The Steelers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round on Sunday Night Football at Arrowhead Stadium this week, a game that will be a rematch of a Week 16 game the Chiefs won, 36-10.
While, in the words of Coach Mike Tomlin, the Chiefs 'handled' the Steelers in the first meeting, the Chiefs know this time around it could be a completely different story.
"These guys are playing like a number one seed right now," said Coach Andy Reid. "We've got to make sure we're ready for that."
The Chiefs talked also talked about Ben Roethlisberger, T.J. Watt, Ray-Ray McCloud and more.
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Coach Andy Reid on how the Steelers are different from when they played them earlier in the regular season:
"I think they're playing well together. I think they're doing a nice job with that. Ben's (Roethlisberger) playing well. The runner's running well. The offensive line's doing a nice job, and Pittsburgh's always good on that defensive side. They fly around. They've got some all-star players on that side of the ball that do really well. Their wide receivers are very good too on the offensive side. They're a good football team. They're well coached and the organization with the Rooney family is strong. It's been strong for so many years."
Reid on how Ben Roethlisberger keeps pulling off fourth quarter comebacks at age 39:
"He's a future Hall of Famer. So that helps. In other words, he has the talent and the mind. And we're aware of that. They're the best, if not one of the best in football this year. So, we're aware of that. He has the aptitude and he's got the ability to do those things."
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Ben Roethlisberger and possibly ending his career:
"I mean I haven't even thought about it like that. He's an all-time great quarterback that's going to be in the Hall of Fame one day, but he's still playing great football right now. If you look at the big-time throws, he's made to keep their season alive, we know it's going to be a great challenge for us. Not just him, but that entire team. They have an attitude about them, a mindset they play with so we're not taking them lightly at all. They're a team that's beat a lot a good football teams and so to get to play against Big Ben is an honor for me. He's great football player"
Reid on Coach Mike Tomlin and why he has had such success and longevity in Pittsburgh:
"I think he's smart and he's honest. He tells people the truth. He doesn't try to work around things. He's gonna let you know, right or wrong. That's why he has such respect from the league, why he is on the competition committee and so on. He's a smart kid. I think the honesty thing goes a long way. It covers a lot of bases for you."
Safety Tyrann Mathieu on if he sees anything differently the Steelers did in the last two games that they need to prepare for:
"Yeah, I think. Obviously, a couple weeks ago the game didn't go the way that they wanted it to. As a team, we were able to get off to a fast start. I don't think we're necessarily expecting it to be that kind of a ball game. Just watching these guys the last couple weeks, even before we played them a couple weeks ago, this was a big fourth quarter, second half team. So, for us, coming into this game, we understand it's going to be a four-quarter game, possibly could be more, and then you're dealing with a quarterback that really has all the experience in the world. He's won two championships, he's been to the playoffs a bunch, and then he has some great talent around him as well. So, we've got our work cut out for us. I think for us, it's all about how we start the game and then how we finish Sunday."
Reid on how much you have to be aware of what T.J. Watt can do:
"He sure looked healthy (Sunday) and I wouldn't slight 56 (Alex Highsmith) on the other side either. They've got good rushers, No. 97 (Cameron Heyward) is a Pro-Bowler too and big-time players. That's a healthy defensive front that can bring it and Watt is one of the best in the business at it so yes, I would tell you that we need to be aware of them."
Reid on containing T.J. Watt in the last meeting:
"We know he's a great player. I'll leave it at that. We know that we've got to do a good job against him, or he wreaks havoc."
Mahomes on if there is a different approach when you go against T.J. Watt:
"He's a special player. I mean I don't know what runs in that family, but they have great football players over there and you said it; T.J. is not only special, but as far as the way he can bend to get to the quarterback, but the effort he plays with. They have a lot of guys like that over there, Cam Heyward, (Alex) Highsmith. I mean they have a lot of guys that play hard the entire game and they continuously play and go and go. So, for me, it's about whenever I do make those extended long plays, not making a bad play happen. Those guys will kind of be around me the whole time following the play so when I scramble and step up in the pocket when the stuffs not there, I have to make sure I account for them because they're not going to give up on the play."
Reid on what the Steelers offense can do in the fourth quarter and how to prevent that:
"You've got to play four quarters of football against Pittsburgh Steelers. That's what you have to do. If you let up, shame on us. You can't. Whatever your mindset is, you better get ready for four hard quarters of football. That's traditional Pittsburgh Steelers football. It's important that we prepare ourselves for that. Anything less than that, we're wrong on it."
Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub on Ray-Ray McCloud and if he is a difference maker:
"Yes, he is. He's definitely a guy we respect. We feel he's gotten better every game as a punt returner and a kick returner. Every game you watch, he's getting a little bit more confident, and he hits it 90 miles an hour, he's a tough guy to tackle, he's got great balance and he's got really good vision. That's the thing he's really good at is on kickoff returns he can find a hole, so we have to be careful. We have to pick our spots. When to kick to him, when not to kick to him, we respect him for sure and we have to be at our best to get him under control."
Reid on similarities or differences in coaching styles between Mike Tomlin and Bill Cowher:
"The Rooneys do a phenomenal job of picking coaches. The longevity tells a whole story with that, of how long the coaches have coached there. And those two are like Pittsburgh Steelers. They just fit. However, they're different, they're different. They fit the mold of being Pittsburgh Steelers. You're not looking at them going, Oh, that guy shouldn't be coaching. Now you're saying these guys are Pittsburgh Steelers. They're made for that city. They're made for the organization and the philosophy of the organization and everything else."
Reid on having to account for Cameron Heyward and Alex Highsmith:
"You've got to make sure 97, 56, I can start going down the whole bunch of them there. You better not blank on the other guys because they're good football players. 97 is a beast. He's a great football player."
Reid on game-planning against Minkah Fitzpatrick:
"He's another one on the back end there that can play. He did it in college. He's doing it in the NFL. He's a good football player. Covers a lot of ground. Great instincts. Good tackler. Good football player."