The Steelers are coming off their bye and looking to turn things around this week against the New Orleans Saints at Acrisure Stadium.
The Saints, 3-6 on the season, are coming off a loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football and are in the same boat as the Steelers in their search to turn things around.
"It will be a tough challenge against these guys," said Saints Coach Dennis Allen. "Mike Tomlin's a helluva coach. They've been a really good team for a long time. It will be a tough place to go play. After them having a week off, I know Coach Tomlin's got a pretty good record after a bye week. This is going to be a tough challenge."
Allen and others weighed in on the Steelers this week, including talking about quarterback Kenny Pickett, linebacker T.J. Watt, safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds and more.
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Head Coach Dennis Allen on his first impressions of the Steelers:
"Tough, physical, play really hard. Play the game the right way. Defensively I think they play the game really, really fast. They have some pretty unique pressure packages that I think are complicated. They do a really good job of creating some pressure looks and I think that helps them in terms of the back end and what they are able to do coverage wise. They have taken the ball away a lot. That is something we have to be concerned about.
"Offensively they have a lot of misdirection, a lot of things they do in the run game with the turbo motion and things of that nature. They get the ball to the wideouts. They're a talented group of wideouts. The tight end is a good player. I think the quarterback is smart. I think he is athletic. I think he can throw the ball accurately.
Allen on what stands out about linebacker T.J. Watt:
"A lot of things. Number one is he is highly athletic. He has a really good get off. He doesn't use his speed to power a ton, but when he does, it's highly effective. I think he is extremely intelligent and extremely instinctive. He just has a way of knowing where the ball is. He finds the ball. Generally, when he gets around the ball, he is affecting it in some way, sack fumble, top-down punch out, something of that nature. He is a turnover machine."
Quarterback Andy Dalton on Watt:
"I think everyone understands what type of player he is and how he can disrupt a game. He is not only the best player on their defense, he's one of the best players in the league. For us, we have to understand where he is at and we can't let him disrupt the game."
Dalton on if you have to get rid of the ball fast because of Watt:
"When you have a player like that, that's high motor, never quits going, as a quarterback you want to play on time. That's what you try and do. For most of the time you are in the drop back game, but especially when you've got an edge rusher like him on the outside."
Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael on the defensive overall:
"When you watch them with their 3-4 structure, they obviously do a great job against the run game. It's a physical team. They tackle well. They're well coached. It's a big challenge for us. We have to play better than we did last week."
Co-defensive coordinator Kris Richard on quarterback Kenny Pickett:
"I think he's doing a real good job of understanding the coverage and how to attack it. The universal thought and mindset is if you see single high the ball goes outside the numbers. And if you see two high the ball should go inside the numbers. I think he has done a really good job of understanding the two and then looking to attack certain parts of the field. But then also understanding and recognizing when he has soft and off corners and still being able to attack the perimeter there. Rush, coverage, disguise is still going to be important to affecting this guy. There is no doubt about it he's done a good job of recognizing."
Dalton on safeties Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick:
"Those are some good players, guys that have been in the system for a long time. Edmunds being a first rounder, Minkah, they traded for him several years ago and he has found ways to get his hands on the ball in so many different ways. They definitely have a good back end."
Richard on the Steelers receivers, including George Pickens:
"Really talented corps. Good quickness and speed. Pickens is a powerful, jump ball receiver. The bigger body as far as the routes, going downfield, the intermediate routes and all the vertical routes on the outside. You have to know it's going to be a physical contest. It's ball combat time for sure."