Opponents on Steelers

Packers are talking about Alex, T.J., George and more

The Steelers take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium, the first time the two teams will face each other since 2021.

It's a different look on both sides of the ball, with both teams having new quarterbacks and new looks on both sides of the ball.

"We did see them a couple of years ago," said Packers Coach Matt LaFleur. "Although there are a lot of different pieces on each side, the styles are very similar. They are the model of consistency in terms of their play style and what you can expect when you play the Pittsburgh Steelers. You know you are going to get a very big, physical football game."

The Packers weighed in on a variety of topics, including talking about linebackers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith, the offense and much more.

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Packers Coach Matt LaFleur on the Steelers fourth quarter wins:
"This is a very competitive football team. They pride themselves on physicality and it shows up all over the tape. They've got a lot of guys that are big, strong, and physical. They made plays when it matters most. Some of those big plays are led by a lot of turnovers they create, takeaways on the defensive side of the ball. They have a lot of game-wreckers up front. We're going to have to do a great job with them."

LaFleur, who has coached against J.J. Watt, on if T.J. Watt reminds him of J.J.:
"I think they are different players, but in terms of their play style, absolutely. T.J.'s relentless. He is one of those game-wreckers I was talking about. On the other side (Alex) Highsmith, he is a baller as well. Not to mention all the guys they've got in the interior line. Obviously (Cameron) Heyward has been doing it for a long time at a really elite level and they just got him back last week. Their front is a problem. Not only with what they ask them to do, but they're big, athletic and just create a lot of issues not only in the run game, but the pass game for an offense."

LaFleur on what ways T.J. and J.J. Watt are different:
"They're body type is a little bit different. As far as their relentless pursuit and relentless effort and how they play the game, that's where I see most of the similarities. Both of those guys were a force up front. T.J. might be a little more slippery than J.J., but they both present a ton of problems for an offense."

Quarterback Jordan Love on Watt:
"T.J. is a great player. He plays with great effort on every play. I think their whole defense does. They do a good job with that. We have to be able to match that. 

"He has a really good get off. He is a quick player, explosive and he is also powerful. He likes to go up top, get around the edge, and kind of squeeze the pocket in. He is a quick pass rusher. He has some pretty good moves.

"He is a play maker. He is an athlete. We've seen it. He is getting some picks. He's getting some forced fumbles. He is recovering those. He is a playmaker. He is a ball hawk. He is looking for the ball at all times. That's their defense. They do a good job of creating some chaos and getting those turnovers. That's a key for us, to not let that happen in this game."

LaFleur on the Steelers offense: 
"They've got a lot of playmakers. I know there's been some inconsistency there with their offense, but certainly can never sleep on them. I think all three of those receivers are really good players. (George) Pickens has shown that big-play potential. Diontae Johnson, obviously Najee (Harris) is a problem, just a big, physical back. (Jaylen) Warren is the other back. They've got a lot of playmakers. You have to do a great job just with being consistent and not letting those guys get loose."

Love on Alex Highsmith:
"I think they (Highsmith and Watt) are similar type of rushers. They like to rush up the field. He is the same way. He is really quick. He has a good get off. I think we have to continue to mix up the cadence as much as we can will help with that. It's just knowing where they are, being cognizant of my drops. They are both quick trigger guys who get up field." 

LaFleur on Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin 
"He's a guy I've got as much respect for in this business as anybody. Not only how he handles himself, but when you look at the quality of teams he has put out there. I don't think he's ever had a losing season, which is incredible. If you asked any player, any coach in this league, I don't think there's anybody that's not going to respect him, just how he carries himself, how he coaches his teams. You can bet that they're always going to be well prepared, very physical and very sound. He's the model of consistency in this league."
Love on the Steelers organization:
"They are a legacy franchise. They have had a lot of great players over there. They have been good for a long time. They're a good team. They have a great coach." 

Cornerback Carrington Valentine on George Pickens:
"He's physical, a competitor. I'm a physical person, a competitor. I feel like it's going to be a show."

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