Buffalo Bills Pittsburgh Steelers: Getting to know the enemy


As the Buffalo Bills prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, we go behind enemy lines

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Buffalo Bills fans will be mainly focused on their own team, when they take on the Pittsburgh Steeler on Saturday night, at Ralph Wilson Stadium. This is understandable, as the quarterback competition continues to take various twists and turns. (At this point, I truly believe Rex Ryan is screwing with everyone. I think he knows full well who is going to start the home opener against the Indianapolis Colts.)

However, it can’t hurt to know what you’re dealing with. As such, we asked Still Curtain editor Kimberly Myers to answer a few questions about the Steelers:

1) Ben Roethlisberger had one of the best seasons of his career in 2014, including setting a new personal best for passing yards. What do you expect from Big Ben this year?

I expect Roethlisberger to pick up right where he left off last season. He’s right on point with all of his receivers and this offense has the capabilities to do great things this year too.

I watched him in camp and not only is he on target, but he’s like another coach on the field, directing and instructing the other players. I think the development of Martavis Bryant will pay off with big dividends for this offense. Antonio Brown is going to be double-covered every game and Bryant is quickly becoming one of Roethlisberger’s favorite targets.

2) Sticking with the quarterback position, what are your thoughts on the signing of Michael Vick?

From a football standpoint the team is better with him than with promoting Landry Jones to the backup spot. The reality is that Ben won’t leave the field as long as all of his limbs are in tact, so it’s not like Vick’s being brought in to play a huge role on the team.

Nov 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) sits on the bench after being pulled from the game during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

I think he presents some interesting options in two-point conversion scenarios as well. On the personal side, I don’t have any strong feelings either way on him.

I don’t understand the outcry after all these years. I think some Steelers fans are being very hypocritical if they’re judging Vick based on his past and are upset with the franchise for making the signing.

3) At the risk of stating the obvious, how much of a blow is it to lose Maurkice Pouncey for at least the next two months?

The offensive line was the one unit coming into this season with the most continuity and consistency, and Pouncey is unquestionably the leader of that group. That being said, I think O-line coach Mike Munchak has been the difference-maker since he arrived, and I’m confident that Doug Legusky and/or Cody Wallace can step in for Pouncey without missing a beat.

4) With the exception of Pittsburgh’s first round selection in this year’s draft, which pick or picks are you most intrigued by and why?

I was most surprised by the 3rd round selection of WR Sammie Coates. I felt that it was a luxury pick and there were other needs that could have been addressed at that point in the draft.

However, after seeing Coates in camp and in preseason, it’s almost as if the Steelers have a never-ending talent pool at wide receiver. I think he’s going to be exciting to watch.

5) Finally, what’s the biggest challenge to the Steelers chances of returning to the postseason this year?

The biggest challenge is going to be the defense, without question. The Steelers aren’t the same hard-nosed defensive-minded football team of old anymore and they will be shooting for scoring 30+ points a game.

However, the biggest question mark for their success will be the defense’s ability to shut other teams down. I’m not entirely confident that the secondary was upgraded enough, although I did like the Brandon Boykin trade.

The Steelers finished 27th in passing defense last season, but their defensive strength has to start up front from now on. The defensive line, led by Cameron Heyward, will be much more active in the pass rush under Keith Butler than they were with Dick LeBeau and I think the linebackers are coming along a lot faster in the new defense.

Next: EJ Manuel to get his shot against the Steelers

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