This and That

This & That: The Joker, I love him & more

A little bit of this, and a little bit of that as the Steelers prepare to take on the Baltimore Ravens.

The Joker: There was a bit of a shakeup to the Steelers' depth chart earlier this week with Darrius Heyward-Bey moving ahead of Markus Wheaton as the starting receiver alongside Antonio Brown.

For Heyward-Bey, though, it's not that big of an issue.

"I don't think about it," said Heyward-Bey. "I wear so many different hats on this team that I feel like the starter anyway. It will be the same.

"(Receivers) Coach (Richard) Mann calls me 'The Joker' because he can put me anywhere on offense and special teams and we are going to get 100 percent effort and execute.

"My mindset is number one, I want to win. I bought into the program the Steelers have. That is they don't care about where you came from, your past, as long as you are willing to come here and do work. Whatever they ask me to do, I will do it."

Mann isn't the only one who sees that in Heyward-Bey.

"He understands the game. He has a willingness to do whatever is asked of him on this football team, whether it be on special teams or as wide receiver," said special teams coordinator Danny Smith. "He is a joy to be around. I love him. I would do anything in the world for him. His commitment to this football team and organization is outstanding. I can't say enough good things about him. I love the guy."

Physical football: It's a game that when you see it on the schedule, you know it's going to be a tough one, a physical one, and a fun one. It's Steelers-Ravens, it's AFC North football, and it kicks off Sunday at 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Steelers prepare for the Week 9 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

"It is the most physical game," said Heyward-Bey. "Everybody talks about Cincinnati, but it's Baltimore to be honest with you. Both teams are built the same, so it's very physical.

"They are going to be ready to go. They beat us twice last year. They are coming in with great confidence. I don't care if they lost four games in a row. They are confident against us. We have to be ready for everything. We understand Joe Flacco is a Super Bowl winning quarterback. He throws the deep ball great. They have some veteran guys on defense, but some young guys ready to go. It's going to be good."

The Ravens swept the series last year, but Steelers' players want to change that, and change it fast.

"We are just looking to get out there and win our next game," said Robert Golden. "Being an AFC North game gives it more intensity. Any time we play in the AFC North there's always going to be that tension. Playing the Ravens, because of the tradition and games throughout the years, it brings that excitement."  

Facetime: Antonio Brown and Ravens' receiver Mike Wallace were Steelers' teammates for three seasons, and while they are now rivals, they are still friends.

"That's my guy," said Brown. "I facetime with him pretty much every Monday, check in with each other, see how we are doing. I am excited to see him play. I know he is going to be fired up this weekend."

More on Wallace: Mike Mitchell knows Wallace is someone the defense is going to have to key in on.

"He is an elite speed guy," said Mitchell. "We have to be alert for him. I am sure he is going to want to make some big plays, this being his former team."

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