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Opponents on Steelers

Bengals are talking about Minkah, Ben and more

The Steelers will be in what Coach Mike Tomlin refers to as the 'hot kitchen' on Sunday in an AFC North matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field.

The teams split the series last year, with both teams winning on their home turf. And this week they go into the game with identical 1-1 records in the early season.

Bengals Coach Zac Taylor knows what the challenges are going to be facing the Steelers in a game that always seems to be a battle.

"They are a really physical team," said Taylor. "They took that (running) back in the first round (Najee Harris). He's a really good player. Ben (Roethlisberger) is dangerous. They have a lot of guys at the skill positions.

"On defense they are as physical and aggressive as they have ever been. They're playing very physical and aggressive with their mindset, so you have to be ready for that. It's always a good battle on the road against those guys. We know they are physical. We're playing a good football team."

The Bengals also weighed in on Cameron Heyward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, the defense overall and more.

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Coach Zac Taylor on the challenge of facing the Steelers:
"They're a great football team. They won a lot of games last year. But, 2020 is 2020. We're all moving on. They have a really physical defense, an offense with a lot of playmakers. They're always good on special teams. It's going to be tough playing on the road."

Quarterback Joe Burrow on if it's the Steelers ability to create turnovers, generate sacks, or what that makes them so tough:
"It's a combination of all of it. That's what the great defenses do. They have great players and great schemes to back it up. They have T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward. Now they have Melvin Ingram over there. We played him last year too. He is a really good player. They have a lot of different guys who can create pressure from different ways."

Taylor on Keith Butler's defense:
"It's an aggressive but disciplined defense. They have outstanding players. When guys aren't out there (because of injuries), the next man up plays very similarly. You can see that they are well-coached, they're disciplined, they have the right mentality. They cause a lot of problems for opposing offenses."

Taylor on if he thinks many of the players on the Steelers injury report will play on Sunday:
"We're going to prepare for their guys to play. They have really good players. They have really good depth. They have missed guys and guys step in, and they don't miss a beat. We have to be ready for all of their starters to play, but if they don't, they have really good depth."

Burrow on Minkah Fitzpatrick:
"You can't just read the coverage and expect him to be in a certain part of the field. He does a good job of understanding where his job is and does a good job of understanding whether the route concept allows him to go to a different area. He's not always where you expect him to be. He makes a lot of plays doing that."

Taylor on Fitzpatrick:
"Sometimes these safeties have a quarterback mentality. Whether it's engrained in them or they're taught it, they just kind of know what the quarterback's looking at and they do a good job giving you some different looks that can put you in a tough spot. Minkah is one of those guys that does that. They have a lot confidence in him. They use him a lot of different ways because he is a smart football player and can handle it. He is a real test for us."

Taylor on who Fitzpatrick is like, a player he would compare him to:
"Jesse (Bates). They can go get the ball. They can take the ball away. They can cover a lot of ground on the field. They're not afraid to come down and cover. They have Minkah playing some nickel this year so he's a very versatile player. He can do a lot of things. He's a veteran. He is a great player, playing at a high level for a number of years. They have a lot of guys similar to him, similar mindset where they are always on the same page."

Receiver Tyler Boyd, who is from the Pittsburgh area, on who his favorite Steelers were growing up, who were Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis:
"Just because of how tough they played, and how many plays they made when their number was called. They executed each and every time and I feel like that's who I am and who I need to be."

Taylor on Ben Roethlisberger and what makes him so good:
"His toughness. There's not a lot he hasn't seen. He gets the ball out quick. You watch every pass, the ball is out, out, out fast. He got hit some last week, but he also gets the ball out a heck of a lot. He gets it out very fast. He can recognize the defense. He knows where the holes are. He can get the ball out quick. He also knows when to take the shots.

"He's got some really talented receivers and tight ends. He finds the matchup and knows when he has his opportunity to do it. He doesn't sit there and hold onto the ball all day. He knows how to put air on the ball and lot those guys run to it. And they've done a good job of that over the years. He has always done an excellent job of finding the matchups and taking shots. So that's a big challenge for our secondary and rush to take those things away."

Cornerback Mike Hilton on Roethlisberger:
"He's been doing it for a long time. He's a tough guy. We're expecting him to play so we've got to be prepared. If he's not, we'll adjust and do our job."

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