New York Jets defensive tackle Shaun Ellis recently called out Maurkice Pouncey, the Steelers' Pro Bowl center, stating that the rookie might be in over his head when the two teams clash in the AFC Championship this Sunday:
"Our defense is fairly complicated, so I think [Pouncey] will struggle a little bit with the pick-ups on the blitz."
That didn't really transpire the last time the Jets and Steelers met, a Week 15 New York victory in which Gang Green registered "just" three sacks, two of which came on cornerback blitzes, as I pointed out in my prediction of a Steelers win earlier this week.
It's easy to parse out the source of Ellis' confidence; he was a one-man wrecking crew in last week's upset over the New England Patriots, racking up five tackles and two sacks. That said, Pouncey has rarely seemed confused in his first season with the Steelers. However, when informed of Ellis' remarks, the center did emphasize the importance of preparation:
They are confusing ... You really do got to study, because they are good at what they do."
No doubt, keeping quarterback Ben Roethlisberger upright will be key to securing a Steelers victory.