Dynamic rookie Tyreek Hill continues to get most of his playing time as a slot receiver in "zebra" personnel, rotating with Albert Wilson. I also noticed he is running many of the same package plays that De'Anthony Thomas used to run. Perhaps the club is keeping Thomas, even though he's been inactive every week, because he offers injury protection for Hill, both on offense and as a returner. If Hill — who has also earned the odd snap as a running back — were to get injured, no one on the roster could fill in as ably as Thomas can. That would allow the Chiefs to keep a substantial part of the playbook in the game plan.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he must have a short memory after his teams’ 34-3 thrashing by the Eagles. "That’s what we use Mondays for," Roethlisberger explained. "Mondays are for reviewing the game and getting ready to move forward. This is a really good Chiefs team coming in, especially on defense. That’s our prime focus right now."
As if the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles wasn't enough, the ridiculous amount of injuries Pittsburgh faces will leave some very untested players being on the field Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs come to Heinz Field, unless some players get better quicker than expected. Ryan Shazier (knee), Robert Golden (hamstring), Sean Davis (back), Ramon Foster (chest) and Eli Rogers (toe) are significant players who missed the first practice of the week in preparation of Week 4.
"Bob is going to put that pressure on – he’s going to make every throw tight, he’s going to make [offenses] work and make the game hard (for them)," Gaines told PFW. "In such an offensive-minded league, with everything kind of pointed to them, you have to make it as difficult as you can on them, and that is what Bob does."
Because the Steelers are playing rookies Sean Davis and Artie Burns in their secondary, defensive coordinator Keith Butler has chosen not to blitz much, instead dropping seven or eight players into pass coverage about 75 percent of the time. The Steelers have been content to allow short pass completions and tackle the receiver after the catch. That’s fine in theory. But because of that defensive scheme, the Steelers are applying very little pressure on opposing quarterbacks. And, when they miss tackles on receivers, it is counterproductive.
Most notably, the Steelers will have running back Le'Veon Bell back from his three-game suspension for violating the National Football League's substance abuse policy. Bell's impact should be felt immediately, especially in the passing game, where the Steelers are banged up. Slot receiver Eli Rogers will likely miss Sunday's game with a foot injury. Roethlisberger believes in Bell's ability as a pass catcher.
"They did a nice job," Reid said. "Every week is different, but obviously the offense is similar (to the Chiefs), so that's a positive.
"On the other side of it, they get to see and work on some of the things that we do. I think you can go either way with that."
The Chiefs recently released wide receiver Seantavius Jones from the practice squad and replaced him with center Daniel Munyer.
Besides cornerback Marcus Peters, who didn't work out because of the flu, three other Chiefs didn't practice Wednesday: linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), running back Charcandrick West (ankle) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (knee/ankle).
"One of his first offensive coordinator quarterbacks is now playing at a high level for the Kansas City Chiefs: Alex Smith. His next offensive coordinator quarterback won the Heisman Trophy: Tim Tebow. And now at a school, at Mississippi State, that took all the rejects that LSU didn't want, he beat you with Dak Prescott and look how he's played in the NFL. I'd like to represent Dan Mullen and throw that resume down on the desk."
"I think of all the things that makes it a positive," Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said of about returning to Arrowhead for a game. "To me there is zero negatives playing there. None. I look at it from a financial gain for not just the football program, but the whole athletic department. Recruiting-wise it is huge for Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas; that has always been a big recruiting hub for us. That is special.
"He catches every ball that's thrown his way," said Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback. "Offensive guys always make fun of defensive players, that they play defense for a reason, because they can't catch. Well, he can catch everything. If it hits him in the hands, he catches it. If it bounces up in the air, he catches it. What a tremendous talent."
"Pro defenses sometimes have gotten away with (not having to defend) certain schemes because they don't think they have to defend it," Smith said. "We've had some good looks and been able to make some defenses pay the price for that a little bit here and there. Certainly it's not something you're going to live in in the NFL world. You've got to pick your spots. In some weeks it makes more sense than others."