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.
Step it up:** The Steelers head into Sunday's game against the Bills with a 7-5 record, needing a win to stay in the playoff hunt with four games remaining. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler said it's the perfect time to have players like Ryan Shazier taking their game to another level.
"I think he is stepping up. He needs to," said Butler. "As a player, when we get late in the season, the last fourth of the season like we are now, you have to understand there is a sense of urgency that there wasn't there in the middle part of the season. We have to win. We can't afford to lose and still have a chance to make it to the playoffs. We have to step it up. The intensity has to come up a bit. It becomes a lot more fun. As a player I loved this part of the season. It forces you to step your game up. It forces you to try and be the best, because that is what you are doing, competing to be the best in the world at professional football. I think our guys are into it and we have to step it up."
Help wanted: Special teams coordinator Danny Smith had a challenge on his hands last week when kicker Chris Boswell was injured on Friday, during drills the specialists go through post-practice.
"We acted very quickly and you have to in those situations because you don't know what is going to happen," said Smith. "We didn't know what (Chris) was going to be able to do or not do. We called (Randy) Friday night, he got here Saturday, and we met with him Saturday night. We did some things you have to do to get on the same page, speak the same language.
"I was with Randy in the Senior Bowl a few years ago so that was a good thing. When we signed Boswell he was in the workout.
"You have a new guy in there and I am not going to let him make the call, we had a plan in there, charted throughout the week, Randy wasn't a part of any of those things. It worked great. The kid went out and scored 10 points and did a great job. I told him I would put him in a comfort situation, but you have to produce, and he did. It's a great story."
Disruptive & multiple: Over the past few weeks the Steelers have faced opposing defenses that don't do a lot, but what they do, they do well. On Sunday in Buffalo they will face a team that does a lot, and does it well, something that is indicative of a Rex Ryan defense.
"They're disruptive, that would probably be the word," said offensive coordinator Todd Haley. "Multiple and disruptive. This is a group that does a lot of different things and you have to be prepared for them. You are going to see different fronts, different players in different spots from play to play. They have a lot of different personnel groups with different guys coming into the game.
"The bottom line is it starts up front again. They have a very good front. They are up there near the top in sacks and they have a bunch of guys doing it. They bring it at you from a lot of different directions. The bottom line for us is understanding what your job is and getting it done."