It appears the Steelers and Broncos will have an intense rivalry in 2016.
The Broncos had the best defense during the 2015 season, without a doubt. Denver finished first in total defense, passing defense, and defensive Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) last season.
Despite this fact, former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said on NFL Network that his former club boasts the hardest-hitting secondary in the league, with the Broncos ranking second.
Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart took that comparison as a slight against his team.
"It's our second year together, so it's going to be hell for teams this year," Stewart told reporters Wednesday.
He then decided to throw some shade back at Taylor, who Demaryius Thomas torched for an 80-yard, game-winning touchdown in the Broncos' 29-23 overtime victory against the Steelers in the 2011 wild-card game.
"They must not have watched the film. For him to say the Steelers were No. 1, that was bad. He shouldn't even be on TV," Stewart said. "He remembers D.T. well."
He also believes the Broncos will be back better than ever, even without Peyton Manning.
"We are ready for the challenge," Stewart said. "From day one, we came in with our mindset on repeating."