The Steelers will take on the Baltimore Ravens at home on Thursday in a little AFC North action and the offensive and defensive coordinators are formulating their game plans on how to come out of the game with a win.
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley spoke after Tuesday’s practice about Mike Vick being the next man up at quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger’s absence.
"“It’s still our mentality, but with that being said, this is the quarterback, who touches the ball on every single play. So, just like any other player out there, we work hard as a coaching staff. What we take pride in is playing to each player’s strengths. When you are talking about the quarterback, you are going to do the same thing. He is not just stepping in and doing what Ben did, so to speak. He is going to be doing what gives Mike Vick the best chance to help us succeed.” – Todd Haley"
The biggest thing to remember is that Ben Roethlisberger is obviously a one-of-a-kind quarterback so you couldn’t ask anyone to step in and do what he does. What Todd Haley has been known for his coaching career is getting the most out of the players he has.
The Steelers can’t exactly just have Vick hand the ball off to Le’Veon Bell or DeAngelo Williams all night long and expect the win the game. Any defensive coordinator worth a dime is going to stack the box and expect the run to make Vick beat them with his arm.
Haley and Vick are going to have to be creative, at the same time being conservative and not take risky chances that could result in turnovers or, even worse, Vick getting injured. No one wants to see Landry Jones take the field.
Haley was asked how the offensive plan changes for Vick considering he is a left-handed quarterback.
"“I think you become a little more left-handed formationally. Like I said, when I call plays, everything is based off of the left hash mark when you have a right-handed quarterback, because generally you want your three-receiver side out to the field. So, when a lefty is in there, I think it kind of flips in your brain. We had a game plan one day that was funny. We kept writing three to the right instead of three to the left, but we felt comfortable today.” – Todd Haley"
You can listen to Haley’s entire comments right here.
Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler talked about whether or not losing the starting quarterback puts extra pressure on the defense.
Sep 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) makes a catches over Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall (29) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
"“I’ve talked about this before, Coach Tomlin is always on everybody about not seeking comfort or making excuses about what we have, because we lose one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The only thing that matters is if we win or lose. People don’t care what the problem is. They just want you to win. That’s what our job is built on. That’s the only thing that is important right now. We have to win despite our circumstances.” – Keith Butler"
The Ravens’ offense certainly hasn’t been setting the league on fire so far this season but they do have Joe Flacco, who may or may not be elite, depending on the day of the week and Steve Smith, Sr., who is a dinosaur who also plays wide receiver.
Butler discussed how to cover Smith considering he’s known to be a dirty player and this is known to be a physical game between these two teams.
"“He’s a real competitor. He’s a very good competitor. He plays a little nasty. He plays kind of mean, which I think is the frame of mind you have to have when you are combative in this atmosphere that the NFL is. You have to be willing to stand up, and he’s willing to do it.” – Keith Butler."
This is always a physical game and we’ll see how well the Steelers defense can step up against the Ravens as well as how well the offense can perform without Ben Roethlisberger.
You can listen to Butler’s entire comments right here.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!
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