Steelers Thursday Transcripts – Mike Tomlin – Dick LeBeau – Bruce Arians – Ben Roethlisberger – Brett Keisel – Mike Wallace


Coach Mike Tomlin AFC Championship Week

January 20, 2011

Coach Tomlin: Good afternoon.  I thought we had a good practice today.  I really liked the energy and enthusiasm.  It’s an arrow up on the execution, of course, which is needed as we push forward towards Sunday.  But we’re not a finished product yet.  It’s why we have tomorrow, of course, and the day after.  So I like where we are, we’ll just continue to push forward.

Re: An injury update:

None at this point.  We have some guys limited, of course.  Aaron Smith is really kind of in the same spot he’s been in from a health standpoint.  Arnaz Battle has an illness.  We’ve asked him to stay at home the last couple of days so as not to spread the illness.  And the other guys are marching back, talking about Bryant McFadden and Will Allen and Troy (Polamalu).  We expect participation in some form or fashion from those guys tomorrow.

Re: Aaron Smith’s injury and if he wasn’t so respected and such a part of the team would the organization have placed him on injured reserve months ago?

I think from a football decision-making standpoint, the number one issue is what he brings from a playing standpoint.  No question, he is a respected guy, he’s a great guy, he’s a team leader, but  I think the number one element of reserving a place for him is we know what kind of dynamic player he is and we know he is capable of helping us if given an opportunity to get back in uniform.

How hard was it to cut ties with Santonio Holmes this past offseason?

Those are business decisions that you make every year to be quite honest with you.  I hated to see Larry Foote go two years ago.  It’s as much a part of the business as blocking and tackling.

Re: Larry Foote leaving in free agency and the team trading Santonio Holmes and there being a difference.

But the feelings are the same.  You develop a certain level of respect for what guys are willing to do, what they’re capable of doing.  You develop personal relationships with them.  So that’s what I mean when I compare it to that.  Emotionally, it’s very similar.

Re: Since he’s been here how the team has maintained an even keel even during weeks like this when everyone is looking for a battle of words.

I guess the battle of words that everyone is looking for is probably more directed at those guys.  We’re just going about business as we normally go about it.  We try not to talk a lot because we realize at 6:30 on Sunday what’s said doesn’t mean much.  It’s more about what we do.  And that’s kind of been my mantra since we’ve gotten here, and the guys have done a nice job of kind of adhering to it.

Re: The respect the defense has for Dick LeBeau.

He’s a special man first and foremost, no question.  He’s arguably the best in the world at what he does.  But to be around him on a day-to-day basis, he’s a special person, one with a unique background and a story to tell, great experience that provides great direction for these men.  There’s nothing that this game can present to him that he hasn’t seen in this league, and I think the guys have a level of respect for it.  But at the same time, he has a unique and very authentic way of relaying those stories and lessons to the men.

How has Coach LeBeau helped you become a better coach?

The way he approaches his job given the number of years that he’s been doing it is inspiring, I think, to anyone that has a desire to be great.  I learn from him.  He inspires me.  He’s just a special guy to be around.

Can you assess Mark Sanchez and is there a comparison to Ben Roethlisberger in terms of their development?

I’m really not in the business of assessing Mark Sanchez’s development.  I’m not around him on a day-to-day basis. I don’t coach him.  What I’m doing this week is simply preparing to play him.  We acknowledge that he’s a good player.  He’s a unique player for a young guy because he doesn’t make the mistakes that a lot of young guys make.  He protects the ball, and I think the way they’re built, that gives them a chance to win, of course, when called upon.  He’s delivered significant play after significant play for those guys to help them win.

Re: Rex Ryan’s defense and how it differs in New York from Baltimore.

I don’t care if you played Coach Ryan 16 straight weeks, you’d probably prepare a little different every time.  I think that’s one of the things that makes him unique.  They have a wide variety of things that they can present to you and ways they can play you, and you respect them for it.  They do all of those things and they still do it at a high level.  They’re where they’re supposed to be, they see what they’re supposed to see.  They don’t beat themselves, they don’t give up big plays.  That’s what makes it difficult and tough to prepare for.

How rare is a guy like Maurkice Pouncey to come in and play well as a rookie?

Pretty rare, pretty rare.

What are the rare qualities Pouncey has and why doesn’t a guy like that come along every year?

He has the combination that you’re looking for.  By that, I mean he’s extremely talented and he legitimately loves what he does.  When you put those two things together, you have an opportunity to have a quality player.

Coach Dick LeBeau AFC Championship Week

January 20, 2011

Re: More pressure on the quarterback:

You always need a little more pressure on the quarterback. I don’t think we had any sacks the last game, no we had one for zero yards. I think more important than that we didn’t get any turnovers in that game at all. We have to turn the ball over a little, get pressure on the ball.

Does down and distance affect bringing pressure?

I don’t think so. It was a one-play game and that’s probably what it will be this Sunday.

Re: Ike Taylor:

Ike is having a great season, great. Ike’s been playing great ball steadily for however how many years you want to talk about. As a cornerback, maybe you have a play here or a play there, every corner does, this is my seventh year back, he’s played solid every year.

Re: Relationship with your defensive players:

I know that I have got some really good players. I coach and they play. They make me look like a pretty good coach sometimes. A lot of us have been together through some ups and downs, but mostly I coach and they play.

Re: How they honored you at the Hall of Fame:

They have consistently. They are the best PR department I’ve got. They got me in. It was great. It’s very humbling to be honest with you. It’s the type of thing that makes you think you’ve made the right career choice at least when the guys you are working with can treat you like that. It’s a very special thing and it’s a lifetime memory. It’s something I will never forget.

Re: Applying pressure when the Jets like to get rid of the football quickly:

You have to come every play even if you are worried about coverage. Everybody has to go every down. People get rid of the ball fast against us. That’s just a weekly situation that we face. There is a rumor going around that we like to pressure. I don’t know where they got that, but I still think we tied for the lead in the league in sacks. Our guys do a good job of just hanging with it. They just keep coming. You never know when the opportunity is going to be there when he can’t throw it quickly. Or if he does throw it quickly it’s probably going to be picked. Those are the situations you have to take advantage of. We don’t really adjust. Everybody goes into the game against us figuring they are going to get rid of the ball quickly.

Re: Braylon Edwards:

I think he was a great player in Cleveland. He has always been a great player. It’s a plus for us, having played him every season since he came into the league. We know how good he is. Maybe some other teams don’t. He has got a great size advantage on anybody on him. He’s got plenty of speed and great athleticism. He is a great receiver. Santonio was here. We know him and we know how good he is. They got a slot receiver in the last couple of games that has played pretty well. That team has a lot of good players. And their tight end [Dustin Keller] may be the best receiver they have. I said maybe, so they have four-or-five guys that can do the job. That’s why they are in this game.

Re: Dustin Keller not catching as many touchdowns as of late:

Touchdowns are like interceptions. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. But if you look at that guy throughout the season, he’s been a steady producer for them. The plays that they design and where the ball goes, they think he is one of their best receivers. They are looking for that guy a lot. He’s a very good player. Touchdowns, sometimes you get five in a row. Sometimes it’s about how many catches you have. And he’s got plenty.

Re: Rush defense now compared to the ’08 team:

Somebody said this was the best rushing numbers in the history of this franchise. We are going to be happy with that. I think they had some pretty good defenses here in the 1970’s. That’s a little bit like the question on the touchdowns. Everybody plays hard on every down. Sometimes situations in games they don’t run. Sometimes the play that they run hit us in the right spot. But to put up the numbers like our guys did in a 16-game season, they had to play darn-good run defense. We are going to be happy with that and at the same time not taking anything for granted. This is one of the best rushing teams in the league and we are going to have to play very well to hold them down running the ball. They are excellent runners.

Re: Legacy of this franchise and how they continue to bring in good players:

I think our front office has done a great job with Coach Tomlin drafting to fit what we do. That goes right back to Kevin Greene and Greg Lloyd and those guys. And of course the ‘70’s and those linebackers, they are all in the hall of fame. I think some of these others will end up in there also. Sometimes that is handed down really from one generation of players to another. I definitely think this group of defenders has been affected by earlier groups by how hard they play and how they run to the ball. That’s just Steelers’ football. Really it’s reflecting back to the guys that played here before these guys.

How much longer will you coach?

I have a standard retort to that. Hell, I am not even the oldest coach in the state of Pennsylvania. There’s a guy up there at Penn State that’s 10 years older than me. I feel like the baby. First of all someone has to want you to coach. We have been blessed from that standpoint. We will see how that goes. I don’t think these guys had too bad of a year defensively. We still have some defense to play. If somebody wants me to work, I think maybe we can still get them in-and-out of the huddle a couple times. But I am not looking too far down the road. As a friend once said, “We’re not buying any green bananas baby.”

Coach Bruce Arians AFC Championship Week

January 20, 2011

Re: Challenge of replacing Santonio Holmes:

It was extremely challenging. You are taking a great player who can do so many different things and who finally learned the offense, and then you put a second-year player [Mike Wallace] in his place, who has done a heck of a job. The sky is the limit for Mike and the two young guys have stepped in and stepped up. So it was kind of a committee to replace him.

Re: The weather this Sunday:

We are very fortunate to have a quarterback that weather does not bother him, whether it’s wind, snow or rain, he knows how to handle it. He has proven that we don’t have to change the game plan because of weather conditions.

Re:  Familiarity with the Jets:

There is so much familiarity because of Rex. Having played him for 10 years and going against his scheme for so long it amazes me how he can keep coming up with new stuff. I really think he is the best in the business of what he does. It’s always an extreme challenge to play against him, whether it was Baltimore and now the Jets. Their cornerbacks are a little bit better, and that makes it a lot more challenging. But to have one game under our belt to see what they tried to then, you know something else it coming. He has a litany of blitzes. So you try to get ready for as many as you can.

Re: Hines Ward being able to get open:

He brings guys to his level. He is so smart that if and when a play breaks down, he has a great camaraderie with Ben and a great feel of which way he is going. And it’s also computed in his brain of what the coverage was. He will find a spot, or he is strong enough to shake his guy loose. He is one of the best of improvising that we have along with our quarterback.

Re: Hines:

He’s not the fastest, so if you are a 4-2, you are still playing 4-6. He can still separate. I think that’s one thing that Hines still has and Derrick Mason still has. They still have the great separation. Their game was never predicated on speed. It was smarts and being able to separate from the defender and use their strength. So he’s never lost that. So it doesn’t matter if your corner is running a 4-2, they are not going to run a 4-2 against him. They are going to play at his level.

Re: Wide receiver being a difficult position:

It’s probably the hardest position on offense. There are so many different styles of corners and safeties and things they have to learn. Most have not been exposed to good route running, press man-to-man. The quarterbacks that are coming out that you are dealing with at this level are pretty accomplished, unless you are doing a project. So you try to tailor for what they have done, having been with Peyton Manning and Tim Couch, you do what they do best. And they are normally used to spread offenses. So that part of the game they play pretty well, with their backs to the line of scrimmage. But the wide receiver position, and I will throw the center position in there with it because we have a freak [Maurkice Pouncey] who came in here and did something that I didn’t think was possible, play as well as he has played, made the Pro Bowl and dominated his play, because we are so greedy we ask our center to do so much. And we ask our wide receivers to do so much. Running backs just run. And everybody else you just do your position. College wide receivers don’t play with a guy pressed on them a lot. That’s what usually separates the good ones.

Re: Ben’s scrambling ability:

All throughout the spring and through training camp we don’t have a whistle. Plays are just extended on seven-on-seven and in team to allow that stuff to be taught. You basically learn scramble rules as you go through it. Each play has a little bit of different scramble rules to it depending on where you are at. You really never know where Ben is going to go. Once he gets going then the rules take place. And we have gotten really good at it.

Have you had to work with this group more with Ben?

Yeah, I think you have to learn how to do it with your guy. It was new for our young players to be around him to make plays when the plays weren’t dead. As far as Mike, Hines and Heath, they all knew how to do it.

Re: Using tight ends against the Jets:

They have outstanding linebackers and safety. Matt [Spaeth] played as good of a game that game as he did in a long time. He stepped up knowing that we had a lot of game plans for him. And they have some great tight ends at New England. That’s pretty much the core of their offense. I don’t know if it is a weakness on their defense or that those tight ends were good enough to have success. We left some things out there in our ballgame that we had for Matt. Hopefully we can get them with Heath.

Re: Not having a whistle in the offseason:

There are certain periods that we will let the play be extended until the ball is thrown, seven-on-seven, some passing drills where even if he is sacked we don’t stop the play. We just keep working so that the defense plays against a scrambling quarterback and the offense learns how to scramble. It’s something that Coach Tomlin has always done since he has been here. It’s helped us practice something that is very hard to practice because it is ad-lib. It lets you ad-lib at practice. The defense always gets mad because they think they sacked us. It’s fun.

Re: The fumble last game where everyone versus the Ravens and what you told your guys:

Just listen for the whistle. It was kind of a freaky play. 21 guys stopped. So did he [Cory Redding]. I still think a whistle blew. But that’s neither-here-nor-there.

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

NATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL

PITTSBURGH STEELERS QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER

January 20, 2011

On benefits of postseason experience entering this weekend’s AFC Championship Game:

It helps with being familiar with the atmosphere, the intensity of the game and knowing every play matters, every play counts and every mistake is magnified.  Being here and having done this before, you don’t really get surprised with how big the game is.

On his confidence in Steelers WRs Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace:

Those guys have done such a great job – speaking of Mike (Wallace) first – of really growing from last year to this year.  Obviously, everyone talks about how fast he is.  (Steelers head) Coach (Mike) Tomlin teases him and calls him a one-trick pony, but he has done a great job of being able to do more than just run fast down the field.  He kind of takes pride in putting the extra work in to being a better all-around wide receiver.  He is still growing.  The sky is the limit for him.

As for Emmanuel (Sanders) and Antonio (Brown), those guys both put in a lot of work and time because they know they have got to live up to the expectations of Mike Wallace and (Steelers WR) Hines Ward who has been here forever.  It is really an awesome thing to see those guys work and really just blossom and grow every week.

On recent success of road playoff teams:

When you’ve got a veteran team, I think that really helps – a team that kind of has been down the road.  It is not their first playoff run or they just have a lot of experience.  You’re seeing that now with the Jets.  They’ve obviously got a really good team and a veteran group.  You kind of lean on those guys to get you through it.  You take this ‘it’s us against the world’ (mentality) but it’s really you against the other team and the other fans and the hostile environment you play in.  That’s probably the approach that those guys take because I know it is one that we took.

On Steelers WRs Ward and Antwaan Randle El influencing the position group:

Especially Hines, he has been doing this at a really high level for a long time.  He is one of the best receivers I have ever played with.  He takes those guys under his wings and teaches them the little things that he can help them with.  The thing about Hines is the football style and some of the things that he does you can’t teach.  You are born with it.  He has that ‘it’ factor.  As much as he can, he helps those guys out.  It has been huge for those guys to have him and now Antwaan back helping out.

On the Jets defensive success in the playoffs:

Literally everything from their coverages to their blitzes to rushing two guys and getting sacks, it is truly amazing.  I’ve said that.  They can go into Indianapolis and beat (QB) Peyton Manning and go to New England and beat (QB) Tom Brady, who are the two best quarterbacks in the game in my opinion, I don’t know how I have a chance.  I’m just going to have to try and get lucky and play the best I can.

On his attitude toward reaching the AFC Championship game after missing games to begin the season:

The great thing is that was so long ago I forgot all about it.  Right now it is not about living in the past for me; it is about here and now and this game.  We can’t really afford to look back and focus on the past.  We have to do what we’ve got to do now, and that’s trying to win this game against a really good team.

On the Steelers’ defensive performance enhancing the offense:

It’s great.  As a quarterback, when you have a defense like we have, it gives you some confidence that if you make a mistake or don’t score every time your defense is going to be there to back you up most of the time.  I enjoy watching those guys play.  I’m glad they are on my side.

On if his competitiveness drives him to challenge Jets CB Darrelle Revis:

It’s tough.  You’re right.  As a competitor, you don’t want to ever say you are scared of anybody or you don’t want to go after someone but you’ve got to use your head.  Being a competitor is being smart as well.  Knowing how good he is and with all those other guys they have over there, you can’t just be like, ‘Forget that, I’m a competitor.  I’m going after him.  I don’t care what happens.’  You have got to be able to use your head and know when to attack and when not to.

On knowledge acquired since playing in the 2005 postseason:

How much the intensity and how much faster – I remember from people telling me from the preseason to the regular season the speed changes.  It kind of picks up and intensifies a little bit, and it did.  Then you talk about how much it changes once you get into the playoffs from the regular season.  Every week in the playoffs, it picks up a little bit more.  I don’t think I realized that at first.  Even when people tried to tell me, it really didn’t hit me.

Now I see that and that’s why I try and pass that on to the younger guys.  Every week your mistakes are magnified.  There is no more ‘my bad, I’ll get it next time’ because there is not going to be one.

On interest in playing a postseason game in London:

That’s a long flight, I’ve heard.  I’ve talked to some of the guys who have played over there.  They say it is one of the most awesome things that they have gotten to do.  If you didn’t have to travel all that time with the long flight, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

I think it would be fun to go play in Ireland where Ambassador (Art) Rooney is.  That would be kind of fun.

On his growth as a player and person since last season:

When it comes to play, the more you play in this league the more you mature, the better you get and the more things slow down for you.  I just try and go out every week and every day and get a little bit better and help my team win football games.  When it comes to being a person, I just try to be the person my parents raised me to be.

On a formula for postseason success:

Try not to make mistakes and score more points than the other team does (laughter).

On competing with other quarterbacks for Super Bowl victories:

I’m not going for my third Super Bowl.  I’m trying to get an AFC Championship win here.  That’s what is first and foremost in my mind.  In the offseason, of course, you think about those things – how many Super Bowls you have compared to other people.  Right now, that’s not in my mentality and my mind frame to think about where I am on the Super Bowl list because I’m not playing in the Super Bowl this week.  This week is about playing this Jets defense, which may be one of the best we have ever played.

Brett Keisel AFC Championship Week

January 20, 2011

When did you start growing your beard?

I started growing it right after mini-camp, right around the middle of June.

Was there a purpose?

Yeah, to look like this. It was just something fun that I decided to do. Playoff beards are a big thing around here in Pittsburgh. We missed the playoffs a year before. So this is just something I tried to do to convince myself that we’re getting back to the playoffs.

Re: People trying to copy your beard:

There are. Coach LeBeau says the biggest form of a compliment is when someone copies you. So I guess I am complimented.

Re: The beard having a Facebook page:

Yes, someone is doing that. I am just going to lay that out there, that it is not me. There is a twitter page too. That’s not me either. Someone is having some fun with it, which I don’t really mind.

Re: Getting pressure on Sanchez:

It’s big, it’s very important. We didn’t get to him last time, and I think that is something we have done well as of late is getting the quarterback, even if we don’t get him on the ground, getting good pressure. We’ve got to try and do that this week if we want to be successful.

Re: Do the yards to go for the Jets play a factor in getting pressure on Sanchez:

Yes, Coach LeBeau studies that stuff nonstop. If you go by his office, the man is watching tape. He is the one that gives us all the calls. All we can do is go out and execute them. But if we know we have a base front and there’s just a three-or-four man rush, we know we have to get pressure and keep him in the pocket if we want to be successful.

Re: Ziggy Hood:

He’s done a phenomenal job. Those are big shoes to fill, in Aaron Smith. Ziggy has really come in and played well. It is not easy to play in this defense, even after you get three or four years under your belt, learning and you are still growing. I think the kid has made a lot of strides. He is a big reason why we are in this position.

Re: Mark Sanchez:

Mark is playing great ball. He is one of those guys that is extremely slippery. If he feels the pocket collapse he can get out and make things happen. I think he is really playing great ball right now. He understands what his offense wants him to do. If the check down is not there, he is going to try to make something happen. The big thing is getting a good cup on the pocket and keeping him in there. If we can do that we give ourselves a chance to win.

Re: Coach LeBeau facing a team a second time after losing:

That’s the biggest thing is when you get beat and make mistakes, you have to go and look at yourself and correct the things that you did wrong, because you know they are going to try and exploit that again. They got us on a bootleg, kind of a tricky play for a touchdown. Those types of things, you want to make sure everyone is doing their job. There shouldn’t be any gaps in the defense.

Re: Troy Polamalu:

I think of how phenomenal of an athlete he is. There isn’t anyone in the league that can cover space like Troy can. There isn’t anyone that has a feel for the game I think like Troy has. You don’t see anyone jumping over on fourth-and-one situations on a quarterback sneak, timing the blitz up perfectly to where they snap the ball and he is over there making the play. That’s the biggest thing. You know you are going to get a couple of special plays from that guy, especially when it comes around to playoff time. We look forward to seeing some spectacular moves from Mr. Polamalu.

Re: Similarities or differences between the ’10 Jets and ’05 Steelers:

There are similarities. They have beaten some great teams. They went up to Indianapolis and got them. I think that’s a similarity. We did that, too. It’s a tough road, but it can be done. We are trying to not let that happen here.

Re: Ziggy playing in college and in the pros:

When he was playing college, Ziggy was an interior 3-4 lineman. You are taught to get up the field and make plays happen when they come to you. Here is a complete different deal. It’s about staying square and staying in your gap. If you feel like you can bounce outside and make a play, you can’t do that in this league. The running backs are too good. And people are finding out better ways to block the 3-4 defenses. If you don’t stay where you are supposed to be, there is going to be a hole there, going to be a crease. You are going to get gashed. I can’t say enough about the kid. He has really upped his game. He has played A-ball. Aaron Smith is one of the greatest players ever to be at this facility. To be able to come in and play well, and to not have that scrutiny that we have had before is definitely a tribute to that kid.

Mike Wallace AFC Championship Week

January 12, 2011

Do you expect the Jets to change how they played you from last game?

It’s the playoffs, so I guess you never really know what to expect.  You can always expect a few wrinkles, a few new things, but not really.  I think they are who they are.  They’re a man team.  They like to play man and mix in a little bit of zone, but I think for the most part they are going to try to lock up on us.

How do you feel like you can attack the Jets defense, and what is key?

Just winning one-on-one battles, everybody, they have two outstanding corners on the outside, but also in the slots they bring in the safeties and the corners, they bring them down and let you take everybody one on one. So that’s the main thing, if you can win one-on-one battles I think we’ll have a chance.

Do you think Darrelle Revis didn’t cover you last game because he was coming off a hamstring injury?

I don’t know.  I don’t know why he didn’t cover me.  I think (Antonio) Cromartie is a really good player himself, so I had to worry about him the whole game.  It really doesn’t matter who covers me, I have to go with him on 6:30 on Sunday.

Do you expect more Darrelle Revis this time?

I expect anything.  You have to expect anything, but I’m not sure what they’re going to do.  Whatever they do, I will be ready.

Would you like to see more of Darrelle Revis?

I would just like to see us win the AFC Championship, really.  I don’t care who is on me.  Whoever takes me, like I said, it’s going to be a long day for whoever takes me.

How much would a good game from Rashard Mendenhall help the passing game?

A lot, I think it goes hand in hand.  I think if he has a really good game, it can help the passing game, and I think if we have a really good game it can help him.  I think he will have a pretty good game because our offensive line has really been doing a good job out there making some holes for him.  I think he’ll hit it this game.  We have a lot on the line.  I think he knows what’s going on, and he’ll be ready.

Re: The Jets defensive backs and contact down the field.

I think everybody is going to hold because that’s on every team.  I don’t think it’s that team that does that.  When you are in as many one-on-one situations that they are, you have to expect that sometimes.  But they do a really good job of doing it, and if the referees don’t call it, obviously it’s not a penalty.

What was it like going up against Ike Taylor in training camp, and does he rank with (the Jets corners)?

I think he’s one of the best.  He’s going to get overlooked, I guess, because he doesn’t have as many interceptions as everybody else, but I think he does just as good of a job as any of those guys in one-on-one situations.  We put him on the best player every week, and I don’t ever really hear too much about him.  I think he’s doing a really good job out there.

Why do you feel you lost to the Jets last time?

We didn’t make the plays at the end of the game to win a ballgame.  It was on the offense at the end of the game last time, and we just didn’t come up with the plays.  I think if we make one or two more plays in the red zone we win the ballgame.

Have you seen more zone coverage from the Jets the past two weeks?

Yes.  Last week when I watched the game they did, especially last week.  They have a mix of zones.  They’re still going to blitz, but they disguise them a little bit better and they drop into zones and still blitz.  So they’re doing a lot more zone blitzing instead of cover zero blitzes.

How does it change how Revis and Cromartie play him and Hines Ward if the Jets play more zone?

I think they’ll still play the same way.  Even if they’re in zone, they can still man up on the outsides as well if they want to.  They have a lot of different ways they can run zone, so with their coach, he’s a real good coach. You never know what to expect.

If the Jets play man on the outside, can it make it tougher on them if Roethlisberger scrambles outside of the pocket?

Most definitely, because I think that’s what you’re going to get with Ben anyway.  It’s going to be hard to bring him down, so either way it goes, man or zone; they’re still going to have to cover because he can always extend the plays.

How much do you work as receivers for when plays break down?

We work on it quite often.  I think it’s becoming in us just to know to scramble, even at practice when somebody doesn’t get the ball at first to just keep working.  I think it’s in us just because we know what type of team we have and what kind of quarterback that we have, so I think it’s just natural for us to scramble.

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About Dave Bryan

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