Opponents on Steelers

Bills are talking about Tomlin, Duck & more

The Steelers take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Heinz Field in a primetime matchup with a lot riding on it, as both teams are in playoff race right now and trying to secure their positioning.

It will be a reunion in many ways, with the Edmunds brothers, Terrell and Trey for the Steelers and Tremaine with the Bills meeting up.

It will also be a reunion for Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin and Bills Coach Sean McDermott, who were teammates at William & Mary when Tomlin was a senior and McDermott a freshman.

"What Mike did was he gave me a blueprint a little bit for what it looked like," said McDermott of how Tomlin has helped him in his coaching career. "He was such a role model for a lot of us, myself included, on campus as a younger player. He was a fourth-year senior when I got there so he was a good example for me as well as many others.

"To watch him go off and graduate and begin his coaching career and the way he did it and the way he climbed the ladder, I've always looked at him as kind of an older brother in the profession because of where we started."

The Bills weighed in more on Tomlin, and other topics as Sunday's game approaches.

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McDermott on what Tomlin was like in college after Tomlin said McDermott was the mature one:
"He was mature. I'm probably not one of the more vocal people around but I do watch, I do listen, and I try to learn a lot by watching people and Mike was one of the people that I watched and learned a lot from."

McDermott on what kind of competitor Tomlin was:
"Him being a wide receiver and myself being a defensive back, we had our battles and more so, I was a walk-on and he was a scholarship athlete so he was established and I was just trying to get a pair of cleats. Really, it was just me watching him battle with some of the older DB's and yet having a good personality and a good rapport off the field with your teammates."

McDermott on if Tomlin addressed teammates the way he addresses players and media now:
"He has always been an orator. He has always had a way about him in terms of his command of the English language."

McDermott on the job Tomlin has done this year:
"It's been tremendous. I am sure Mike would say Kevin (Colbert) and him both have done a phenomenal job. They have a talented roster. I know they had the injury at the quarterback position. But when you look at the depth of their roster, because they had some other injuries, that's what you have to do. You have to have depth. Because they have been together for so long, they built that. You look at the wide receiver position, the running back position, that speaks of their acumen as football guys."

Quarterback Josh Allen on the Steelers defense:
"They're playing extremely well. Obviously, taking away the ball, sacking the quarterback at a very high rate. I think they lead the league in both those statistics. They've got some young players that are moving around well, off the edge, they get to the quarterback, they play really smart coverage. It's going to be very tough for us mentally this week and we've got to go in and prepare and watch as much film as we can and be ready for another four quarter game."

Allen on the Steelers leading the league in sacks and what they do to be so effective:
"I just think they got some really good dudes. Off the edge, they're very strong inside to, they've had a really good pass rush plan. That's something we got to watch and practice really hard this week in practice and make sure we keep getting those looks and our scout team is gonna be huge for us this week."

McDermott on the Steelers defense:
"They're got a good roster of talent, let's start there. High draft picks across the defensive line. Good secondary play, good linebacker play. That's a part of also Mike being there a long time. They've been able – he and Kevin (Colbert) – to build it the right way and add the type of players that they like, that they want and it's shown when you look at what (Bud) Dupree and Cameron (Heyward) and then you look at T.J. (Watt) and along with now Devin (Bush) in the middle, what they've added around those pieces and then the secondary play as well."

McDermott on the Steelers offense and how it has changed due to losing players:
"Look overall, they've got weapons. This is a good perimeter skill as I've seen on tape this year. Speed, when you look at what (James) Washington has done on the last several weeks, no surprise. We scouted him in the draft process and we're very impressed with him, and really all across they've got depth and speed at their wide receiver position. You add that in terms of what they've been able to do in the running game, with their offensive line. So, it adds a good combination for the them."

Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll on the defense:
"They're really good. I think they have eight or nine first-rounders. They can rush the passer. They can stop the run. I think they're first in takeaways, second in the league in negative plays, first in sacks. Good situational football team, they're 7-1 in their last eight, 3-0 in their last three. They have a lot of good players. They have a good coaching staff. Again, the scheme and stuff, we're getting on to them now, but in just the brief time that I've started, it's a pretty impressive group. Another top five or six defense like Denver was, like Dallas was, like Baltimore is, like they are, so we're going to have to do a good job of putting together a good plan, having a good week, and then playing in a tough environment."

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on what he has seen from Devlin Hodges:
"I see a guy who, from the little bit of tape that I've watched, who seems to be very composed for the amount of experience he has and he's making some plays with his arm, but he also is making some plays with his feet. He scrambled and picked up some first downs, showed some athletic ability, but his poise and composure, that's what kind of stands out. He looks like a guy who has done this a lot longer than his experience actually shows. So, he'll be a guy we will have to contend with. They've got some other weapons on offense also that will help what he has to get done but his composure and his poise is kind of what stands out."

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