clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spags: Steelers have “skill all over the place”

Defensive coordinator discusses challenge of playing Pittsburgh

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo knows that his unit will be facing the best offense it has seen in a while on Sunday when the Giants face the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“ ‘Good luck picking your poison.’ They have got skill all over the place. You try to take one thing away and they will open up a hole somewhere else. But they have been good for a long time. The quarterback makes it all go and when you have a skill guy like Antonio Brown outside and a back like (Le’Veon) Bell that can do the things that he can do inside, it is going to make it difficult for our guys,” Spagnuolo said. “Everybody just has to do their job, is what it comes down to.

“Hopefully we will have enough things to change it up to take away what they do really well. Ben (Roethlisberger) is good enough that he is going to figure out what you are taking away and then go use his other tools, so it will be that kind of game all day long. We are going to need a couple of breaks here and there and need some turnovers and our guys need to play fast and relentless and hopefully something good happens.”

Here are a few other takeaways from Spagnuolo’s Thursday meeting with the media.

On Jason Pierre-Paul ...

“He certainly had a terrific game last week and look, I think if you asked him, I think he would tell you that he expects that out of himself every week and we look to him to make those kind of plays. I was talking to somebody the other day and sometimes when great players try to fabricate or go create or force plays, they are not the same kind of player, but when you let the game come to you, you let your natural ability take over and I think that is what JPP did a little bit in this last game. Usually good things happen, so we were happy about that.”

On Damon Harrison ...

“He has been huge in the run game in every game we have played. He has been such a key component to the way this thing has kind of gelled together and I am not talking about when he is out on the field, as much as when he is off the field, when he is on the sideline, when he is in the locker room. I watch him all the time. He has been the glue. He has been the guy that can get the guys to refocus. You need somebody in the group that will do that and he has been that guy.”

On the development of rookie linebacker B.J. Goodson ...

“He is coming along. We haven’t been able to get him a foundation of reps, really once you get in season in practice and we keep trying, I think we got him out there once this past game. Every game we go in, we keep wanting to get him five, six, eight and then building the number of plays. We haven’t been able to do that just because of the way the game has been dictated. I think he is progressing well as a rookie and what he has to do, but the position he plays demands a lot, not just physically, but mentally and that takes a little while. It is hard to throw a rookie MIKE linebacker in there. I had one, James Laurinitis did that did it for us back in 2009 in St. Louis, but he was a little different cat. B.J. is taking a little while, but I think he is going to be fine. He has done a nice job on special teams.”

On why Eli Apple plays more snaps than Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ...

“Well, they are both in there. DRC right now has been playing inside for us a little bit and we rotate him through. But Eli does some things that fit what we do, DRC does the same. I am glad that we got all three of them. This week you will see different combinations of all three of them and I think it has worked out pretty well for them.”