The NFL schedule release has become somewhat of a holiday for fans around the league. They sit there staring at their phones waiting for the moment it’s all announced. They can’t wait to see how many primetime games, where the team opens the season, and everything in between.
But for Steelers players, the schedule release is a much different experience. Because quite simply, it doesn’t matter the date, it doesn’t matter the time and it doesn’t matter the location. Bottom line is the players have to show up and play their best every week no matter who the opponent is.
“We have to be a team that no matter where we go and when we play, we are ready,” said Cam Heyward. “Whether it’s night or day we have to be ready.”
MORE-->> Steelers 2019 schedule released
The Steelers will have to be ready right off the bat as they open the year against the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots on the road on Sunday Night Football on Sept. 8. It will be a quick test for the black and gold.
“We have to make sure when we go into camp that we are prepared for something serious when we get started,” said Haden. “When the season starts we are right in it. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who we are playing, we just have to be ready.”
The schedule is highlighted by five primetime games, two at home on Monday Night Football, two on the road on Sunday Night Football, and one on the road on Thursday Night Football.
“That is Pittsburgh Steelers football,” said T.J. Watt. “We live for it, for the big time games and big time moments.
“The most important thing, though is we have to get back to being ourselves and playing Steelers football and not caring who is on the schedule, who the other team is, and just playing our brand of football.”
Family affair: This year’s schedule will feature some brotherly love for some of the players.
When the Steelers travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers on Oct. 13 on Sunday Night Football, it will pit the Watt and Pouncey brothers against each other for the second straight year. T.J. Watt will be facing his brother, Chargers fullback Derek Watt, and Maurkice Pouncey playing against his twin brother, Chargers center Mike Pouncey.
“It will be a good time,” said Pouncey. “The family will all come to California. We’ll have another great experience in the NFL. Being able to play each other is something we can put in our memory bank. I think we owe them payback this time.”
Last season the Chargers beat the Steelers at Heinz Field, 33-30, and Pouncey and Watt don’t want a repeat of that.
“We had them in our grasp last year,” said Watt. “We couldn’t get it done. He has taken advantage of the bragging rights. I want them back.”
Another group of brothers will go against each other when the Steelers play the Bills on Dec. 15 at Heinz Field. It will be the first opportunity for Terrell and Trey Edmunds to face their brother, Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.
“It’s going to be exciting,” said Terrell Edmunds. “It’s the first time I will get to play against one of my brothers. It will be something different.
“But we are focused on every game, one at a time. We are competitors. We all love to compete. We are working. We get to put something out there. People are probably doubting us. We have to go out and show what we are made of every game.”