PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The play might not have happened in September. Stephon Tuitt might not have been ready. Vince Williams might not have even been on the field.Yet there Tuitt was last Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie defensive tackle slamming into Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles in the third quarter of a four-point game. There was Williams, a second-year linebacker who wasnt part of the plan a few weeks ago, pouncing on the ball. There were the Steelers reclaiming momentum and a 20-12 victory that assured them of a return to the playoffs after a two-year absence.That was an awesome moment, a spectacular moment of the game, Tuitt said. Im glad I could be a part of it.Something thats happening with increased regularity over the last two months as Pittsburgh (10-5) surged toward the post-season. The influx of youth the Steelers needed to overhaul an aging roster is starting to mature. Each weekend, a bevy of 20-somethings have propelled the franchise back to relevance after consecutive 8-8 seasons.Pittsburgh can win the AFC North with a victory over Cincinnati (10-4-1) on Sunday night. It would be the franchises first division title since 2010. Thats not considered a drought in most places. Then again, Tuitt knows he doesnt work in most places. The main hallway at the team headquarters is the only spot in the world where theres a display filled with a half-dozen Vince Lombardi trophies.Those seven-pound, 22-inch symbols of greatness are a constant reminder the team didnt alter its definition of success even as it underwent a seismic roster shift following a wild card loss to Denver in the 2011 playoffs.Only 21 players remain from the group that walked off the field in stunning disbelief after Tim Tebow — yes, Tim Tebow — and Demaryius Thomas hooked up for an 80-yard catch and run that brought a solid season to a crushing end. In the place of Hines Ward, James Farrior and Aaron Smith is a collection of young 20-somethings like Tuitt and Williams, forced to learn on the fly.The growing process hasnt always been pretty. There was the collapse down the stretch in 2012 that included five losses in the last seven games. The 0-4 start that ended 2013 before it really began. The baffling upset at the hands of Tampa Bay in Week 4.Getting through it wasnt easy. Yet linebacker Sean Spence — who missed all of 2012 and 2013 with a knee injury — believes it might have been unavoidable. The only way to learn is to be on the field. Theres no film preparation that can replace having to get out there and actually do it.The film sessions and practices that accompanied Pittsburghs erratic 3-3 start were difficult. Without them, however, Spence isnt sure the Steelers are back in the playoffs.A lot of young guys have been playing. That can be good and bad. But I think thats been good for us, Spence said. We went through those growing pains early in the season, losing close games, letting teams come back instead of keeping them down when they was down. I think thats paid off a lot.Pittsburgh has outscored the opposition 35-13 in the fourth quarter of its three-game winning streak. All four of the touchdowns have come courtesy of 22-year-old running back LeVeon Bell and the 23-year-old wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Both were still college underclassmen the last time the Steelers won a playoff game. Both will be relied on heavily as the Steelers prep for January.This is about development and about evolving as the season goes on, offensive co-ordinator Todd Haley said. Its an evolution and its guys growing into their roles, understanding their roles sometimes.Even if they can vary from week to week. The Steelers were so frustrated by the slow development along the defensive line they brought back Brett Keisel near the end of training camp and re-signed 36-year-old James Harrison following injuries to Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones.Keisels season is over with a torn triceps and Jones and Shazier are now healthy. Yet Williams has played his way into the rotation and Tuitts growth over second half of the year has him playing meaningful snaps in meaningful games. The kids are growing up just in time.You have to give them credit, defensive co-ordinator Dick LeBeau said. They stuck through the ups and downs.NOTES: S Troy Polamalu (knee) and CB Ike Taylor (shoulder, forearm) were limited on Wednesday. Tackle Kelvin Beachum (back), TE Matt Spaeth (elbow) and Williams (ankle) did practice.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Patriots Jerseys 2019 . 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Raymond Felton, their declining point guard, is back on the sideline nursing his third injury of the season. Patriots Jerseys 2020 . There will be no Down Under four-peat for Djokovic, as the eighth-seeded Swiss slugger Wawrinka outlasted the second seed 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 at Melbourne Parks Rod Laver Arena in yet another five-set thriller in their burgeoning rivalry. Fake Patriots Jerseys . -- The Denver Broncos locked up a shutdown cornerback, only his name wasnt Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.A tentative date of December 1 has been set for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to stand trial on a felony child abuse charge. All along, Peterson has expressed he is not interested in cutting a deal and believes he did nothing wrong. While he indicated to police that he felt bad in light of the extent of the injuries, he added to be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent and he characterized the incident as a normal whooping. Peterson also maintained his innocence in a statement issued through his lawyer Rusty Hardin, saying, I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court. If this goes to trial (which is not a guarantee if the sides can settle), it remains possible Peterson could be acquitted. The Beating The criminal charge stems from a beating he gave his four-year-old son with a tree branch (or a switch) after Petersons son pushed another child off of a motorbike video game. Peterson grabbed a tree branch, removed the leaves and struck his son repeatedly. According to CBS Houstons Nick Wright, the assault resulted numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the childs back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the childs hands. Wright also reported the following: Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the childs mother that he felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh and also acknowledged the injury to the childs scrotum in a text message, saying, Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n Im all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories! In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but dont play no games when it comes to acting right. According to police reports, the child, however, had a slightly different story, telling authorities that Daddy Peterson hit me on my face. The child also expressed worry that Peterson would punch him in the face if the child reported the incident to authorities. He also said that he had been hit by a belt and that there are a lot of belts in Daddys closet. He added that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down. The child told his mother that Peterson likes belts and switches and has a whooping room..dddddddddddd The Charge As per Section 22.04 of the Texas Penal Code, Peterson was indicted on a charge of recklessly, or with criminal negligence, caused bodily injury to a child. This type of charge is classified as a state jail felony and is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Reckless defendants act with an awareness that their actions are likely to cause the crime but persist with their actions. In order to be characterized as criminally negligent, it just needs to be shown that the defendant was not aware of the potential consequences but should have been. The prosecution just needs to show either Peterson was reckless OR negligent. The latter is easier to establish since you dont need the element of awareness. Petersons Defence Physical abuse in Texas is an accepted form of discipline. Section 261.001 of the Texas Family Code allows parents to engage in reasonable discipline of children so long as it does not expose the child to a substantial risk of harm. This may explain why it took the prosecution two attempts to get Peterson indicted. Ultimately, Peterson was indicted because a grand jury believed that his conduct did not constitute reasonable discipline and ended up causing substantial harm to his child. Peterson Could Walk At Trial Based upon the merits of the case and the relatively low legal standard of negligence to be met, the prosecution has a strong case. The injuries inflicted certainly cross the line and constitute substantial harm. As well, while Peterson may not have intended to harm his son, he should have known those injuries were likely. Bottom line: the harm was bad and Peterson, at the very least, was negligent. That doesnt mean, however, the prosecution is going to win. Its entirely possible that Peterson could walk. To find Peterson guilty, jurors must reach a unanimous verdict. That means that Rusty Hardin need only convince one juror to give Peterson a pass. Hardin, who secured an acquittal for his client Roger Clemens in his perjury trial, knows that physical abuse as a form of discipline is accepted and is part of the culture in Texas. As well, reasonable discipline is provided for, and protected, under Texas law. So while that one juror may not approve of the harm inflicted and believe it wasnt reasonable, he or she may still be empathetic towards Peterson, believe hes learned his lesson and give him a pass. And for Peterson and Hardin, thats the hope. ' ' '