Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans: Coordinator’s Comments


After an abysmal performance in Cleveland last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers will return home on Monday to take on the Houston Texans.  On Tuesday Mike Tomlin gave his weekly press conference, in which he commented on the matchup with the Texans, injuries, and he said obviously about 30 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 Monday.

With Steve McLendon likely out against the Texans with a shoulder injury, Dick LeBeau was asked about the chances of the Steelers stopping the solid Texans run game despite relying on some of their rookies.  Daniel McCullers was a topic of conversation throughout the interview.  LeBeau said he would be comfortable with McCullers playing an extended amount of snaps against the Texans.  LeBeau was also asked about how a man of McCullers size can get leverage at his position.

"“He’s got enough strength that he doesn’t always have to be the lowest guy.  He’s still very difficult to move even if sometimes they do get under him.  But he’s got strength and I think you’ll see that.” – LeBeau on McCullers"

With McLendon injured, yet another starter will be out of the lineup for the Steelers.  LeBeau was asked about the moving parts on defense.  He said it’s really business as usual and that’s what happens during an NFL season.  Going into a season LeBeau knew that all his players were going to play a significant amount of time and in the NFL the next man up has to step and do his job.

LeBeau was then asked about stopping the Texans running game, who have Arian Foster the league’s third leading rusher.  LeBeau stated that the Texans have a blocking front has done a wonderful job, which allows them to run the ball so well. He is aware that the Steelers will need to stop Foster and run game in order to win the game.

For the second straight week the topic of Martavis Bryant possibly making his NFL debut came up again.  Todd Haley once again said that Bryant is working hard to get a helmet for Monday.  Haley said that the rookie has done a good job and has made some plays in practice but he did not put his name to Bryant playing this week.

Haley was then asked about the Steelers struggles in the red zone.  Haley mentioned that during his studying he recognized 11 plays that lead to the offense losing 37 points in recent weeks.

"“When you get down in there tight the game changes, and how the defense can defend you changes.  We generally get eight in the box and man-to-man outside.  When you are getting that it’s going to be tough sledding running the football.  When you are throwing it you have to win on one-on-one situations.  That’s just the way it is.” – Haley on the red zone"

Haley was finally asked about going up against J.J. Watt on Monday night.  Haley had nothing but good things to say about the freakishly athletic defensive lineman.  Haley said they need everybody to handle Watt because he can play multiple positions and can make game changing plays.  He mentioned Watt’s three touchdowns this year and how you don’t generally see 300-pound men scoring  60 and 80 yard touchdowns.  Haley commended Watt for his  non-stop motor.  Haley does not expect to keep Watt off the stat sheet but he knows the Steelers offense has to limit the game changing plays that he is clearly capable of.

You can listen to both interviews right here.