Bradley on Preparing for the Dynamic Pittsburgh Offense

Chargers DC Gus Bradley addresses the media about preparing for the dynamic Steelers receivers

Opening Statement:

“Just got back from practice, but a good practice. Challenging week of preparation. Just very good offensive team. A lot of skilled players. Good offensive line. The quarterback makes them go, so it's been a challenging week that way, but one we're looking forward to.”

On Pittsburgh’s wide receivers:

“Right. That's what makes him so good. They are so effective out there on the perimeter. They mix it up where they're aligned, how they disperse, the routes they run, and then he has a chance to get it to them. Very accurate. I think the biggest thing looking at it — obviously the challenging first and second down normal football that you get, but the extension of plays. His ability to extend plays and the receivers and the quarterback are all on the same page. You see a lot explosive plays come off that, so it's challenging to prepare for that.”

On the differences between Steelers WRs Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster:

“Yeah, there are some differences, but a lot of similarities. They're both very good, very effective, the number of targets they're getting. I mean, they're challenging duo. It's just not those two. Their tight ends, they got a great group of tight ends. We got our work cut out for us.”

On the challenges covering the receivers with Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to extend the play:

“That's every week in the NFL. With those two guys especially, your antennas are up because they do it so often. It really jumped out at you on tape.”

On Steelers RB James Conner:

“You know what? He's a guy that jumps out, too. Very patient runner, but has the ability to be a very strong runner as well. Breaks tackles. Ability to make people miss in the open space. Screen game that he's involved in. Catching passes out of the backfield. Fits in very well with that offensive scheme.”

On the defensive performance against Arizona:

“That's how we look at each week, is we definitely have to try to improve on things that happened from the previous week. It didn't start off good right away. First series, we got punched in the mouth a little bit, but we bounced back. I think the players understood just the importance of communication, doing your job — and if we do that, we can be an effective defense. Then you just get things going. To be honest with you, I think we were only out there three plays in the third quarter. When you're out there that limited of time, sometimes your numbers can be low as well.”

On players that stood out last week:

“Last week? You know, sounds cliché, but it really was a team effort. You see guys that had to make plays individually at different times in the game. [DE] Joey [Bosa] got the pressure on the quarterback in the third down situation. [LB Jatavis] J.B. [Brown] made a play on the screen. That maybe seems like a small play, but in was in good field position for them. once they crossed the 50, and allowed us to get a third down win. So there was multiple plays, and that's kind of how our defense has been. It's not maybe one or two individual players. It's more of a group, collective effort.”

On the mentality in sudden-change situations:

“Right. Sometimes sudden-change is such a momentum swing. I think for us as a defense, we have to look at it as another opportunity. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate who we are. Kind of like that give us an inch and we'll protect it — same mentality in sudden change. Ah, we got to go out there. We're in a bad field position. What's going to happen — let's regroup. For us, we would like to have more of a mindset of what a challenge. Let's go out there, get a stop here, a chance to get a turnover — that's a great opportunity to demonstrate how we handle situations like that. More of that mindset.”

On LB Jatavis Brown:

“Yeah, I can't say enough for him. He plays multiple positions for us. He plays MIKE, he plays WILL. They would love to have him on every special teams. So I think another year in a system you're seeing him play faster in to the system. He's always been fast, but the ability to recognize and react quicker than he has in the past, I think that's really been evident for him.”

On preparing for Roethlisberger:

“You know, [QB] Cardale [Jones], he's our scout team quarterback this week. It's not just his size, you're right. You can have guys on him and he still looks down field to make a play — the pump fakes that he does. When he does extend down the field or he does get out of pocket he's looking down the field, not just for an easy completion, but he's looking for shots. Each week you look at the yards passing that he's had, and, I mean, he's very impressive, as we all know. When you watch him and really study him on tape, I've got a lot of respect for him.”

On S Derwin James continuing to improve:

“You're right. [Head] Coach [Anthony] Lynn has talked to a lot of our young players about that rookie wall. On our side of the ball, the guys I can speak for, I haven't seen it with those guys. Now, winning obviously helps. When you're relevant at this time year and you got opportunity is that look forward, that helps. Regardless, I think their spirit, all those young guys, I think they've been really a welcome addition to our group and it's been a really good mix.”