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Show and tell: Steelers eye Giants WR who tips off plays

PITTSBURGH -- Once a week, a group of Pittsburgh Steelers defenders get with team scouts to scour the opposing team for tendencies -- or, in some cases, telling signs.

Safety Mike Mitchell, who organized the growing meeting, might learn from the scouts how a specific player struggles to get off jams or gets flustered easily.

For Sunday's matchup against the New York Giants, Mitchell caught something specific with a New York playmaker.

"I can't use the name, but there's a receiver that you know where every time he touches his gloves, it's a pass," Mitchell said. "Got that from a scout. It's 100 percent. Little things like that."

Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz are the Giants' primary receivers.

The players meet with coaches throughout the week, but Mitchell quizzes scouts for supplemental intel. Pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt, nicknamed 'Baby GM' by Mitchell, always has the "raw nuggets," Mitchell said.

Whether applicable or not, the new information is good to store in the mental bank.

"Every time in a game do I have time to look at his gloves? No," Mitchell said. "But it's a little tip where I have information, and if all the calls are made, let me take a quick glance out there."

Mitchell's group includes linebacker Ryan Shazier, rookie safety Sean Davis, linebacker Tyler Matakevich and cornerback Ross Cockrell.

Davis, who was inserted into the starting lineup in Week 11, says his chemistry and communication with Mitchell has improved in part because of the meetings and off-field time spent at the weekly defensive backs hangout session.

"I've got a nice little group of guys," Mitchell said of the scouting room. "Sometimes they can give us extra information on a specific player, since they've looked at them extensively ... I'm just trying to get every advantage."