The Steelers take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday at Heinz Field, with the black and gold looking to get back on track in a key AFC matchup.
"Pittsburgh is always going to play with a sense of urgency," said Broncos Coach Vic Fangio. "That's just who they are, and we've got to be ready to have our own."
Fangio and the rest of the Broncos gave their take on the Steelers, including Najee Harris, Ben Roethlisberger, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, Ray-Ray McCloud and more.
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Coach Vic Fangio on Cameron Heyward:
"He's really one of the top defensive linemen in the league. I've always admired him from afar. Coached his father (Craig Heyward), so I've always had a little interest in him. He's a great defensive lineman. Plays tough and physical against the run. Gives good pass rush. Plays hard. Chases the ball. He's definitely one of the top d-linemen in the league and somebody I have admired for a long time."
Fangio on his thoughts on Najee Harris during the draft process and now:
"The same. He played really good at Alabama, and he's playing really good for Pittsburgh. Obviously, he's got really good size, good speed, runs hard. He's got some shiftiness for a big guy. He's caught a lot of balls for them. He's caught 26 balls in the first four games. He does a good job in pass blocking. He's a complete back, and we knew that. They got a good player."
Defensive end Shelby Harris on the key to defending Harris in the passing game:
"We just have to swarm to the ball since he is so active in the pass game. With all the check downs, he's a good back and he's a good receiving back. He can make a lot of people miss. He can run through you, and he can run by you. He's a good back, so it's all about swarming to the ball every week and making sure that if he misses one tackle, he doesn't miss two and go for 30 (yards)."
Linebacker Von Miller on Harris:
"He's great. All these Alabama guys are great players. It doesn't matter if they're first-rounders, second-rounders, or free agents. Anybody that comes from Alabama, Ohio State, or Texas A&M. These guys can play some ball."
Simmons on the challenge Harris presents catching the ball out of the backfield:
"Oh, yeah. It's a big challenge for us. It's going to be discipline in our pursuit angles and making sure that we're rallying to the football. He does a great job breaking tackles in the open field. He does a good job of breaking tackles."
Fangio on the key to containing Ben Roethlisberger and the offense:
"We just have to play good. Play our style of defense, play good ourselves, because he's still really good. The one thing is that there's a narrative out there that he's gone down, and I don't see that. I've been watching this guy a long time. He's still capable of doing everything he's always done. He throws a great deep ball and has good pocket feel. I don't buy into that narrative at all."
Miller on what he has seen from Roethlisberger this season:
"I see the same old 'Big Ben'. A guy who can still throw the ball down the field. He still throws the ball pretty quick. He still can break a couple of tackles and get the ball away. I see the same old Big Ben, for sure."
Harris on Roethlisberger:
"I don't really think he's fallen off. He was a former All-Pro quarterback and a Pro Bowl quarterback. You still see it when he plays. (He's) just trying to make stuff happen. They've been in every game. It's not like they're getting blown out in the game. You have to respect him. I still think he's one hell of a quarterback, and he's definitely one that should be respected in this league."
Safety Kareen Jackson on the challenges of facing Roethlisberger:
"We all know what Roethlisberger has been in this league. He's a great quarterback. They have some weapons over there. He's always been a guy that has great command of the offense, can make every throw in the field, always going to put his guys in the right situation to be successful."
Safety Justin Simmons on the challenge of facing Roethlisberger:
"That's going to be a huge challenge. Obviously, it's going to be a huge challenge this year. Any time you travel on the road, you have to pack your defense. They're more than capable of moving the ball up and down the field. They have a great young running back, a plethora of receivers, and obviously (Eric) Ebron at tight end and a few other guys. 'Big Ben' has been in charge over there for almost as long as I've been alive, so he's more than capable of moving the ball. We have to make sure we're on our P's and Q's when we go over there, and we have to leave the stadium with a win."
Safety Caden Sterns on playing against Roethlisberger after watching him on TV growing up:
"It's pretty cool. I'm still kind of mind blown. I still do look at myself like this dude is a lot older than me. Just to be in the same game as him, it's pretty cool to see him because you watch his career and the Super Bowls he won, he's a really good player. It'll be cool to go against him."
Fangio on T.J. Watt:
"Really good player. The thing that stands out besides the obvious, his production is very obvious, his instincts for the game are top-notch. That helps him make all those plays that he makes. He's a highly talented guy with a high level of instincts and that produces great players."
Miller on what he respects about Watt's game:
"I respect his relentless pursuit to the ball. I remember seeing a couple of plays I think two years ago where it wasn't even about pass rush or getting tackles for loss or in the run. He would chase the ball down 20 yards down the field and cause a fumble. That was something that I wanted to put in my game—relentless pursuit to the ball. Everybody is good in this league. Anybody's best rush is good enough to be All-Pro, but how good is your bad? How good [are you] when they complete passes? How good do you look on those plays? T.T. Watt looks good on all of those plays. He's able to run down the ball and play the run. He's the same size of these offensive linemen. He and his brother (Cardinals DE J.J. Watt), they have this little power shift move where they show power, and they shift to the outside. With their size and their power, guys have to respect it. They're able to just slip past these offensive linemen. T.J. Watt is a (heck) of a player. I was able to spend time with him at the Pro Bowl a couple of times. [I have] huge respect for him and his game."
Fangio on the challenge that Ray-Ray McCloud presents on special teams:
"He's a really good punt returner and kickoff returner. We have to do a good job covering, but part of the coverage is the kicks too, both the punt and the kickoff. We have to get good kicks to start the coverage and then we have to do a good job covering."
Tight end Noah Fant on what he sees from the defense:
"Just knowing the Steelers defense, they have T.J. Watt up front. He's a really good player. I know their secondary is good also. They're going to be a good team. I know that they've had their struggles, but they're going to be another good team for us to go against. They have a lot of really good players on their defense, so (I'm) excited to go against them."