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This & That: Run D, JuJu & Lambert

Posted Oct 13, 2017

Hitting on all the topics as the Steelers prepare to take on the Chiefs.

Stopping the run: Chiefs’ rookie running back Kareem Hunt has rushed for 100 yards in four of his first five NFL games, and has had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in all five games. The Steelers goal this Sunday in Kansas City is to stop the all-purpose back, who already has 609 yards rushing and four touchdowns this season.

“Stopping him is going to be a big key, and then everything else falls into place,” said Bud Dupree. “We just have to go out and practice this week, get better, and be ready for next Sunday. They are the best team in the league. They are undefeated so we have to go out and with our ‘A’ game, no excuses, and no mistakes.”

Fine line: JuJu Smith-Schuster continues to show he can be a big weapon for Ben Roethlisberger, but there is a fine line of putting too much on his plate since he is a rookie.

“I try to communicate as much as I can with JuJu without overwhelming him,” said Roethlisberger. “I think sometimes you can get caught up with a guy that is young, but doing so well you think you can keep putting more and more things on his plate because he is doing some really good things. He hasn’t shown us any reason not to. 

“I try to be careful not to overload him with little details that I would with AB (Antonio Brown). We are just going to give him stuff and see what he can do.”

Crazy loud: Arrowhead Stadium is known as one of the toughest places to play in the NFL because of how loud it gets there, and it’s that challenge that Darrius Heyward-Bey relishes.

“I love it. It’s my favorite stadium to play in,” said Heyward-Bey. “Playing four years in Oakland, we played there every year and I loved it. Especially when they are a good team. That place gets really loud.

“We have to prepare for it. It’s the hardest place to play, but you want to play in the hardest place.”

Bounce back: Joe Haden doesn’t like the feeling of losing two of the last three games, but what he does like is the way his teammates respond to it.

“We addressed the problems,” said Haden. “That is the one thing I like about this team. Nobody hides from it. It’s really black and white. We know what we did wrong. We know what we need to do better to improve.

“It’s an expectation here. We expect to win every game. Just the bounce back of looking yourself in the mirror. Everyone holds each other accountable. We look at the film, know why we lost, and know what the reason was. We know we have to go practice. That is the approach we come back with the next week, ready to get the taste out of our mouth.”

Special delivery: Anthony Chickillo opened up the large gold envelope sitting on the chair in his locker and couldn’t help but smile at what he pulled out.

In his hands was a signed Jack Lambert jersey, personalized to Chickillo, and something that will soon go on his wall at his home in Florida, alongside the likes of Franco Harris, Jack Ham, Jerome Bettis, James Harrison and more. 

“I’m a football guy. I come from a football family,” said Chickillo. “Jack Lambert is one of the greats. I would like to meet him. I haven’t had the opportunity yet.

“I have a wall in my house in Tampa of guys I played with, guys I admire, and he is one of them. I really appreciate it. He is one of the top five Steelers of all-time. He is one of the leaders of the Steel Curtain. It’s awesome.”

Welcome aboard: Speaking of special delivery, congratulations to Chris and Karly Kirkpatrick, who welcomed a new addition to Steelers Nation this week.

Bobblehead craze: The University of Pittsburgh will give away James Conner bobbleheads at their game on Saturday at Heinz Field, but a few of Conner’s teammates have already gotten their hand on them.


Good will:
Steelers Hall of Fame Joe Greene was part of a group who made a good will trip to Israel this summer with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and 17 other Hall of Famers. Their journey will be recapped on NFL Network on Friday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. (ET) on NFL Films Presents: Touchdown in Israel.