Tom Coughlin on the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Giants will be facing the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday, two storied NFL franchises that have won four of the last seven Super Bowls. Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin began to size up the Steelers publicly yesterday at TIMEX.

“Pittsburgh Steelers. The tradition, we had talked about tradition in the National Football League. You don’t get any more traditional than the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are 4-3, they’ve lost three games on the road and they’re a very, very good football team.

They are 11th in the league on offense, they are second on defense. They’re traditionally a tremendous, powerful football team, very physical football team. They have an outstanding return game, they’ve had a couple of punt returns called back that were touchdowns. They have this young kid from Florida (running back Chris) Rainey. They have an outstanding kick returner.

So, they do have a large offensive line. They have a group of running backs who seem to replace one another when injures do take their toll, with (Jonathan) Dwyer being the most recent runner.The receiving corps is outstanding. They have tremendous speed on the outside. In (Heath) Miller, they have a go-to, dependable tight end that has played very well. He provides Ben (Roethlisberger) with a reliable source that he goes to quite often.

Roethlisberger has the ability to extend plays, which he’s done throughout his career. Much has been said about the way in which they’ve directed and changed their offense over there. He has been well protected, he has not been hit nearly as much, nor is he forcing anything. He’s distributing the ball very well to any number of receivers. Defensively, they’re powerful, they’re strong, and they’re an attack-mode team, just like they always have been. Multiple looks, the creation because of versatility of opportunities in terms of coverages, pressures, fire zones, all-out pressures on third down and in the green zone.

(Shaun) Suisham is kicking the ball very well. They have a young, rookie punter (Drew Butler) who has had one blocked, but has held up very well. So, this is an outstanding football team. They defeated Washington last weekend, they defeated Philadelphia, and those are teams that we know very, very well. So, we’ve been studying them as best as we can over the last couple of days, and look forward to presenting the Pittsburgh Steelers to our football team here in just a couple of minutes.”

Is it all helpful that you have seen several 3-4 defenses in a row?
“They’re all different. They’re all different. You can categorize them that way, but each team is a different team in how they present. As soon as it becomes third down, it’s something totally different as well.”

They like to utilize their tight end. Are there any concerns with covering him?
“There is a concern because of the ability level and the quarterback’s accuracy. Yes, but there are a lot of concerns. Not just the tight end.”

How would you describe Ben Roethlisberger relative to what you would have anticipated his career tracking prior to the draft?
“Obviously, he’s had a very, very good career. He has two Super Bowl championships. He’s a winner. He currently has a 117 quarterback rating on third downs, so he’s playing very, very well.”

quotes courtesy Giants communications dept