The Steelers open the 2017 regular season on the road against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday, and the Browns are giving their take on Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Haden and more.
Myles Garrett, the Browns No. 1 pick and the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, immediately focused on Roethlisberger back in May when he was drafted.
“Big Ben is a Super Bowl winner, and I heard he’s hard to take down,” said Garrett after he was drafted. “So, I’m coming for him first, (to) chop him down.”
That isn’t going to happen this week, though. According to the Browns, Garrett has been diagnosed with a high ankle sprain sustained in practice on Wednesday and his “status will be updated in a couple weeks.”
Browns Coach Hue Jackson still understands the key to stopping the Steelers offense, is getting to Roethlisberger.
“In order to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, we do have to get Ben down,” said Jackson. “That is just the truth. That is not something that is out of the ordinary. In order to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, you have to slow Ben down. That is the only way to slow him down is by getting him on the ground.”
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“He’s no small fellow. It’s going to be pretty tough. You’ve got to make sure you wrap up and make sure to try to get the ball out. There’s times when he’s a little bit loose with it. So, if you try and get him down, just try to rake the ball out while you’re doing it.”
Quarterback DeShone Kizer on going against Joe Haden, who is familiar with him and the receivers:
“You do your best to adjust some of the verbiage and some of the techniques that he caught on since he has been going against me and all of our receivers for so long. You also have to take what is given. You know he is going to win. He is a really good corner, one of the best doing it right now. You understand when the shots are there, go at him. When the shots aren’t there, and he is playing good defense, I am going to check down and move forward.”
Cornerback Jamar Taylor on Haden:
"The guy has crazy feet. He's like a rabbit out there. He's so quick, smart. He's seen a lot of things. He's healthy now so it's way different watching him last year fight through groin injuries. Joe-Joe definitely can still play this game."
Kizer on the Steelers defense:
“They are talented all over the place, from veteran defensive linemen to fast and athletic linebackers, and some really good defensive backs. All over the place you are going to find good players. For us it’s going to be a big test on how we can execute consistently down the field. Take the big plays that are needed, but for the most part understanding a five to six yard gain is going to be a great play if you can string them all together.”
Wide receiver Sammie Coates on his take on the Steelers-Browns rivalry:
“It’s just like here, we’re playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, you want to go out there and beat us, it’s your rivalry. You don’t want to get beat by Cleveland. You don’t want to get beat by Pittsburgh when you’re here. It’s a rivalry game.”
Kizer on Steelers-Browns rivalry:
"This is as blue collar as it gets."
Coates on facing the Steelers:
“If somebody trades you, you want to showcase your talent against them, show them what they’re missing.”