How are head coach Mike tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers preparing for a New York Giants offense they have never seen, and of which there is zero game film without the benefit of preseason games?
They are studying what the Dallas Cowboys offense has looked like for the last decade or so, of course.
“Schematically, you watch Dallas tape because coach Jason Garrett is the leader of the group from a schematic standpoint,” Tomlin told Pittsburgh media during a Tuesday videoconference. “But also their offensive line coach comes from Dallas as well, and their shared experience probably provides some speculative insight for us to be prepared for.”
Garrett, the Giants offensive coordinator, was head coach of the Cowboys for the past decade and offensive coordinator in Dallas prior to that. Giants offensive line coach Marc Colombo had that job in Dallas a season ago.
Tomlin admitted “there is some concern about the unknown” when it comes to facing the Giants, with first-year head coach Joe Judge and new offensive and defensive coordinators in Garrett and Patrick Graham.
Tomlin said star running back Saquon Barkley is “capable of impacting a game in all circumstances.”
Tomlin said the Giants “have some quality receivers.” He added that tight end Evan Engram presents “matchup challenges” for the Steelers because he has “unique” speed.
Defensively, Tomlin said “it starts up front’ for the Giants. He called second-year tackle Dexter Lawrence “dominant.”
As with the offense, Tomlin indicated he isn’t sure what Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will lean on schematically.
The Steeler coach called James Bradberry a “top-flight” cornerback.
The Giants will be obvious underdogs Monday night, but it seems the Steelers know the element of surprise will be on the Giants’ side.