Steelers vs Chargers: Thursday with the Coordinators


Welcome to Thursday with the Coordinators!  

Every week we break down what offensive coordinator Todd Haley and defensive coordinator Keith Butler had to say at their weekly pressers.

Let’s first start with OC Todd Haley and what he had to say about that Chargers defense and many other things!

On Chargers defense and safety Eric Weddle:

"“They’re a good, aggressive, attacking defense. They got a number of guys that I know pretty well from past experience, starting with that number 32. Weddle, who’s a heck of a football player, you know being in Kansas City and seeing him a couple times a year. He’s one of those guys that you gotta know where he is at all times.”"

On extra days of practice and Michael Vick:

"“It’s great. As I said last week, it was a tough deal for a guy who hasn’t had a lot of reps at all, period. Actual, meaningful, Pittsburgh Steelers reps that is. So, to be able to be out here and make calls in the huddle, from an operational standpoint for him, his comfort level of what the words mean and what they mean to him. All of those things are so, so important. Having an extra day this week is huge. Last week was an extreme situation, in my opinion. We really had to be smart about what he was comfortable with, what we liked versus the Ravens and what they were trying to do defensively. This week, with the extra time, it’s more about continuing to build on what we were able to do last week, obviously, tailored to the San Diego Chargers. Like I said, the biggest thing to me are some of the fundamental, operational things you take for granted. Then, all of the sudden you have a new guy who hasn’t been around much who has to spit out words, formations and plays. And do it in a timely fashion. I thought he did a great job. For the most part, I thought he did a great job on giving us a chance to win the game.”"

On DeAngelo Williams and Le’Veon Bell:

"“We have two really good backs and they both have a different skillset, so to speak. Again, depending on the game plan and where we are from a situational standpoint, things just haven’t fallen that way. But, we’re definitely excited about having him here and he’s excited to be here. He had one really good opportunity last week and he made a nice run for it. I’d like to see him carrying it more. It is difficult though when you have Le’Veon. Do you give it to him? Do you take him off the field? All of those things factor in. We have to balance and have a feel within the game. As we continue to move forward, I’m sure it will work itself out.”"

On Martavis Bryant:

"“I’m excited to have Martavis back, first and foremost. Anything related to guys not practicing, you need to talk to Coach Tomlin.”"

On the clocking ticking down and the offense rushing plays:

"“I don’t know that to be a fact. I just know that doing it after practicing for two days and making the calls for two days, I thought Mike did a terrific job. That was not an easy situation and it became a high-pressure situation, and he was able to get us in and out of the huddle and run the plays called. Again, I thought he did a commendable job for the short week of work.”"

Defensive coordinator Keith Butler

On Philip Rivers:

"“He is a very sharp and studious young man. He knows the game very well. He’s been in the league a long time. He and Ben Roethlisberger as you all, were drafted the same year. They came in the same year. Ben has won a couple of Super Bowls. Philip’s dad is a high school coach. He kind of grew up in football. He knows basic football very well. He studies the game. He knows what we are going to do or try to do. It’s going to be a challenge for us to try to reel him in on some stuff. It’s going to be tough to do with him, because he is very sharp. Plus he has the autonomy. He can do about whatever he wants to out there.”"

On Antonio Gates and Heath Miller:

"“He is very smart. He plays above the neck. He might have lost a little speed. Everybody says it. I don’t know about that. He does a great job of using his basketball skills to be a tight end/receiver in that he can body you up and move in front of you. Smaller guys, he can body-up. You can’t get to the ball. He gets between you and the ball. He makes sure he catches it and you don’t. He is a very competitive guy, a guy that has a lot of pride in the way he plays. He is an excellent football player. If you’ve watched Heath’s development over the years, when he first came in he was playing off of talent. In the middle years, and it’s the same way with many football players in the league, in your first three years you play off of talent. In the next three years you play off talent and knowledge, which should be your most productive years. And your last three years you are playing off of talent and you appear to be as fast as you were your first three years, but really you aren’t. You are just anticipating a little bit quicker, and playing better sometimes.”"

On Ryan Shazier:

"“I don’t know. He is practicing right now. He is moving around good. We will have to wait and see in the next couple of days if his shoulder is still bothering him. We will see. We don’t know right now.”"

On what he saw in Ross Cockrell:

"“I didn’t see anything in him. Coach Tomlin had seen him on film and brought him in. What I saw when he got here, the thing I was most impressed with was that he would always jump up. When they were doing one-on-ones with receivers he would always try to jump up and take Antonio Brown. That showed me the kid had confidence. That’s a big thing when you are trying to play cornerback. You have to have a short memory and have a lot of confidence. He did pretty well against A.B. in practice, and he started refining his technique a little bit. But he got better and better every day.”"

On defense keeping you in games, especially against the Ravens:

"“Any time you play Baltimore – we didn’t care that they were 0-3. They are always going to play a good football game. That game is always the epitome of what the NFL is really all about. That’s competitiveness and being physical. Really, an all-out hard fought and hard played football game. We knew that going in when we play these guys. Our guys were pumped for it. It was on Thursday night, and they played well, especially on some of the third-down and fourth-down stuff. I think they learned to trust each other more and more, and the more they do that the better off we are going to be and the better we are going to become. For us, that’s what we are trying to get done, just get better every week a little bit.”"

On defense having two interceptions in back to back games:

"“I hope we are trending in the right direction. I hope they throw us a couple more. Joe Flacco threw us one in the game. He kind of misread what we were doing at the time. But he is a good quarterback. We got one with Will Allen off of Nick Foles with a little bit of pressure. So it’s a combination of pressure and good pass coverage in order to get interceptions. That’s what we need to do. We need to create more turnovers to put our offense in position to make plays. Had we won the game we would have been a lot better off, but we didn’t win the game. We didn’t make enough stops. It’s as plain and simple as that. Sometimes, you have to rely on your defense. Sometimes you have to rely on your offense. That’s how you win games in the NFL. You don’t win strictly because of offense or defense or special teams. Every once in awhile during the season somebody has to stand up, whether it be offense or defense and win the game for you. We weren’t able to do that. As well as we played, we are still very bitter to lose that game.”"

My two-cents:

I’m excited to see Shazier back and how he’ll do when he’s matched up against Gates. I’m sure Butler will mix it up with coverages to throw Gates off his game.  I’m interested to see how the Chargers handle Vick. I think they have quite a few holes on defense, so I’m expecting Vick and Haley to exploit that in some way.

I’m stoked to see Martavis back, I’m curious to see how often Haley uses him. Bryant can obviously help Vick a TON, we saw that in the Buffalo pre-season game. I think with Bryant back it will create many mismatches. I’d hate to play Vick, Bell, Brown, Bryant, and Miller.

I am fully expecting our defense to get their hands on Rivers often. I think the Chargers “elephant in the room” is their offensive line. Their center left the game last week with a groin injury, their starting left guard and left tackle didn’t practice again today. Their center might be moved to guard and their backup center may start on Monday night.

If Vick doesn’t turn the ball over and we contain Gates, I think we’ll walk out of San Diego with a 3-2 record.

Here we go, Steelers! Here we go!

Next: Steelers vs Chargers fantasy outlook

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