After an impressive week three showing against the Carolina Panthers the Pittsburgh Steelers will be back on the field Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Tuesday Mike Tomlin gave his weekly press conference, in which he commented on the matchup with the Bucs, injuries, and he said obviously nine times. NPC’s Kim Myers gave an overview of the presser in Tomlin Tuesday. On Thursday both Dick LeBeau and Todd Haley gave quick interviews about how their unit is looking and what they expect come Sunday.
After rushing for 264 yards against the Panthers, Todd Haley sounded very pleased with the progress of the run game but he knows that one good week does not prove anything.
"“We couldn’t run the ball as inefficiently as we did last year. I think it’s just been a process and we are making progress. I think we saw some of the fruits of that labor last week against a really good defense. We got to just keep building and keep getting better.”"
Haley was then asked questions about both Maurkice Pouncey and Le’Veon Bell. Haley commented on the value of Pouncey and how much he has meant to the team this season after his injury. Haley said that Pouncey is one of, if not, the best centers in the game and anytime you can have a great player than brings energy to the team you are going to be a better unit.
As for Bell and his great start to his second year, Haley credited Le’Veon’s work ethic for his good conditioning. Bell has been very serious throughout the offseason and season and Haley said, “He is putting himself in the best possible positions to succeed. At the same time I think a big part of it is the offensive line working together and everybody being on the same page.”
Haley also commented on Dri Archer’s role if he will be on the field Sunday. Haley said if he has a helmet, they would find something for him to do.
Dick LeBeau talked about the state of the defense after all the week two injuries. LeBeau was asked about how he has prepared for this week since he will be without Ike Taylor, Jarvis Jones, and Ryan Shazier.
"“We’re fortunate that we have some good people behind them and we’ll have to adjust. It won’t be the only game during the season that this situation will arise. I’m sure of that. We try to prepare for this starting at coaching sessions and up into training camp. We try to practice for plan B and plan C.” –LeBeau"
LeBeau then commented on the shape James Harrison is in. He was not surprised to see that Harrison had been lifting weights but he was glad to see that his overall conditioning appeared to be pretty good. LeBeau also said it was nice to see him out on the practice field. As for Harrison’s role this Sunday, LeBeau expects him to be an option but he wouldn’t commit to it, saying that’s up to coach Tomlin.
LeBeau was then asked about the development of Cortez Allen. LeBeau said that Allen has been up and down like most young corners are. He also believes that Allen has tremendous athletic skills but it just hasn’t translated to all the games just yet. He hopes that Allen will continue to improve and become more productive.
You can listen to both Haley’s and LeBeau’s interviews right here.