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Opponents on Steelers

Bills are talking about Minkah, Tomlin, Kenny and more

The Steelers head to Buffalo on Sunday to take on a 3-1 Bills team that is coming off a 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens last week.

A lot of the talk in the media, among fans, was the Steelers win in Buffalo in Week 1 of the 2021 season, but when it comes to both locker rooms, last year is just that. Last year.

The teams are focused solely on 2022, knowing the challenge that awaits them.

"They've got a good football team. Last year was last year," said Bills Coach Sean McDermott. "They've got a strong football team. They're extremely well coached. They've got a veteran group on both sides of the ball and special teams as well. It's going to be a big challenge for us."

McDermott and the Bills weighed in on a variety of topics this week, including rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, and the offensive line.

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Coach Sean McDermott on preparing to face quarterback Kenny Pickett without a lot of tape:
"He looks like a good young quarterback. Had a good preseason. Played well when he got in the game the other day and was productive. Looks like he knows what he is doing and how to function in that offense and we have a lot of respect for him.

"You just have to prepare for what you know. Those are the controlables that we can control. Other than that, we have to focus on ourselves. We start every week with a healthy amount of respect for our opponent and that's a good way to start.

"This is a team that beat us last season at our home field. They were in the playoffs last season. They are a good football team. A well-coached football team. We've got to move on and get ourselves ready for a good Steelers football team."

Receiver Stephon Diggs on where a Mike Tomlin coached team ranks as far as degree of difficulty:
"Top 3, Top 2. He is a defensive mind. He has always had a great offense, but his defense is what kept that thing going. They spend a lot of money on defense. They're down a guy right now. Everybody knows that. You can kind of see it. But the guys replacing him aren't slouches. I think one of the guys leads the league in sacks right now.

"They still have a heck of a defense. Minkah Fitzpatrick, one of the best safeties in the league. Their corners play well. Mike Tomlin always does a great job of not only finding guys that make great plays, but know the game inside the game. Active, fast. They play some good ball over there. It's tough to go against. I played them for a couple of years now. It's definitely going to be a test for us. They are going to throw some wrinkles at us."

Safety Jordan Poyer on the Steelers receivers:
"All of those receivers are talented. That's a pretty talented receiving corps. They've got some big tight ends over there that are going to challenge us and we're going to have to play physical." 

McDermott on linebacker Alex Highsmith:
"He's an extremely active player. He's had a great career to this point. It's a young career. Plays intense. Moves side to side, left side, right side. He does a lot for them. He's very productive."

Diggs on going against his former Bills teammate, cornerback Levi Wallace:
"Levi played helluva ball when he was here. He never made many mistakes. He made a lot of plays. He's smart, he's instinctual. He is a great player. It's going to be a task going against someone you went against year in and year out, each and every day. Something I look forward to."

Poyer on the challenge of playing Pickett who they don't have a lot of film on:
"You have an understanding of who he is as a quarterback. A lot of upside from him. A first-round pick. He's got the arm talent. He can move in the pocket. He is getting the ball out of his hands quick. I think you continue to prepare like you do each and every week. You don't have to change anything."

Edge rusher Von Miller on the Steelers offensive line:
"This offensive line is the best offensive line we've played this season. Chuks (Chukwuma Okorafor) and Dan Moore do a really good job protecting the edges. They have a line full of tough guys, tough smart guys.

"Played the Steelers last year. Always have respect for those guys. They earned my respect more after that game. They played really, really well. Blocked me up pretty good. Going into this game they have my respect. Chuks is one of the best right tackles in the league. He doesn't get enough respect, but I'll give it to him. Dan Moore is holding down the left tackle position too. They've got those guys on the inside playing at a high clip too.

"This offensive line is the difference maker for the offense."

Poyer on safety Minkah Fitzpatrick:
"Extremely talented player and has been in this league for a long time. A very rangy player and he has very good ball skills. He seems like a smart and instinctive player. That entire defense. Mike Tomlin over there, I was in that division for a long time. That is a very tough coached, hard-nosed football team that's led by that defense and a good offense. It's going to be one of those tough games on Sunday. They're going to come in hungry."

Miller on what he has seen from Pickett:
"He hasn't had many attempts. When you pick it up, those interceptions will go down, the mistakes will go down. They've got my respect. I am not coming into this game off guard or anything. I'm coming into this game like they are the Pittsburgh Steelers, which they are.

"Still coached by Mike Tomlin. I have a whole lot of respect for Mike. I was with Mike at the Pro Bowl. Always heard great stories about him, but being on his team for a week, it really showed me why people fall in love with Mike Tomlin, that whole organization.

"It doesn't matter what their record is, who they have at quarterback, their core players are still their core players, the offensive line, the receiving corps is good. The defense is playing Steelers football. Cameron Heyward, he is part of my draft class, still going crazy. Minkah Fitzpatrick is going crazy too. I have a lot of respect for those guys. Malik Reed, I played with Malik in Denver. Alex Highsmith, the sack leader coming into this week. I have a lot of respect for those guys."

Quarterback Josh Allen on playing the Steelers for the fourth time and if they switch up the defense:
"Last year they switched it up. They've been known for blitzing. Mike Tomlin is one of the best coaches in the league and he always has his team ready to play. Last year they switched it up on us and gave us something we didn't practice for. We had to make adjustments in the game and at that time it was too late. This is a really good football team."

Allen on the Steelers defense:
"They're a high effort, high intensity defense. They've got a lot of motor, especially on that front."

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