Browns at Steelers: Coordinators Comments


Happy Friday everyone!

This Sunday the 2-7 Cleveland Browns will be visiting Heinz Field to take on our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.

Let’s see what offensive coordinator Todd Haley and defensive coordinator Keith Butler had to say about this week’s matchup.

Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley

How did Ben Roethlisberger look? What do you think about his status for Sunday?

It was just good to see him out there. Anything else you will have to ask Coach Tomlin. But any time No. 7 is out on the field, it’s a good thing.”

Re: Running back position:
I feel good about our backs. The other thing we have is Will Johnson, who has had extensive reps at being in the backfield, so protection-wise, all those things, we have another guy. The young guys are coming along. Jordan Todman got some snaps last week. He has been here. We feel good about him being in there.”

When was the last time Johnson worked at running back?
Training camp. I remember early in the year he ran down on the goal line [Patriots game], so we started the year really with him being in there with Le’Veon Bell being out.”

Is production just production? Is it okay if Antonio Brown gets every catch as long as you are getting the yards?
[Smiles] “You need to win, first and foremost. You obviously want guys involved and to have opportunities, but when it’s Sunday and you are in the game, I don’t care if one guy does it all. You need to move the chains and score points. Last week was a good example of that. A.B. made all the plays, and that was alright.”

Re: Mixing it up with DeAngelo Williams  so he isn’t getting all the carries so he can last the entire second half of the season:
That’s not for me to worry about. We discuss it and talk about it. Obviously when a guy is rolling like he was last week, you have to stay with the hot hand. That’s why the other guys are here at running back. Obviously when we can get him rest we will.”

Re: Landry Jones saying he needs to cut it loose this time and if you agree:
I’ll make the statement. I know we didn’t win the game, and the quarterback’s No. 1 job is to win, but Landry went into a hostile environment with a brand new left tackle against a pretty formidable defense that was very good against the run. They were really one of the best groups we’ve seen. I thought he moved the football. He threw a touchdown. He probably had another one dropped. He did a lot of good things. The last snap was a sack-fumble. We can’t have that. But he had us in a position until late to win the game. I thought for his first start in the NFL it was a positive one for the most part. He has more experience now than he did then. If he is the guy then he has to go out and continue to grow and get better.”

Re: Martavis Bryant’s 16th career game will be this Sunday:
I think he continues to make progress. Last week, obviously he would like to have a couple back. The first play of the game he had a little lapse in concentration, maybe running before he caught it. He had a go-ball that would have been a big play for us. The guy has proven to be a big play guy in limited opportunities. He has the knack of making big plays. I think he continues to mature as a receiver. He understands. He is much further ahead mentally than he was last year at this time. We are able to do a lot more with him. With that he just needs to continue to get better and make plays. And he has to leave less of the non-plays out there.”

Re: Him being a big-play guy:
I think his stature and skill set lends itself to being a big play type of receiver. It was that way in college, even though he had arguably one of the best receivers in the country getting the majority of the balls. When he got opportunities, he made big plays. I think he average over 20 yards per reception. He is a big guy that can run fast, and he has ball skills. When the ball is coming his way that means there is an opportunity to make big plays. Last week, you saw something he has done a few times here. He is able to take a short pass and turn it into a big play, like he did last year against Cincinnati in the second game. He is a guy that has a lot of talent. He is just continuing to refine it into skill. As he comes along, I think you will continue to see big things out of him.”

Re: Roosevelt Nix and what his role could be moving forward with DeAngelo Williams getting the carries:
I think Roosevelt in general is doing a very good job. I think he has a great story. He really made the team for his special teams ability. That showed up last week. In the process, he is developing into a good fullback. He gives us a physical presence. When you have a fullback on the field, even though it’s kind of gone by the wayside in a lot of places with the spread offenses, there is a level of physicality that comes with that, especially a guy like him that is going to run up in there and put his facemask on who he is supposed to hit. He is continuing to get better every week, and we are excited about him. DeAngelo, as you saw, he enjoys running with a lead fullback in there.”

Re: Brown’s performance compared to other ones you’ve seen:
It was the best I’ve been around. I’ve been around some big time guys, having coached wide receivers for a long time, whether it was Keyshawn Johnson, Marty Booker, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, I have had a lot of really good ones that have made plays. Dwayne Bowe2 scored 15 touchdowns in a year for Kansas City. As an individual performance, I’ve never had anybody rack up that kind of yardage in a game, both rushing and receiving.”

Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler

Re: On how the defense adjusts between Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown:
“I think they’re going to have the same game plan, so we’re trying to prepare for what we see on film. Both of them are good players. McCown is obviously a veteran, been around for a long time, very smart, does a lot of good things. He’s best in the league on third down, has a high quarterback rating on third down. Manziel is a little bit more dynamic. He gets out of the pocket a little bit more, but both are going to be a challenge for us.”

There’s nothing wrong with having that type of emotion. What is wrong is you can’t miss plays because of it.”

Re: On “I think a lot of times, the play is broken down sometimes and Johnny gets out of the pocket. When people are trying to pass drop in zone coverage, they lose visually sometimes and that’s happened a few times. At least it has on film. So, that probably accounts for the reason he’s had a little more success, in terms of number of throws and yards. That’s probably the difference in success between the two quarterbacks.”

Re: On making sure his outside linebacker aren’t isolated against receivers:

Stay out of those calls, hit the quarterback before he lets the thing go. If you look at that film, we had what we wanted, we were a little bit late. The NFL is a game of dimensions and sometimes you’re successful and sometimes you’re not. There was a guy I used to work for and he used to say, “Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.” The bear got us. Five touchdowns is way too much to give up. We had a couple blown assignments and we missed a tackle on one. We won the game, but am I satisfied with five touchdowns? No. Not at all. We have to play better and we have to put our guys in position to make plays. Do you say anything to Well, if that has to happen. We have four outside linebackers. We’ll be ok. Those guys have been over there before, especially Arthur. I don’t think that would be a problem for him and if we did do that, it would probably be Moats.”

In general, why was there difficulty getting pressure on the quarterback last week?

“I think we got pressure on him, he let the ball go a few times. He’s a good, young quarterback and he’s very mobile. He bought himself time a few times. We tried to pair up a couple times and they got us a couple times. They had the timing.

Where do you draw the line, or do you between playing with emotion, like Mike Mitchell does and turning your back on a live ball after a hit?

There’s nothing wrong with having that type of emotion. What is wrong is you can’t miss plays because of it. You can’t do that. We talked to him about it. We wanted to get fumble recoveries, stuff like that. It was a great hit and we want him to continue doing that, but we have to be careful about celebrating too quickly. He knows that, so we’ve definitely talked about it.”

Re: On Cleveland’s offense:

“We went back and looked at the tape from last year and they got 300-something yards on us in two games in the running game. If I’m them, if I’m their head coach, I’m coming off the bench running the ball. They have the same people up front, I think one of their guards might not play, but I’m not sure. They have the same people up front and one of their running backs is the same. If I looked at the film from last year, I would try to run the ball as much as I can, try to shorten the game and try to win the game the best they could. They’re capable of doing it. They’re a good football team. McCown is a very savvy veteran and he’s going to be accounted for. We have to play better, and we have to coach better than we did last week.”What do you think about the nose tackle position and how it’s changed? A guy like If you talked to

Re: When linebackers are good they are good:

“Yes. When I played, I had a guy named Joe Nash. When he was good, I was good. That’s the same thing I’m sure Lawrence would tell you. I see it. When he’s good, he is good. We hate to make those guys come off the field, but we have to do what we can to stop what’s out there.”

Aug 28, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon (90) rushes the line of scrimmage against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. The Panthers won 10-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Re: On Steve McLendon:
I think he’s gotten better year by year, because he’s always had the mentality that he’s going to work his butt off. He’s a valuable member of our team, because he’s had that experience of doing it. We lost Stephon Tuitt a little bit. When we lost Tuitt, he came in and played well for us. We’re not afraid to put him in there. Even in situations where we have the nickel package.”

Re: You keep saying that, but we haven’t seen too much of it.
“Not last week, and that’s up to John Mitchell. He watches those guys like a hawk and makes sure everybody is fresh. The two guys we have in there are pretty good. Tuitt came back this past week and like anybody else, when you miss time, sometimes you need to get some playing time. I’m sure that’s what John was trying to do with him, get his playing time back to normal.” 

My two-cents:

-First off, I can’t wait to see how DeAngelo Williams does against a Browns run defense that ranks last in the NFL. They’re allowing an average of 147.6 yards rushing yards per game. Williams had a big game last week and I expect him to have another big game this week.

-My gut instinct tells me that Landry Jones will do better in his second start. Jones wasn’t awful, or even bad against the Chiefs, he was okay. He’ll be at Heinz Field this time around and I think the offense will rally around him more than they did with Vick.

-Now, I assume most of us were probably disappointed with the fact that our defense didn’t apply much pressure (or no pressure at all) last week. I think that changes this week. I expect our boys to make a statement against the Browns (even if it’s against the Browns). I really hope Mike Mitchell keeps moving forward in a Black & Gold uniform. I haven’t seen anything yet that tells me differently.

I think the Steelers win this game comfortably. The only obvious thing that can’t happen is turning the ball over. I don’t want to see Jones forcing the ball to anyone, including Antonio Brown. I want our defense to put their cleats on the throats of the Browns offense and not let up until the final whistle.

Official prediction:

Steelers 30

Browns 10

Here we go, Steelers! Here we go!