockrell – has shown.

Specifically, Foster felt Burns had shown a level of calm that will help him be the more consistent player he has to be.

“A calmness, a person that looks like he knows what route to defend, a guy that looks like he realizes this is a business now. His speed is catching up to his play.”

That all goes back to his football IQ, which Foster said he’s seen get better, calling Burns “very cerebral.” That will allow the Steelers to be more varied in their coverage to get away from the basic, spot dropping Cover 2 that got the team into trouble last year. Notably against the league’s best quarterbacks, like Tom Brady, comfortable and capable of stringing together long drives downfield.

Training camp will begin to show tangible, relevant results of that work and Foster’s opinion. That’s something we didn’t get to see much from Burns last season, held out of part of Latrobe practices with an injury. With confidence in the playbook, a clean bill of health, and probably improved conditioning, Foster’s words will need to ring true for the Steelers’ secondary to reach their full potential.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Good deal. A good year two jump from Burns will really help on the back end

  • Michael Conrad

    Well I don’t fault the players they have at CB other then Gay because he can’t play man. I think they have a nice group of young CB’s Burns , Cockrell ,Sutton, Golson, Allen,Hilton, Sensabaugh.

    Its the coaching and D play calling and trouble down the middle and spot dropping. I think safety play is also suspect. LB pass coverage could become a problem. I like the CB’s and playing man could help in other areas of the D.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Hope he gets a good dose of AB and MB in training camp.

  • Steve Johnson

    I don’t think they view Cockrell as being consistent or capable of playing man-to-man as a CB. But, on paper, it looks like the arrow is pointing up.

  • Steve Johnson

    The Defensive Scheme by Tomlin/LeBeau hasn’t looked effective against Superior QB’s the past seven years. I’ve been saying that for years now, finally someone has written about.

  • Alan Tman

    Alex is here a podcast today?

  • Alan Tman

    Only good scheme for elite QBS is a pass rush.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Is there anyone Ramon Foster hasnt been impressed by yet? is it because he is a big ol slow guard or what, Willie Colon another guard thinks Jesse James is a top 5 TE in the NFL.