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Haley: 'We have a resilient group'

Posted Nov 6, 2017

A look at assistant coaches' bye-week observations.

A look back at some of what Steelers’ assistant coaches had to say during availability sessions with the media conducted during the bye week:

“We break the season up in quarters, first quarter, 3-1. The second quarter, despite how we started and it kind of appeared the world was coming to an end on the outside, we finished 3-1. Our goal is 4-0, obviously, but if you go 3-1 all four quarters it makes you 12-4, you probably have some home playoff games.

“We have a resilient group. The majority who have been here for an extended period of time,  we’ve been through ups and downs. All of us that were here last year know what the perception was when we’d lost four in a row and there was unwavering focus, I felt, from the group. All through the years, but last year, this year, we have a good group of guys that stick together and, I think, don’t try to be too affected by the outside noise.” _ offensive coordinator Todd Haley on reaching the bye at 6-2.

“You don’t know what it’s like being in a room with Vince when he was the leading sacker on the team. But we knew Vince would be Vince. He’s not going to be perfect. He’s going to make mistakes. But the intangibles he has just help you out. Being a sixth-rounder, being not invited to the (NFL Scouting) Combine, he holds those things dear and he uses them to his benefit. He hides it and he doesn’t say, ‘Hey, I’m going to show you.’ It’s just like, ‘I know I’m good. I played at Florida State. I played with some good guys. Guys that were my backup are in the league.’ The body of work is out there and he just keeps doing it. He loves playing football and he’s not going to let anyone take it from him.” _ inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky on Vince Williams.

“We go into a game with five, and the fifth guy has to be able to play nose and end, and L.T. Walton has done a great job of that. Every week he gets a little bit better. We moved him to nose tackle in training camp to give Dan (McCullers) some competition and (Walton) has played well, and that’s why he’s dressing (on game day) and Dan’s not. This guy is invaluable to us right now. He can play both positions and there’s not going to be a drop off. This guy’s a good football player. He’s a good technician and he works hard every day in practice.” _ defensive line coach/assistant head coach John Mitchell on L.T. Walton.

“James is never out of the picture. We’ll use James when we feel it’s time to use James. The Kansas City game, we knew he was a good matchup with (offensive tackle Eric) Fisher, and (Harrison) came in there and closed the game. Having him out there covering, that’s not his strong suit. His strong suit is, when we get to this cold weather, somebody’s trying to come here, run the ball, I can put him in there and it’s not going to happen. He gets in those cold, playoff times, I can have him, in those tough situations, go rush the quarterback, get a sack, because the situation’s not going to be too big for him.” _ outside linebackers coach Joey Porter on James Harrison.

“I just think he’s a quick study. He loves football. He’s been on the big stage before, being at USC. He’s starving for knowledge, easy to coach, he listens. He can figure when he makes a mistake and how to correct it, that’s the biggest thing I’ve found out about him. He really does not like to make mistakes, it kills him. Therefore, he works hard at not making mistakes and that’s what we’ve seen on the field.” _ wide receivers coach Richard Mann on JuJu Smith-Schuster.

“I think we have the type of backs, and with (quarterback) Ben (Roethlisberger) we can go to the line of scrimmage, go to a run-pass option, so I think its something we’ll continue to be good at. You have to find ways to stay on the field and that’s a big part of it.” _ offensive line coach Mike Munchak on the short-yardage/goal-line offense.