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.
Taken for granted: The defense will be without Cameron Heyward for a second straight week as he has already been ruled out for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field, only the second game that Heyward has missed in his career. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler said, like all good things, sometimes you don't realize how much you miss them until they aren't there.
"You start depending on him and taking him for granted sometimes," said Butler. "You are used to having him there doing his job, being a leader on defense. When he is not there, you do miss him."
Familiarity matters: Offensive coordinator Todd Haley has a grasp of how Patriots Coach Bill Belichick operates as the two worked together on the New York Jets staff. Haley said that familiarity can help as you prepare to go against the Patriots.
"I think it gives you more information," said Haley. "I worked three years with Coach Belichick when I was with the Jets. I was receivers coach, he was defensive coordinator. I had to interact a bunch because I ran the receivers on the card team. I got a lot of guff from him and he taught me to understand how the little things were important. I have competed against him a bunch of times. I have a pretty good idea about how he does things and what he is trying to get done."
Block that kick: The Steelers didn't have a lot of splash plays in the 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins, but one of the few came courtesy of special teams. In the third quarter Vince Williams blocked Andrew Franks' 24-yard field goal. It's something special teams coordinator Danny Smith has been working on with his unit and said the player's executing it is what made it work.
"We have been working hard on that, we really have," said Smith. "We have good people inside, we have powerful people inside, and we have a little bit of height inside. There are different varieties of blocks inside, outside, edges. We try to exploit what we design or define as a team's weakness. We had some good tips on good situational stuff and we were able to cash in on it. The players did a great job executing that plan and we were able to get a big block."