The Steelers home opener is Sunday at Heinz Field, and it just happens to be against one of their AFC North rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals.
“I think it’s one of the important games for us because it’s a division game and because they are such a good team,” said Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. “We know that when we play them we have to be at our best.”
Here is a bit more of what the Bengals have said about the Steelers rivalry and the game in general.
Coach Marvin Lewis on if the rivalry has intensified over the last year:
“I think it’s remained at the same level. We all know they are important games. They are division football games. They have been a very good football team. We know how important each and every week is, just like it is when we play Baltimore and Cleveland.”
Lewis on the biggest challenge from the Steelers:
“To play in the division and play on the road in addition. When you look at them, you know the challenges are that they have good players. Their quarterback, Antonio Brown and their receiving corps. DeAngelo (Williams) will be in there and is a good runner. They have a new look at tight end. Their defensive guys come back with a lot of the same guys in the front seven. The secondary will be a little bit adjusted. We know schematically, the defensive football team hasn’t changed since 1993, when we went to those kind of things. That’s pretty much stayed the same. Other things have changed. They are using different parts in different pieces in different ways. I think that’s what makes their defensive scheme so special; with how guys are utilized.”
Dalton on playing the Steelers:
“I feel like we have had lots of good games against the Steelers. You never know what the outcome is going to be, what the turning point is going to be. You have to play through the whole game. A lot of these games have been decided in the fourth quarter. These games have been physical games and that is what you expect from these two teams.”
Rookie wide receiver Tyler Boyd, a Pittsburgh native who played at the University of Pittsburgh, on his relationship with Antonio Brown:“He’s real chill. He’s all about work regardless of where he is now. He was working before he was that guy people didn’t think he was going to be.”
Boyd on the Steelers:
“I’ve got a lot of respect for the Steelers. Even though I have so much respect for them, I’m still going to try and punch them in the mouth. Make sure I compete because I don’t want a guy to punch me in the mouth. Whatever I have to do to win.”