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What the Steelers have been saying they expect

Messagepar zhangzk » 03 janv. 2020, 04:53

DENVER (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers can unnerve plenty of defenses with the NFL’s best pair of pass catchers and the league’s top tight end tandem.Not Denver’s.“We’ve had a tough game every week Womens James Conner Jersey ,” Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. “We haven’t had any easy games. So, this is just another top offense that we get to see, another great challenge and we’re up for it.”The Steelers (7-2-1), bursting with playmakers in wide receivers Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, tight ends Vance McDonald and Jesse James and running back James Connor, are the third consecutive opponent to bring a winning streak of at least five games into their matchup against the Broncos (4-6).The 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the last team to face that sort of gantlet, wrapping up an 0-14 season with losses to the Raiders, Steelers and Patriots by an average of 40-10.The Broncos snapped the Chargers‘ six-game roll with a stirring comeback last week capped by Brandon McManus‘ field goal as time expired — one game after his errant kick as time expired allowed the Texans to escape with their sixth straight win.“We’ve seen it all already,” Harris said. “Now, it’s just another challenge, another great offense, another great quarterback and receivers. We’ve had some success this year playing the top offenses.”In addition to letting Deshaun Watson and the Texans duck out of Denver with a win, the Broncos had their chances against Jared Goff and the Rams and twice against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. They lost those four games by a combined 12 points.“Close calls against really good football teams T. J. Watt Jersey ,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “This is definitely a team that is much better than their record shows. They’re a team that’s kind of sitting there.”Ready to pounce.“They got a big win last week and need to get this win,” Roethlisberger said. “We don’t look at records. We look at going on the road to a tough place to play against a really good football team.”Other subplots in the Steelers’ first trip to Denver since the playoffs following the 2015 season:ORANGE CRUNCHThe Broncos counter Pittsburgh’s dynamite duos with the league’s most prolific pass-rushing pair in Von Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb, both of whom are riding five-game sack streaks.Miller and Chubb have combined for 19 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, 29 QB hits, five forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception.“It’s unbelievable, maybe the best one in the game right now, those two guys,” Roethlisberger said.MAD SCIENCEMiller is coming off his 100th sack and a key interception that was a game-changer and maybe a season-turner, and he certainly has the attention of the Steelers.“I’ve got nothing but crazy respect for him,” Roethlisberger said. “Such a good football player and he really takes pride in his craft. He’s almost scientific about it.”Miller was the MVP of the Pro Bowl last year, where he was coached by Mike Tomlin in the Steelers staff.“I thought he was an alien,” Tomlin said. “He was a special player among a group of special players. He went by me in the fourth quarter and said Jerome Bettis Jersey White , ‘Coach, I got this.’ I watched him take over a Pro Bowl and change the climate inside that stadium.”“An alien?” replied Miller. “Like, which one? There’s Martians with the big head or is it like ‘Alien’ the movie?”ROAD WARRIORSThe Steelers are 15-1-1 in their last 17 road games, though the going has typically been difficult in Denver. Pittsburgh has dropped four of its last five visits to the Mile High City, including a pair of playoff setbacks in 2012 and 2016.“We know it’s a tough place to play,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “I know I’ve never won a game there and I’ve been around a while. It’s one of those places where, no matter how hot you might think you are, things can change in a minute.”JUJU’S MOJOWhile Brown has caught at least one touchdown in eight consecutive games, it’s the development of Smith-Schuster that’s helped keep Pittsburgh’s offense humming even with running back Le’Veon Bell sitting out the season.Smith-Schuster has 64 receptions for 866 yards and has developed a rapport with Roethlisberger that is paying off in the clutch. He caught four passes in Pittsburgh’s final frenetic two drives last week against Jacksonville, including a leaping 35-yard grab that helped set up the winning touchdown.REPLAY OR REDEMPTION“It’s the best of the best,” Harris said of his matchup with Brown, who got the best of him the last time they lined up against each other three years ago.Brown caught 16 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, snapping Harris’ streak of 35 games without allowing a score.“I didn’t play well that night,” Harris said. “But I’m ready for Sunday.” PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson understands parallels will be drawn between himself and former Steelers star Antonio Brown. The third-round pick James Conner Jersey White , however, is focused on forging his own path.The comparisons and serendipitous circumstances that link the two are almost too conspicuous to believe. But this “D.J.” isn’t actively going out of his way to be the next “AB.”As he walked off the field after completing his first official on-field NFL practice session, Johnson was predictably asked to give his thoughts about the ubiquitous comparisons between him and the perennial All-Pro receiver now with Oakland.“It’s a good thing, because he’s a great player,” Johnson said Friday. “Somebody I used to watch. I still look up to him. He’s a great player.“But I can only be myself only.” of Johnson would be more than good enough — even if it falls short of the level Brown attained as the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver for most of the past decade.Brown was shipped off to the Raiders for third- and fifth-round draft picks in March after he’d publicly clashed with everyone from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to coach Mike Tomlin to Steelers President Art Rooney II since sitting out the final game of the 2018 season. That leaves a gaping, 114-catch-per-year hole of production on the offense. Brown had 686 receptions, 9,145 yards and 67 touchdowns from 2013 to 2018.By no means do the Steelers expect Johnson to make up for that by himself. But Johnson enters the NFL with a similar game and profile as Brown — and he was acquired as the headlining (if underwhelming) return in the trade of Brown.Johnson embraces the on-field similarities with Brown in regards to playing style: “route running, able to catch ball, get out of my breaks, able to run every route in the route tree.” But Johnson politely downplays expectations he can approach the superstar status Brown reached in Pittsburgh.“I’m just trying to come in and contribute and come in and do what I can do,” Johnson said. “Be myself and help out in any way that I can.”It might forever be difficult for Johnson to simply “be himself” with the Steelers, if only because many might always compare him to Brown. A look at the roster shows that about the only way Johnson doesn’t share a strong resemblance with Brown is uniform number. Johnson was wearing No. 18 at rookie minicamp; Brown’s former No. 84 was given to undrafted tight end Milan Richard.Brown stands 5-foot-10, 181 pounds. Johnson is listed at 5-10 Womens Jerome Bettis Jersey , 183.Brown went to Central Michigan, a Mid-American Conference school; Johnson starred at Toldeo, the Chippewas’ MAC rival.Over his final two college seasons, Brown had 2,096 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns in being voted all-MAC twice. Johnson, over his final two college seasons: 2,039 receiving yards, 25 touchdowns, two-time all-MAC.Each had great success as a punt and kick returner, too.Johnson might not be Brown but he’s already made an impression on his new teammates.“He has a lot of talent,” said cornerback Justin Layne, a player the Steelers took with another third-round pick. “Fast, quick guy. He is going to help us a lot.”Steelers fourth-round pick Benny Snell has gotten to know Johnson in recent months because they share the same agent and were roommates in Indianapolis at the combine in February.“Diontae is amazing,” said Snell Jerome Bettis Jersey , a running back from Kentucky. “He’s a cool guy, a cool dude — and he’s got some hands.”Johnson’s hands weren’t as much on display Friday as the Steelers likely hoped; he sat out portions of team drills, then deferred to coach Mike Tomlin, who was unavailable to media Friday, for specifics about any injury. But he allowed that he was “fine.”For his rookie season, Johnson joins a receivers corps led by JuJu Smith-Schuster and also featuring veteran Donte Moncrief, second-year wideout James Washington, and slot specialists Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer.Where Johnson falls into that pecking order in 2019 is a long way from being determined.“It’s exciting, being able to play football again,” Johnson said, “being able to run routes and catch balls and learn the plays.”

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