Coordinators Corner: Butler & Haley update you on both sides of the ball


Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley** Did you like your numbers last week despite not scoring?
The name of the game is scoring. When you have 450 yards, you really should score 30 points. We obviously left points out there. We had nine possessions. We crossed the 50-yard line seven times. We only scored on four of those seven times. Even if you just kick a field goal every time you cross the 50-yard line, you are at 21 points. Sneak in a couple of touchdowns, all of a sudden you are at 30 points, which is the name of the game. We just have to be more productive. And it fell on a little bit of everybody. There was a bad call there early. It was turned into a worse call with the penalty. We had a penalty on the one-yard line later in the game. Darrius Heyward-Bey not keeping his feet in on what would have been a nice end of the half touchdown for us. It was a little bit of everybody not quite finishing, and we have ot be better.

The bad call was to Antonio Brown?
Yeah. I will take that as a bad call. When they don't work they are bad calls [smiles].

Was that a scripted play?
No. We just talked about it. We have to earn first downs in the right parts of the field, and we were going to take a shot. He has been terrific with the ball in his hands for the most part. We had a defense that we really weren't expecting, which kind of added to badness of the call, if you will.

What did you see on offense to make you more encouraged for this week?
We moved the ball. You have to be able to move the ball in this league. You can't count on turnovers or big returns. You have to control what you can control. I thought we ran the ball pretty efficiently. We probably left some out there in that area. And we threw the ball efficiently. We have to get rid of the turnovers, and we have to do a better job of finishing drives.

Re: Will Johnson in the red zone:
We will get to that tomorrow. We will have a little meeting tonight on it. One thing he does is that he runs hard and he's a big dude. There is some positive in that. But we have to get it in the endzone.

How much did the headset problems affect you?
It's a distraction like anything else. But I wouldn't say it accounted for anything on our part. It didn't make me call a trick play.

Could you still make your calls?
Yeah. The communication to Ben Roethlisberger, sometimes when that is out it's a little more difficult. You have to signal and do some of those things. That part of it was fine. It was more of a distraction but it didn't have an effect on what we did.

Re: You say it's a bad call but you have so many special players:
They are good problems to have, but at the same time, like I said we've put a lot of time and thought into how we were going to start the game. It started with us not getting a defense that we were kind of expecting there. We compounded it. It was a poor play.


The Steelers prepare for the home opener against the 49ers.

When the phones go out, you don't have the coaches upstairs telling you what they see, right?**
It all depends. Sometimes we've been cut off to the coach's box. Like I said, it was just a radio broadcast of their guys doing the game. It was just a distraction. But everybody could still communicate. It was just tough talking over it.

Are you satisfied that the Patriots had nothing to do with that?
I have moved on to San Francisco. This is a big week for us. It's our home opener. We have to get back to 1-1.

How has Brown changed?
He just continues to grow. I told him this morning that his attention to detail yesterday was terrific. I told him he's grown so much. He's always been really talented but now he's much more skilled and it shows.

What one thing about him really stands out?
He is just a playmaker. He has a great will to succeed. I thought the early third-down catch, there are some guys that are just going to catch it no matter what. I thought that was a great example of it. He had the defender between the ball and he caught it. That's just his will and desire to make a play successful. When you have that trait, it obviously makes for good and exciting things.

Re: Heath Miller:
He's back to where he was when I got here. I don't think it's the young Heath, not quite as dynamic, but man, what a football player. What a guy to have on your team. Maybe he is the best football player I've been around, just all-around what he brings to you, in such a quiet and unassuming way. But he commands such leadership. He's just a great football player, and he's great to have around. The injury, obviously, slowed him. But I think he is back to where he was.

Did you get what you wanted from your goal line package despite the penalty?
Yeah. But that was a big play. You get first-and-goal on the one, you have to get it in. that was four points at least that we left out there. Who knows if we go for two points or not. For us it's just points, whether it's being in better field goal range when we don't succeed on third-down or converting touchdowns. Like I said, we had nine possessions. We crossed the 50-yard line on seven of them. And we only scored on four. When you get across the 50-yard line with this group, we have to get ourselves in field goal range pretty consistently.

Re: Heath's importance against a zone:
He is just a smart player. It doesn't matter whether it's against zone or man. Obviously in zone, he has a great understanding of where defenders are and where the quarterback wants him. I don't think I've seen two players on the same page as much as Ben and Heath. And they've been together a long time. But I still think it speaks to his desire to do it the way you want it done. Whether that's us as coaches or the quarterback.

What does Dri Archer need to do to get on the field more?
We have a lot of playmakers. I think when he is out there he has been close a bunch of times. I would just like to see a couple of these plays we've seen from him in practice occur in a game.

What about Sammie Coates?
He is working hard. Again, it's a tough position to break into with this group. We saw it last year with Martavis Bryant. The advantage Tyler Murphy had last week was that he knew multiple positions. When you just have a couple available, you have to be very smart and have an understanding that if something happens to Markus Wheaton or Antonio Brown, how are we adjusting so we aren't left sitting there with half the game plan out of the mix.

Re: Bryant getting into trouble and if he gets it or not:
He's not here right now. We are worried about this week and trying to get to 1-1. When he is back here and ready to go, we will have more answers.


Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler** Re: On the game against New England:
The times we didn't cover people, we miscommunicated. When you have a defense that's fairly new, you have to practice with each other over a certain period of time before you start to get good. That's how you start to understand what people are trying relay to you. We have to do a better job of communicating, and I have to do a better job of coaching.

How do you end up with only 10 guys on the field multiple times?
One time there was miscommunication. One was supposed to come off and two came off instead. One time we change the personnel and the guy who was supposed to be in there wasn't in the game at the time. We got caught in those situations and we can't do that. That's on me, and that's my responsibility to correct it.

You talked about how important practice was before the game. Did you assume you would have those issues?
There are always issues if you haven't practiced together. When 11 guys play together, they get to know each other and understand the body language of others. There are a lot of things that go into trying to coordinate a defense, especially when the other team is trying to hurry you up. We knew it was coming, but they did a good job of trying to hurry us up. We just didn't execute what we should have.

Re: You have a lot of moving parts this week.
Different guys are out and in for practice. You really have to wait for Friday to find out who will play and who won't. We hope we will field a competitive team.

Re: On Ross Cockrell:
He's done good things in practice. Every time Antonio Brown gets up the field, so does he. It's encouraging me that he has the confidence to work against the best. We'll see how he does.

How's he doing in practice?
He's done well in practice. He's done a good job of staying with people. He has to be careful about putting his hands on people. Sometimes, good cover-corners grab jerseys to alleviate a problem with technique, instead of being confident and not grabbing jerseys. When you hold, they'll call you and we can't do that.

Is this a different challenge this week, because you're facing a more physical team?
No doubt. They're good at running. They have four good tight ends and they have good running backs. They will try to run downhill and play-action pass off of it. They have a very athletic quarterback with a good arm. They propose a lot of problems.

Were you pleased with the outside linebackers and their rotation?
Yes. I think we will be okay there. We aren't really counting snaps. We are just trying to get them in there. We aren't looking at who is playing the most. That doesn't concern us. What concerns us is that they're fresh and can do their jobs.

How would you evaluate Jarvis Jones last Thursday?
He did well at some things and could have done some things better. Just like everybody else on the defense. We felt confident in our plan going in. The bad stuff you all saw can't happen. It's my job to not let that happen.

Do multiple tight end teams give you trouble?
They try to use the edges. They want to keep our offense off of the field by running and controlling the football. We have to stop that.

Re: Big game for the outside linebackers:
Yes it is. It's a big game for everyone on defense. The whole run defense will be a challenge

Re: On the outside zone:
We play a more aggressive front now, compared to before. So, we will see how that works out.

In theory, is that supposed to upset the outside zone schemes?
We will see. I've see it happen before.


The Steelers prepare for the home opener against the 49ers.

Re: On defending Tom Brady last week:**
Tom Brady isn't conducive to more cover two. He knows where those things hurt. We decided to go another direction. He's a very good quarterback. We tried to do the things we thought were best to slow him down. I think we would have if we would have done the things we needed to do in practice and on the field.

Is this week more conducive to that defense?
We will see.

Re: On preparing for a mobile quarterback with Mike Vick:
We have a mobile quarterback here. Mike helps us in trying to get the picture we want. He's done a good job for us this week.

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