We were able to catch up with Pittsburgh head coach Mark Miller after this week’s Panthers game. This is what he had to say…
MEDIA: Antonio Brown is a having a standout year. Do you expect that defenses will start doubling him forcing someone else to step up?
COACH MILLER: Brown is having a great year. He’s the type of player that has the ability to beat the double coverage if need be, but we have an amazing rookie in Wheaton who has made some big plays for us already. You can look at that 60 yard touchdown pass (I think it might have been) against the browns in the fourth quarter to put us ahead with under 2 minutes.
MEDIA: In two weeks you face the Browns again. What do you plan on doing differently to secure a win?
COACH MILLER: That was a tough loss. We had a chance to go up a game on a good divisional opponent in their own house to open the season and we let that one slip away in the final seconds. Johnny played great and we might have underestimated how good he could throw the ball. Plan on giving him some different looks and forcing him to make some tough decisions to try and force those rookie mistakes.
MEDIA: You are battling an injury bug with several players injured. Is your philosophy next man up and what do you tell your guys in order to get prepared for game?
COACH MILLER: Yes that’s the mentality we have on this team. All our guys compete and when the starter goes down we plug that backup and don’t skip a beat, I have confidence in this team and the talent we have. I usually just let them know that if they just go out there have some fun and play how you know how the game needs to played and you’ll be in good shape to bring us a victory. The players on our team have great instincts, passion, and knowledge of the game.
MEDIA: Big Ben is due up for a contract in 2 years. Are you grooming his replacement or do you see Ben playing 5-6 more seasons?
COACH MILLER: Ben has been great for us, and we couldn’t have asked for more from him. We would love for him to end his career as a Steeler. We’ll take a look at the end of the year and look at the options.
MEDIA:Tough loss this week vs the Panthers. You have game next week against another NFC South opponent in the Bucs, who are coming off a loss vs. the Falcons. How do you plan on stopping Doug Martin and are you worried about Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans who have been lighting defenses up?
COACH MILLER: Yes another tough loss, from a great team, for us some bad decisions by Ben being overly aggressive, we’ll sit down and talk with him about that. Its going to be tough to stop those big receivers we’ll have to game plan for that without letting Martin run all over us. I have confidence in my defense to step up from a tough loss and make some big plays for us.
MEDIA: Thanks for the time coach.
COACH MILLER: You’re welcome. Just wanted to say the panthers played one hell of a game especially defensively. I’m glad there not in my division.