Steelers OC Todd Haley says Patriots’ defense ‘capable of taking two guys away’
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley watches the action against the Cincinnati Bengals in their game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. Barry Reeger | Special to PennLive
PITTSBURGH — The New England Patriots will focus on the Steelers “they think can beat them,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Thursday, and that’s why players other than Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell will need to step up.
“They are capable of taking two guys away,” Haley said. “As the game progresses, as you get into the game, you figure some of those things out and you make necessary adjustments if it’s different than what you thought it was going to be.”
Steelers OC Todd Haley talks about the Patriots’ defense
In the passing game, the Steelers will likely rely on wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant to make plays. Smith-Schuster is returning on Sunday after serving a one-game suspension for a hit on Vontaze Burfict in Week 13.
Haley also said the Patriots’ defense is deceptive. They are 29th in the league in yards per game, giving up 374.6 yards per game. But they are sixth in points per game (19.2 ppg). The Steelers’ are seventh (19.3).
In the five games before giving up 27 points in a loss to the Miami Dolphins last week, New England allowed just 11.4 points per game.
“Yards really don’t mean anything,” Haley said. “It’s how many points you score on offense and how many points you give up on defense. They’re a very stingy defense. They don’t allow a lot of points scored. They’re under 20 points a game. That will be the challenge for us.”