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McLendon: “This week is redemption week”

Posted Nov 7, 2013

This week is a chance for the run defense to get back on track.

The Steelers defense ranks 15th in the AFC and 31st overall in the NFL against the run, sitting only ahead the 0-8 Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s not a place where they are comfortable; it’s not a place where they are accustomed to being.  

The facts are simple. They have to do a better job of shutting down opposing ground games. Yes, some of the yardage has come in big chunks, like the 93-yard touchdown run by Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor two weeks ago. But last week Patriots running back Stevan Ridley ran for 114 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.

Things aren’t going to get any easier this week. Buffalo has the second ranked rushing attack in the AFC, seventh overall in the NFL behind the efforts of backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. The two have combined for 980 yards through nine games and stopping them is a priority for the defense this week.

“This week is redemption week,” said nose tackle Steve McLendon. “Let’s get that bad taste out of our mouth with that loss, letting a team run the ball on us. We are going to go out there and get the job done.”

The Bills are averaging 145.8 yards per game, with Spiller coming off a 116 yard performance and Jackson 78 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, who were ranked fifth against the run going into that game.

“At the end of the day we have to stop the run to get to the quarterback,” said McLendon. “That is what teams want to do, run first and then throw the ball. No matter who the quarterback is we have to stop the run period.

“They are both dangerous guys, both fast, they both have great vision. We just have to do a great job on playing our technique, playing fast and playing smart.”  

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