The Steelers face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Heinz Field, going against a pass defense that is ranked No. 1 in the NFL.
They are also facing a head coach who has a history with the Steelers, even if it was a short one.
Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone had a short stint with the Steelers under Coach Chuck Noll, but remembers Noll as being someone who took time for each player, and someone you didn’t make mad.
“The one thing I appreciated is, I wasn’t a very good player, I got released, but Coach Noll would sit and spend time with everyone and explain things to everyone,” said Marrone. “He was an extremely smart man.
“I remember when we had the preseason games and had to drive to Three Rivers (from training camp). The veteran guys would tell us if you don’t get out of here early, don’t speed. Coach Noll will put it right on the speed limit and take every license plate down and get on you for speeding.
“I remember running a 40-yard dash with full equipment. I think that is the only time I did it. I remember running the ramps at Three Rivers Stadium. Dermontti Dawson was there. I can’t look at ramps anymore. When I do I just get tired. I think it’s from my time in Pittsburgh when Jon Kolb was the strength coach.”
More from the Jaguars:
Marrone on the Steelers pass defense:
“It’s a lot of the same. It’s very difficult to get explosive plays on them. They do an excellent job of disguising. I go all the way back to when I first came into the league. When I watched them on film, the results are always the same and just the players change. That is a credit to the players and coaches. When the ball gets dumped off they do an outstanding job of rallying to the ball, physical in the way they play, and the pass rush is good, which means you can’t afford to extend plays or hold onto the ball.”
Paul Posluszny, who is from outside the Pittsburgh area, on his memories of the Steelers growing up:
“Growing up you loved the Steelers, loved watching them play. When we won the state championship in high school football we were honored at a Steelers game. That was a lot of fun to go to Heinz Field as a high school team and watch the Steelers play and be in that environment.”
Marrone on trying to defend both Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant:
“It’s very difficult. I think the one thing is (JuJu) Smith-Schuster is coming along too, he is playing more. And you have the two tight ends. And the backs out of the backfield have been productive. You have to be careful. They are very explosive. Coach (Todd) Haley does a great job in changing things up, whether they are crossing, vertical. It’s a challenge. It really is. They do an outstanding job. Richard Mann has always been one of the most highly regarded coaches. You see that on the field with his players.”
Posluszny on playing the Steelers:
“Going to Pittsburgh, playing against the Steelers, it will be a great challenge for us because the type of the team they have and the high level they are playing at right now. It’s a great opportunity to play one of the best franchises in the NFL and a highly talented team.”
Marrone on Le’Veon Bell:
“He is someone that is special. He is a physical type of back.”