Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau says it's time for his kids to start growing up.
The Steelers finished 8-8 last season partly because of uncharacteristically sloppy defense. Pittsburgh allowed 11 plays of 50 yards or more in 2013 and finished outside the top 10 in fewest yards allowed for the first time in a decade.
LeBeau blamed some of his unit's problems on inexperience. The defense could get even younger this season with the addition of rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier and rookie defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt. Lebeau says he's impressed by how quickly Shazier and Tuitt have adapted during their first NFL training camp.
The Steelers open the preseason on Saturday night at the New York Giants.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL