The Steelers will face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at Heinz Field in the AFC Divisional Round. It will be the second time the two teams have met this season, the Jaguars winning the regular season game, 30-9, in Week 5.
Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone knows it won’t be easy coming to Pittsburgh and facing the Steelers for the second time, stating plain and simple that it will be a challenge.
“When you look at Pittsburgh’s roster it’s probably the most talented roster that we play, with the weapons they have,” said Marrone. “They can hurt you in so many different ways. It’s going to be a great challenge, not just in the back end, but up front. They have the most Pro Bowl players and there is a reason for it. There are a lot of good football players. It’s going to be a challenge for our guys.”
Marrone, as well as some of the Jaguars’ players, weighed in on the Steelers, including Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Cameron Heyward.
Marrone on Roethlisberger and if his performance in the first meeting will impact him and the quarterback in general:
“He is too good of a player for it to be in his head. I’ve seen him for too long to really think that is going to get to him. I have a ton of respect for him. He is a heck of a player. He can make all of the plays. He can run the offense. We understand what we are going against and the challenge in it.
“The cast they have around him, the guys up front, the guys on the perimeter, with Bell in the backfield, you are talking about a bunch of really good football players.”
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Roethlisberger wanting a rematch:
“I would want to play us again too. He threw five picks, was contemplating retiring, whether he had it or not after playing us. They had a good season after our game. I would want to play us again too.”
Cornerback A.J. Bouye on going against the Steelers offense:
“We’re going against a Hall of Fame quarterback, Hall of Fame receiver. They are going to give us their best and they have a lot of weapons and that crowd is going to be amazing.”
Marrone on Heyward:
“He is a good football player. He is a three down player. When they play the base defense in the 3-4, it’s usually one of those defensive ends, a three-down player, I feel they have three of them. Cam is a really good football player, (Stephon) Tuitt is another one. What makes them three down players is they are very stout, very heavy handed in the run game, and they get pass rush. The three up front guys can play the run and the pass.”
Offensive lineman Brandon Linder on the Steelers defense:
“It’s a great team, a great defense to face.”
Marrone on JuJu Smith-Schuster coming on in the second half of season:
“It started to go up a little bit when we played them. An outstanding first year for him. He has a lot of good players around him. He makes other people around him better too. He is good run after catch, he can make people miss. He has played extremely well. He is one of many players who will be a challenge for us defensively to contain.”
Ramsey on the Steelers in general:
“They are a very good team. They are coming off the bye. They are going to be fresh, ready to play us.”
Marrone on Bell in the passing game:
“He has been that way for a long time in this league. He is a Pro Bowl running back. He is not one dimensional. He has excellent patience. He will wait for the hole to open. He has a really good understanding of the blocking scheme. He is very natural. He is a natural catcher. Now you take all of the things that made him a great running back and put him in space and it’s tough. He is difficult to tackle one-on-one. You have to get multiple people to the ball on him.”
Bouye on him and Ramsey going against Antonio Brown:
“They know both of us want him.”
Ramsey on Brown:
“AB is one of the best in the league. Why wouldn’t we want that challenge?”