Three days before kickoff and the Steelers are talking trash.
And they aren’t taking aim at superstar running back LeSean McCoy or $100-million man Mike Vick. No, they are throwing verbal darts at rookie cornerback Brandon Boykin.
Receiver Antonio Brown told the Observer-Reporter in Pittsburgh that Boykin is a “candy bar.” When asked which kind of confection, Brown replied, “Snickers.”
Boykin, the team’s nickel corner, seemed miffed by the comments. He didn’t quite know what Brown was trying to say.
“I didn’t even get it. I was confused,” Boykin said.
When a reporter explained it meant Brown intended to eat him up, Boykin smiled.
“Oh, like candy? I guess that’s funny,” Boykin said.
Does that motivate him?
“Of course, but the game isn’t until Sunday so there’s no sense in me rah-rahing in the media on Thursday. I’m just going to let my game do the talking.”
Boykin took the high road in dissecting the trash talk. However, he did throw in one line that might fuel the fire come Sunday.
“I don’t know too much about Antonio Brown. I just really found out who he was this week,” he said.
The Eagles ran the ball a lot in last week’s win against New York. Well, a lot for them.
They called about 30 running plays (vs. 35 pass plays), including three straight runs from the 1-yard line. The Eagles didn’t get into the end zone there, but it seemed to be a drastic change of philosophy. So much so that even offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was joking about it.
“That was a first in my coaching career. I’ve never called that many running plays in a row before,” he said. “Wow.”
Even though is wasn’t successful on that drive, the dedication to the run was a key factor in the Eagles’ 19-17 win. LeSean McCoy finished with 123 yards and kept the defense honest all night.
Will that trend continue?
“We have smart coaches, they are going to do things that work,” Brent Celek said.
Watkins back, Peters walking
Derek Landri (knee inflammation) and Danny Watkins (chest) both indicated that they expected to practice Thursday, after sitting out Wednesday. Akeem Jordan (hamstring) wasn’t around for comment.
Marty Mornhinweg said he expects Demetress Bell to keep the starting job at left tackle as King Dunlap (hamstring) works his way back into the mix. He didn’t rule out putting Dunlap at right guard should Watkins face a setback.
In the biggest surprise of the afternoon, injured All-Pro Jason Peters showed up. Peters declined to take any questions from reporters, but he appeared to be walking just fine on his surgically repaired knee. He showered, walked over to his locker, then left.