A day after Mike Tomlin publicly contemplated the possibilities in relation to compensating for injured players, and solving red zone woes on offense, and achieving more consistency on defense, Steelers players began on-field preparations for the Houston Texans not quite sure how things will shake out on Monday night.
Here's what they were talking about today:
Cornerback Brice McCain on starting:
"Whatever (Tomlin) wants me to do, I'll do. If he wants me to play, I'll play. This week I have to work my butt off and try to turn some eyes around here, turn some heads. Anything can happen. I'm just preparing myself for anything. If it comes to it, I'm ready. I've put in the time, put in the work."
Wide receiver Martavis Bryant on suiting up for the first time as a red zone option:
"It's up to the coaches. I'm just going to go out in practice and work hard, continue to do what I do every week, get better in my craft. And if my number's called, so be it. It worked for me in college, it definitely did, fade balls. I'm still 6-foot-4, but I'm also going against better competition. I feel like I just need to continue to work and not worry about things I can't control. If my number's called, I'll definitely be there to answer the call or help out or whatever."
Defensive end Cam Thomas on starting for injured nose tackle Steve McLendon:
"I'm not sure yet, but I guess so. At San Diego I played nose (last season). I played (Houston) last year with San Diego at the nose. It went pretty well. I actually got an interception last year. You got to get on the center and knock him back and let the linebackers flow. You have to mentally get your mind together for that because they're not going to be coming at you. They're going to be zoning, just really going sideways running. You have to get with them."
Rookie nose tackle Daniel McCullers on suiting up for the first time as an option at nose tackle:**
"I'm excited. Anything can happen in a week. I just got to keep working and hopefully next week I'll end up starting. I'm just going to go with it, go with each step, which is practice next. I think it's a good chance. I have a great opportunity with Steve (McLendon) being down. I'm going to take advantage of it. Have a good week of practice, that's the biggest thing. Just work hard, that's all I can do."
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt on getting more playing time and possibly starting:
"I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing, that's practicing hard and studying film and waiting for my opportunity. It's up to the coaches to figure out game day, what they want to do. I do some really good things and some bad things. I want to eliminate all my bad things, and to be able to do something like that I have to keep working hard and becoming the player I know I can be. I'm excited. Every football game I'm excited, but Monday Night Football, I'm pretty excited for that in Pittsburgh."
Rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier on returning from a knee injury that's cost him three consecutive starts:
"I don't know. I'm going to see what the coaches and trainers say, and when they tell me I'm ready I'm going to go out there and do what I can. I'm getting a little anxious because every week I feel like I'm getting better."