Steelers vs Ravens (Round 2): Coordinators Comments


The Steelers are coming off an impressive win over the Denver Broncos. Let’s hear what the Steelers coordinators had to say on their upcoming matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

Merry Christmas Eve, and Happy Holidays, everyone!

Since this is the final matchup of the year between these two teams, I’d like to say this: I absolutely cannot stand the Ravens. There isn’t one single thing that I like about them. Their logo, their colors, their head coach, their GM, their fans, their players, etc. The distain I have for the Ravens is second to none. I hope the Steelers hang 50 on this awful Ravens squad.

In the words of Hines Ward“The coaches hate each other, the players hate each other… There’s no calling each other after the game and inviting each other out to dinner. But the feeling’s mutual: They don’t like us, and we don’t like them. There’s no need to hide it, they know it, and we know it. It’s going to be one of those black and blue games.” 

Yeah, that captures my feelings towards the Ravens perfectly.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s continue.

Todd Haley and Keith Butler spoke to the media after today’s practice. Let’s see what they had to say on last week’s win against the Broncos and Sunday’s match-up against the Ravens.

Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley 

Unknown Question:
“We’re just trying to get better each and every week. That’s really been our MO as a group. One of the keys in the NFL is that you continue to grow and develop and get better each and every week. I think when you do that good things happen to you as a team.” 

Do you ever worry that you’re not going to be able to score? 
“No. I’m more about knowing the reasons why. When we do get stopped it’s more about execution, guys gotta stay on point and being doing what they’re supposed to be doing, when they’re supposed to be doing it. When we do that we have a chance of being pretty successful. Denver obviously has a very good defense, if you got things that are off here and there they’re going to show up as negatives for you.” 

On scoring 30 or more points a game: 
“We’re really just focusing on trying to be better everyday, but as good as we can be. This is a tough place to win week in and week out. You really can’t afford to have off days.” 

Have you come close to being as good as you can be? 
“I think in some of our really explosive games we came away saying “we missed this, we missed that”  It’s not really something I think about for us or for me. Its just we’re focusing on being as good as we possibly can be.” 

On Antonio Brown: 
“In that game last week we made some major adjustments offensively and it had to do with him and where we were putting him. I was calling a lot of plays that we hadn’t practiced with him in certain spots. For a guy like AB to handle it the way he did, no communication, it was like an unscripted training camp scrimmage. It was the key to the game as far as I’m concerned.” 

Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler

Whats the key to getting the defense to play they did in the first half, not the second half? 
“If we could only bottle that. I thought they did better, they settled down a bit, and communication was a lot better than it was in the first half. It was a big game for us, everybody knew that. They were ready to go, they were fired up to play the game. We just didn’t communicate well at the beginning.”  

 What has a guy like Will Allen meant to your secondary? 
“He does a good job for us, he plays above the neck, very smart football player. He and Mike do a great job of trying to direct traffic back there, and try to get us in the right defenses with what we do upfront. Usually when you have communication on a defense somebodies involved the front, for us it’s Ryan Shazier. You gotta have a loud mouth up front, and a loud mouth in the back to get the defense that you want, and they do a good job of it. That’s what he means to us, you gotta have that communication in order to play well.” 

Did you feel like you found something in the second half? 
“No. We played some coverages that we hadn’t played in awhile, but they played them well. They came out in the second half and they stood up, and we knew we couldn’t give up anymore points to stay in the ballgame. They did a good job of playing and executing what we were trying to do.” 

What have you seen from Boykin the slot? 
“He’s done a good job for us. Early part of it was him learning the defense, he’s still learning the defense, the ins and outs of it. There’s a lot of stuff that we run that is very similar to what they ran in Philadelphia. So, some of the stuff that we do here he’s done before. The more and more he plays, the better and better he gets.”  


-I’m still looking forward to this game, even though some of the Ravens starters are out. I’m not sure if it’s going to be like the games of old, but it should still be good.

-On the Ravens side of the Week 16 injury report, WR Marlon Brown (back), LB Albert McClellan (ankle), CB Jimmy Smith (thigh) and T Ricky Wagner (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. Jimmy Smith is one of the Ravens best players, and if he can’t play, I’ll be expecting #84 to have a big day.

-With either Ryan Mallet or Jimmy Clausen starting at QB for the Ravens, I expect the mouths of our defense to be watering. Even though these two QB’s have had little success, I don’t want the Steelers defense to get relaxed in any sort of way. I want our defense to be relentless till the final whistle.

-I know I’m beating a dead horse with this, but if the Steelers run a lot of the same stuff that Boykin played in Philadelphia, then why did it take him so long to get snaps on defense? This Boykin stuff is still such a mystery to me.


Ravens 13
Steelers 35  

Here we go, Steelers! Here we go!