The Steelers take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night at Heinz Field, and like a week ago against the Titans there will be a lot of Pittsburgh connections on the sideline as part of the Packers coaching staff.
Packers Coach Mike McCarthy is a Pittsburgh native, and has five assistant coaches on his staff with Pittsburgh connections, including former Steelers defensive backs Darren Perry and Jason Simmons and quarterback Alex Van Pelt.
McCarthy sees the Steelers offense being a challenging one, and even offered a bit of a solution to for them to help stop Antonio Brown, who was the reigning AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
“Frankly he looks overworked,” said McCarthy. “If he needs to take a week off, this would be a good week for it. He is a special player.”
All kidding aside, McCarthy and the Packers weighed in on Sunday’s game.
McCarthy on what he remembers from the last time the Packers played at Heinz Field, a 37-36 Steelers win courtesy of Mike Wallace keeping his feet inbounds on a last second touchdown to win the game:
“The throw from Ben (Roethlisberger) to Mike Wallace. It was an offensive football game. I am sure it was a great game to watch. The thing I was most impressed with was the crowd and atmosphere. It was a night game and I am sure Sunday night will be similar. It was a great football atmosphere.
McCarthy on game-planning against Antonio Brown:
“When you look at his numbers, and the video and how people are trying to take him out of the game and he is still super productive. He is a special kind of player. We clearly recognize that. His numbers are outstanding.”
Jordy Nelson on the challenges of playing the Steelers:
“A tough test, especially on the road at their stadium. They’re going to have a great crowd, Sunday Night Football. We know it will be rowdy. Good team, good defense, explosive offense. We know it will be a good test.”
McCarthy on the Steelers defense:
“Their defensive front I have been impressed with. And their secondary, they’re all productive. They are playing a lot of players. Their production statistics, the way they are spread out throughout their defense, is really the way you want to play. They are really in sync. They are going to challenge protection schemes, your run support. That is what you have to be ready for. I think they do a great job of pre-snap diagnosis and reacting. They are fast reactors. They are doing a good job flying to the ball.”
McCarthy on Le’Veon Bell:
“He can do it all. He is a complete back. The first thing I look for in a running back is can they play all three downs. He definitely is one of the best in the business, if not he is playing the best. His run style is different. He is so patient. You have to stay disciplined in your gaps. He baits you to peak on your leverages and has that second gear he can take advantage of it and get to the second level immediately. He is a unique, dynamic player.”