PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Former Steelers defensive lineman and current KDKA-TV analyst Chris Hoke joined The Fan Morning Show on Friday to help the guys preview Saturday’s Steelers vs. Bengals playoff game, with the interview coming exactly ten years since the last postseason matchup between the two teams, which Hoke was a part of.
Hoke was adamant that the Steelers shouldn’t alter their offensive game plan just because DeAngelo Williams is out and Fitz Toussaint is the feature back.READ MORE: 'When I Finally Got To Be Elvira, That's When My Life Calmed Down': Mistress Of The Dark Peels Back The Curtain
“Run the same playbook,” Hoke said. “You’ve got to run the same plays. You don’t want to change things up now just for one guy. He’s been in that system now for — whether he was on the practice squad or he was on the roster — pretty much the whole season. And so you’ve got to be able to go out there and have confidence that he can run the plays that are called, go out there and run hard.”
He pointed out that Toussaint being the feature back hardly means that he’ll be the featured player for the offense.
“You don’t have to lean on that running game,” Hoke said. “They’re going to lean on Ben Roethlisberger’s arm. And so all [Toussaint] has to do is makes sure he keeps that defense honest, hold onto the football, and run hard.”
Hoke also addressed the potential for the bad blood between the Steelers and Bengals to spill over again on Saturday, saying that the Steelers just need to find a way to ignore all the background noise and play their game.
“These guys are professionals,” Hoke said. “And they should be able to have self-control. Even when you’re out there just playing with emotions, and you’re playing with playoff energy, you’ve got to be able to be under control, or you won’t be able to execute the game plan, because you can’t control what you’re doing. These guys are pros. Go out there, line up, warm up, and get your mind ready to play.”READ MORE: Remember, Reflect At Tree Of Life: Commemorating The 11 Lives Lost 3 Years Ago In Synagogue Shooting
He doesn’t see the value in taking shots at an opponent, anyway.
“I’ve never seen anybody winning a football game smacking a guy in the mouth at the 50-yard line before the whistle’s blown,” Hoke said. “I mean, you’re not going to win a football game that way. Get ready to play, go out there, and win the game between the whistles.”
To him, trying to throw your weight around after the play like Vontaze Burfict has leaves you with nothing to gain and a lot to lose.
“Let [Burfict] get the penalty,” Hoke said. “Let him get the flag… you’ve got to ignore what he’s doing. He’s trying to get you out of your game. He’s trying to act tough. The only guys that are tough are the guys that win the battles between the lines.”
The interview can be heard here: