Mike Tomlin Says Steelers Will Face Even More Quarterback Runs Against Buffalo

Noah Strackbein

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin took little time when talking about the Steelers' Week 15 matchup, Buffalo Bills, to bring up Josh Allen. The second-year quarterback has led the Bills to a 9-4 record and combining for 25 touchdowns through 13 games. 

Tomlin spoke highly of the young quarterback, highlighting how his ability to run adds a whole new element for the Buffalo offense. As the Steelers face yet another mobile quarterback, Tomlin pointed out that the Bills could bring more of a rushing quarterback attack than they've seen in recent weeks. 

"There's probably more designed runs in Buffalo than Arizona, so we're probably going to be challenged more in that area than we were a week ago," Tomlin said. "He's in year two of his career and year two in Buffalo and obviously Murray's in year one. The depths of the situation and the understanding is probably reasonably further down the road and I think that's evident when you look at the video."

When addressing the Bills offensive structure, Tomlin first pointed out how they work their mobile quarterback into almost every part of the field. Whether it's designed runs or Allen's ability to escape the pocket, Buffalo is always a threat to use their quarterback on the ground. 

"The first thing you look at or what jumps out at you is the mobility of Allen, and not only the ways that it challenges you in a structured setting but also in an ad-lib like way," Tomlin said. "I think they do an awesome job schematically of designed quarterback runs that keeps you off balance. Some of them are situational, some of them are red zone oriented, some of them are possession downs, but they're prudent use of his mobility from a quarterback design run standpoint is really challenging. But also, his prudent use of his running ability in the form of extending plays or scrambling or utilizing his legs to win downs that don't develop fluently. I think that is going to be big time challenging to us or anyone who plays against him." 

The Bills have more than Allen on the offensive end as well. Behind a solid group of running backs, Buffalo has been able to produce an exciting ground attack in recent weeks. Starting with Devin Singletary and working through Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon, the Bills have a group of guys that all excel in every aspect of the game. 

Coupled with Allen's ability to use his legs, the Bills provide a challenge in slowing down their running game. A situation the Steelers will need to focus on. 

"They have a sound running game with a young runner from Florida Atlantic in Singletary. And also obviously the grizzly veteran in Frank Gore, who I just have an awesome amount of respect for," Tomlin said. "They have a solid running back tandem, T.J. Yeldon is their third runner. They have quality and depth in that position. The quarterback mobility element of it is something that really takes is over the top and makes it challenging."

Allen also has the assistance of quality veteran wide receivers in John Brown and Cole Beasley. Both holding different strengths, Tomlin said the Bills have weapons on the outside their quarterback can rely on. 

"On the outside John Brown is having probably his best year. He's making a bunch of quality splash plays and I think Cole Beasley is the type of guy that really gives you headaches on possession downs and inside," Tomlin said. "And they have a bunch of other complimentary guys that really provide splash and round out their attack in a lot of ways. Western Pa young man, Robert Foster, is a big-play guy, a reverse guy, a field stretcher for them."