Defensive end J.J. Watt lines up as a goal line tight end for the Houston Texans, including against the Steelers, and said, "It's not a gimmick."
This week the Steelers could see something similar from Titans defensive lineman Karl Klug, who has been used at fullback in goal line situations and opened a hole for a Jackie Battle one-yard touchdown against the Jaguars.
"It was pretty cool," said Klug, a high school running back. "I was telling the guys it brought back the glory days of high school."
And later this season they could see the same thing from the Kansas City Chiefs, who use defensive tackle Dontari Poe at fullback in a formation they refer to as "Poe Heavy."
Opponents aren't the only ones bringing the twist to the offense, though. The Steelers have their own goal line weapon. A former high school running back who is now one of the most menacing linebackers in the game, James Harrison.
Harrison saw his first action as a goal line fullback against the New York Jets, and while the Steelers weren't able to punch the ball into the end zone, it's something they plan on sticking with if the situation calls for it.
"James is a talented guy," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "He likes running down the center of people. That's an asset that can be valuable to us in short yardage and goal line and is. We're going to utilize it."
Harrison has practiced at goal line fullback for several weeks, and if the opportunity arises again to line up there, he is willing.
"I am just going out there doing whatever job they ask me to do," said Harrison. "I just like it because it's football."
And for his teammates, seeing him in the offensive huddle isn't such a bad thing.
"It's brings a physicality," said receiver Antonio Brown. "When you see No. 92 it's traumatic. Guys are fearful of him. He provides that spark for the offense."
Running back Le'Veon Bell, who could be the beneficiary of a Harrison block, likes the approach Harrison brings as well.
"He is a defensive player who is athletic enough to go side-to-side," said Bell. "But what he isn't going to do is think about who he is hitting. He is going to go in there, put his head in there, and whoever he has to hit he is going to knock them down. That's the kind of attitude he has."
A look at the Titans:Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger made his second career start last week against the Baltimore Ravens, and after getting off to a quick start in the first quarter with eight completions for 98 yards and a touchdown, he finished the day with only 16 completions for 179 yards. But Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin knows what Mettenberger is capable of in the Titans offense.
"Zach has a strong arm," said Tomlin. "He is a pocket passer. He can make all the throws on the field. He has a ridiculously strong arm. He is your classic pocket passer. He is a talented young man."
Tomlin and also understands that the defense will have their hands full as the Titans shuffle Mettenberger and Jake Locker in the lineup and each brings a different aspect with them.
"Jake presents a different challenge with his mobility. Like last week, we had issues at times constricting and containing Michael Vick and what he does. The issues that a mobile quarterback presents, Locker presents similar issues. He is very mobile. He has very good escapability. If we have to prepare to play him, obviously we are going to rush him very differently than we do Mettenberger. So from that standpoint, it creates a different personality of things that you have to deal with from a quarterback position standpoint as we prepare this week."
What the Steelers are saying:
Martavis Bryant on his comfort level with Ben Roethlisberger:
"It's getting better each week. I'm putting more emphasis on what I'm doing in practice, working hard and just going out and having fun on Sundays."
Antonio Brown on if the team will be more hyped this week because it's Monday Night Football:
"We can't place emphasis on it. When the ball is rolled out and it's game day we have to be professional, come out, play and be at our best. Game coverage and location, it's not a factor. We have to be detailed with things and will our team to win."
The Titans perspective:
Receiver Nate Washington, who played for the Steelers, comparing Zach Mettenberger to Ben Roethlisberger:
"Really it's his size and his big arm. Of course, due to his knee situation from college, I don't think he is as mobile but the kid has a great big arm. He is a strong thrower. He can make those tight throws like Ben can. You see those types of plays develop in order to give them a chance. He is one of the guys when plays break down, he seems to find a way to make a play with his arm. Those are a lot of things that kind of remind me of Ben, seeing those types of things and that type of play from him. "
The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Tennessee Titans.