“I thought Joe was on pace for a really good year last year through the first four and a half games,” Taylor said, via Jay Morrison of The Athletic. “He was doing a great job catching the ball out of the backfield. He was having a lot of production for us. I was excited to see him in that 16-game season and it was cut short, obviously.
“Joe does all the things we ask him to do,” Taylor said. “He’s catching the ball really well. He’s getting detailed. He knows who to block in the protections and how to do it. He’s a really strong runner. He really buys into the schemes that Frank (Pollack) employs and we’re asking him to do up front. Again, just really excited to have him back fully healthy and what he can do this year.”
“It’s funny, I haven’t run into too many guys like that in the National Football League yet,’’ Clowney said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Took me eight years to get here and find another one like that on defense, anyways. It’s great. Knowing the type of guy I’m looking at, I know he’s going to ball and is going to do his thing so I’m excited about that.”
Clowney added this defense reminds him of the 49ers’ defense from two years ago.
“It reminds me of when I watch San Francisco, the same team a couple of years ago that went to the Super Bowl and that defense, I’m thinking we can do that upfront in ways, rotate guys and guys come in and play well,’’ he said. “When they put the highlight tape on the other day, I was like ‘Oh, these guys making a lot of plays across the league.’ For them to be on the team with me, I’m very excited about the rotation of the group. The backups can come in and play just as good as the ones, and that’s even better.’’
Steelers OC Matt Canada said they will construct their offense around Ben Roethlisberger and find the best opportunities to “make plays.”
“I think in football, it is 11 men doing their job, but the quarterback is their focal point,” Canada said, via Dan Scifo of the Associated Press. “We are going to do what Ben wants to do and how Ben wants to do it. Our job is putting every player in a position to make plays.”
Canada feels the Steelers’ offense fell short of succeeding last season and reiterated that he’s focused on creating an offense based on its players.
“We tried every week to do the best we could as a staff and it didn’t work out the way we wanted it to at the end of the year,” Canada said. “This year, we are focused on putting our players in position to make plays and doing what they do best.”
Canada mentioned that the Steelers could use a “tempo” offense, while they are in the process of changing the system’s terminology.
“We would certainly continue to use tempo, and use the things that Ben is very good at to let the offense be the most productive it can possibly be,” Canada said. “There are changes with terminology and how we are calling things, which has been a challenge for Ben, but he has been great at learning it. I don’t have any concern about Ben doing anything we want him to do.”
Canada points out that he hopes to create good matchups for their offensive players and added that he’s “very excited” about first-round RB Najee Harris‘ talent at receiver.
“Matchups are the key to football, and what Najee can do in a game at receiver is something we are very excited about,” Canada said. “I think he’s going to have a tremendous season and a tremendous career because of his skillset, his work ethic and his football intelligence.”