This and That

This & That: Urgency, excitement & more

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

Time to get going: After OTAs, minicamp, training camp and the preseason, this week it all counts. The Steelers open the regular season on Sunday in Cleveland, and there is a different feel in the air.

"The excitement, the attention to detail, sense of urgency," said Ben Roethlisberger. "All of those things are turned up a little bit. I think part of it is because the game plan, you know you have to game plan so the execution is different than just calling a no huddle play or whatever. You know you have got to be dialed in. There's a lot of detail you need to be on.  

"A divisional game so that means AFC North, hard fought, physical football game. Just doing anything we can to try to find a way to win a game."  

There has been a lot of talk this offseason about how explosive the Steelers offense can be, but none of it matter unless you go out and perform on game day.

"Every time you step on the field you should score or move the ball efficiently," said Marcus Gilbert. "We have the guys to do so. All the talking…doing says more. The guys know that. The young guys know it. The veterans have been preaching it. It's sinking in.

"This is a divisional game. The guys are amped up and excited. This is something that is going to mean a lot at the end of the season. This is what we play for. We play for all of the marbles."

Ready for anything: Joe Haden gets it. He knows the Browns are going to try and prove a point, and go after him early on Sunday. And Haden will be prepared.

"They can try. They go deep all of the time," said Haden. "With me being there, I am expecting them to try something the first time."

The Browns released Haden on August 30 and the Steelers signed the veteran cornerback later that day. He has spent the last week getting accustomed to the Steelers defense, something that has helped being that Ray Horton, the former Steelers secondary coach, had two stints as the Browns defensive coordinator during Haden's time there.

"I played in this same system twice in Cleveland," said Haden. "The same terminologies and defenses are what we are running here. When I am hearing it, I am remembering what we used to do.

"There is so much communication on defense that it's great. As long as I get that, and everyone communicates so well coming out of the huddle, it will be good. Cover 2 is Cover 2 wherever you are, Cover 3 is Cover 3, and man is man. They are giving us the calls and we are talking and they are making the transition easier for me."

Welcome to the NFL: Sunday will be the first regular season game for Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, but veteran William Gay said you can't just focus on one player, but rather what the entire offensive game plan is going to be.

"You are not facing the quarterback, you are facing the offensive coordinator," said Gay. "Opening weekend is always tough because there are so many unknowns. You have less film to prepare. On the offensive side of the ball they like to have stuff up their sleeves because they know the defense can't prepare for everything. You hope your scheme is better than their scheme."

Gay imagines the defense will get a few tips from Haden to help them go against the Browns, but he knows it's not something they can rely solely on.

"At the end of the day it will be who steps up and plays mistake free football," said Gay. "We just have to make sure we have our game plan together. No matter what tips Joe Haden might bring, we have to make sure we know our game plan down and are ready."  

Thanks Twitter: Terrell Watson learned he made the Steelers 53-man roster the same way most people learned the news. Through the power of social media.

"I found out from Twitter," said Watson, the first-year back from Azusa Pacific. "That and I didn't get a phone call. That is a good thing. No phone call is a good thing.

"There were some anxious moments. There are always anxious moments. I felt comfortable with what I did, and whatever happened, happened."

Watson beat out Knile Davis and Fitzgerald Toussaint for the team's third running back spot, with Davis released and Toussaint added to the practice squad.

"It's one of those things where you can only control what you can control," said Watson. "I feel like I showed the team what I can do. Now it's just letting the chips fall where they may."

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