What We Learned From the Coordinators on Thursday

Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton, Co-Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy and Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub spoke with the media on Thursday

Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton

Q: Last time you faced Pittsburgh, they came right out of the box and scored, and then went for a two point conversion – what are you expecting from them this time around seeing you both have matured more?

SUTTON: "They certainly got the best of us that night in Pittsburgh. As far as the two points, they've gone for more two-point plays than anybody in the NFL – not the mandatory ones that you have to go for based on the score. I think that's just part of their aggressiveness and their approach. I think they believe in it, and they're very good at it. So, we have to do a much better job than we did in Pittsburgh, which us as coaches understand that and the players know that. It's a big challenge. They're really an outstanding offense – very deep and talented players in a lot of positions. It's going to be a great challenge for our defense."

Q: What's the key to defending Le'Veon Bell when he hesitates and looks for his holes?

SUTTON: "Well, I wish I knew for sure. Le'Veon Bell has this unique style that everyone knows, but he's a great back. He can run through you, he can get outside you. I think you become so intrigued with his style because it's so different than most running backs. The other part of it – once he puts his foot in the ground and goes – he's a challenge. He's a man. He can run through you, he can jump outside you. I think any time you play him, everybody is going to say the same thing. You have to be really disciplined up front with your front seven, and you know, when you play really, really good players – like I told our guys – you need everybody. It's every play, everybody because this guy can get out. He's going to get out some of the time, but you don't want him to get out for a big play. So, that to me is one of the real important things. As far as the style, you have to play gap discipline, but it's a game where you have to do that while being highly aggressive. It can't be a passive game, so I think that's a big part of it."

Q: Does he remind you of anybody?

SUTTON: "Never seen anybody like that. I think it's a unique style. He's always done it and done a great job with it. Like I said, the thing that impresses me is that he's still very powerful. In your own brain you're thinking, 'If you're not hitting that thing downhill hard, you know we ought to be able to get you on the ground quick once you make the cut.' But, he accelerates very well, and he has great strength and body balance. I think there's a lot of those things that you lose track of when you're watching his style, but he does a fabulous job. Obviously, he has both feet both on the ground and that stuff, which allows him to keep a good base, and powerful and cut. He's a heck of a player. It's an all day job. You never know when he's going to come out."

Q: You were missing Justin Houston in the last two games of the season. He got a week off and you kind hope that he can come back.  What kind of impact could that have in a playoff game?

SUTTON: "Well, I think in any game – like we've said many times – we'd like to have our full complement of players anytime we could. Certainly, we'd be thrilled to get a player like Justin [Houston] back. Not only as a player, but he brings a lot to our defense – a lot to our team really. That would be a great plus for us to have him. Like I've said many times about Justin, he not only can rush the passer, he's a good run defender, he knows how to drop in coverage and he's a smart player. You have a lot of things that you're adding in our case, to our defense."

Co-Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy

Q:What can you take away from the last meeting now that both teams are entering Sunday's matchup 'on a roll'?NAGY:"Protect the football and start fast. That's the biggest thing. If you lose the turnover battle, bad things are going to happen. You saw it last week versus Miami with these guys. They play fast and if they get a lead on you, it's tough to recover from. We've watched it plenty of times and we've emphasized it."  

Q:How big of a factor will the weather be? NAGY:"It makes it a little more difficult, but it will be difficult for them too so that makes it fair on both sides."

Q:How are the Steelers more physical or different from a physical standpoint than other teams? NAGY:"Their mentality. They all believe it. They go out and they do it. They hit you hard. Early in the game, they're looking to attack the football and strip it from you. It's all a mindset for them. We need to come into this game with the same mindset and understand, it's a physical game. We need to realize that from the first snap to the end."

Q:Do you feel like the Chiefs are clicking a little bit more now as opposed to earlier in the season? NAGY:"Yeah we are. Earlier in the year, we kind of bounced around on the offensive line with some injuries and other positions as well. We've finally kind of 'gelled' into what we thought we could be. We've created a little bit more of an identity. You would have liked to have seen it sooner. But it's important that we've found it now."

Q:How important has the consistency been on the offensive line -- now playing in their 10th straight game together?NAGY:"Huge. And it's like that at every position. When you have these five guys that are seeing different fronts, stunts and blitzes that teams bring on to you, the communication part is so big. When you have a guy come on for the first time, and he doesn't quite know the differences that a tackle or guard might have communications wise, it's hard. When you have 10 games in a row where your offensive line is communicating, they're seeing things together and they know what to do without saying it -- it's a good thing."

Q:Has this Chiefs team been properly tested for the Steelers after facing the opponents they have over the last seven weeks?NAGY:"Without a doubt. Our guys are ready. I love the mentality that they've had this entire season. There have been some ups and downs. We've never gotten too high and I don't think we've ever gotten too low. We've prepared for this moment, this was a goal for us and I think the guys are all set."

Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub

Q: How did the interviews go?

TOUB: "The interviews went well. I want to thank Andy Reid and the Chiefs organization for allowing me to do that on my days off last week. I think they went well. Moved on now, we're getting ready for Pittsburgh."

Q: Even if it doesn't work out at San Diego, do you feel like you're closer?

TOUB: "I think it's good. This is my fourth one now, I've got four done. Each time I do one I feel like I've gotten better. I think it's good because the awareness that a special teams coach can actually do this job I think has really come to forefront this year and I think down the road it's only a matter of time before it gets done."

Q: With San Diego, was the relocation a part of the question/answer process?

TOUB: "Yeah we talked about it a little bit, but they didn't know the answer. They didn't know one way or another, they couldn't give me percentages so I guess it's all done. They move forward."

Q: Did you extract anything from the way Doug [Pederson] handled it last year while preparing for playoffs?

TOUB: "Yeah, I talked to Coach Reid about it and I thought Doug did a great job with it and Andy and I had those discussions before the whole thing went down and how he wanted me to handle it. I think that's a good thing."

Q: Pittsburgh, you've seen them before, but both teams seem a little different and Tyreek [Hill] of course has emerged on a whole different level on special teams, what do you see this week that make you think it'll be like that first meeting or not at all?

TOUB: "Well we didn't really play well in all three phases in that game. First thing we did Monday was look at that tape and come to the realization that we didn't play well on special teams. We need to put together a solid game and do what we do and attack them like we plan on attacking them and see where the chips fall. I think this time we're going to get after them just like we did the other game, but just play better."

Q: What are the challenges of freezing rain and sleet?

TOUB: "It's a challenge for both sides, no question. Rain is always a problem when it comes to handling the football for everybody. Whoever handles it the best, and I say this all the time to our guys, whoever handles the weather the best will come out on top. No turnovers, secure the football and all of those things have to come, they are really important."

Q: At what point do you feel that opponents are going to quit kicking the ball to [Tyreek] Hill?

TOUB: "Now, I think it's probably going to happen this week. They're going to try and kick it out of bounds. It's easier said than done though, we went through the same thing in Chicago with Devin [Hester]. The weather has a lot to do with it, what kind of pressure you put on the punter, all of those things come into play without getting into more detail."

Q: What's your message to [Tyreek Hill] this week?

TOUB: "Just do what he does best. Field the ball when you can. I don't hold him back a lot. He has great instincts. He has a good feel for it, so we'll let him go get the ball. He has great range so we'll let him do what he does."

Q: How tough is it to balance preparing for head coach interviews while also preparing for a playoff game?

TOUB: "It's tough, but at the same time, Andy [Reid] gave us days off, so I did this on my days off. All our coaches, we had four days off and I handled it then. We spent Monday/Tuesday of the week before working on the Pittsburgh Steelers to be quite honest with you, and then I did the interview stuff on the days off, and then I was back onto Pittsburgh as soon as possible. As soon as we got back. Didn't miss a beat."

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