Saturday, April 1, 2023

Steelers DC on preparing for Dolphins speedster Tyreek Hill: ‘We could put our guys in a car, on a motorcycle’

Teryl Austin has authored some interesting questions during his short time as Steelers defensive coordinator. Austin, who succeeded Keith Butler at the coaching position in Pittsburgh this offseason, joked that one would need “13, 14 guys on the field” to contain Josh Allen ahead of Buffalo’s win over Pittsburgh. 

Austin’s humor was on display Thursday when asked about Dolphins wideout Tyreek Hill before Sunday night’s game in Miami. Austin made reference to Hill’s blazing speed that has allowed him to become one of the game’s most electric players. 

“We could put our guys in a car, on a motorcycle,” he said when asked what his defense can do to prepare for Hill. “I don’t know if you can get ready for that speed. And it’s not just him. You got [Jaylen] Waddle across from him. And and I mean, those guys can really run.”

Hill and Waddle have often been compared to Miami’s previous receiver duo of Mark Duper and Mark Clayton, who teamed up with Dan Marino to help the Dolphins reach the franchise’s most recent Super Bowl. Through six games, Hill and Waddle have combined to catch 80 passes for 1,234 yards and five touchdowns. Their success so far is more impressive when considering the fact that Tua Tagovailoa has missed the past two and a half games with a concussion. Tagovailoa is expected to be back on the field for Sunday night’s game. 

Pittsburgh has recent experience with Hill after facing him twice during his final season with the Chiefs. He had just two catches in Kansas City’s regular season win over Pittsburgh before catching each of his five targets for 57 yards and a score in the Chiefs’ wild card win over the Steelers. 

The Steelers’ defense is coming off their most impressive performance of the season. Despite playing without defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick, Cam Sutton and Ahkello Witherspoon, Pittsburgh’s defense gave up just one Tampa touchdown while allowing Tom Brady to complete just 60% of his throws. The Steelers received a big outing from veteran Terrell Edmunds, who made several big plays while serving as the main hub of communication in the secondary. 

While a car and motorcycle would he helpful, Pittsburgh will instead have to rely on another collaborative effort by its defense if it plans to slow down Hill, Waddle and the rest of the Dolphins’ offense. 

“Speed, speed and speed,” Steelers defensive captain Cam Heyward said of Miami’s offense. “Their team is all over the place and can fly. We have to make sure we get around. We’ve got to get to the ball. It’s not going to just be one guy getting to the ball. It’s going to be tough. They do a great job of providing a lot of window dressing. They have the jet sweeps. They have the plays down the field. You have to make sure with that back end, with the running backs, you get multiple guys.”

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