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Physical play, healthy, do or die

Each week Steelers' defensive coordinator Keith Butler, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and special teams coordinator Danny Smith share their insight in exclusive interviews that can be heard on SNR every Thursday beginning at 12 noon.

This version of Coordinators Corner will give you a sneak peak of what to expect each week, but this just touches the surface. Read what they have to say, but take my advice, listen every Thursday at 12 noon for the full interviews or check back there later in the day for the archived versions. It will be worth your time.


Let's get physical: **The last time the Steelers and Dolphins met, the defense gave up 204 yards rushing to Jay Ajayi. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler said it was a combination of things that led to Ajayi's big day, including, but not limited to, missed tackles.

"Some of it was (missed tackles) and some of it was not replacing and getting where we needed to be in the running game," said Butler. "We got cut off a couple of times. They are what we call an outside zone team and they do a good job with the running back. He does a good job of running to the 'C' gaps. If you give it to him he will take it. He is very physical. They were more physical than we were last time we played. That has to change this game."

And it's a change Butler knows can happen.

"I think it's very easy once you present them with the evidence and why they have to do that," said Butler. "We are going to show them how we played last time and how we have to play this time to advance in the playoffs."

Make it happen: Offensive coordinator Todd Haley is heading into Sunday's game with the luxury of having a healthy offense, something he doesn't take for granted. But he knows that just having healthy bodies out on the field isn't enough. They have to be perform.

"I know we are all excited we are able to go into the playoffs relatively healthy looking back on some of the situations that we have been in in the past," said Haley. "That being said it's not going to happen because we have (Le'Veon Bell) on the field, or have Ben (Roethlisberger), or have Antonio Brown. It's going to happen because we make it happen. That's what we have to make sure we are working on throughout the week to get ready to go and play our best football. That is the name of the game. The teams that get hot are usually the teams playing their best and that gives you a chance to beat anybody." 

Do or die: It's what every team plays for, the chance to be in the playoffs, and work toward the ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl championship. Special teams coordinator Danny Smith knows the group he is in charge of is excited for the challenge, but also understand what is at stake.

"It's exciting," said Smith. "You start back at point zero. We'll find out what the strengths are when we get in the ball game. The preparation, everything picks up. The play, the detail, the preparation, everything picks up. We are in do or die football right now. It's a select group that gets here. Our players have done a great job to get us that opportunity and now we have to make good on it and go to work."

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