Lewis’ first start in the NFL will come against a defense that leads the NFL by allowing an average of 272.9 total yards and 185.4 passing yards per game.
“It’s a tall mountain, but a guy like Thad, who has been in the system, played in the preseason; we watch him every day,” offensive coordinator Brad Childress said. “He runs the (scout) team, but he sits in those meetings.”
Pittsburgh has registered 33 sacks for 174 lost yards this season. The Steelers have also intercepted nine of their opponents’ passes and recovered seven of the 16 fumbles they have forced through 15 games.
“I think he knows their base tenants, but what you don’t want to do is give him a litany of, ‘Remember this.’ ‘Look for this.’ ‘Don’t forget this.’ ‘What about that?’” Childress said. “You tend to make a guy unbelievably tentative, but what you want is his God-given athletic ability to come out.”
Childress has added confidence in Lewis after seeing him run practice drills with offensive line coach George Warhop and running backs coach, Gary Brown, throughout the season.
“He does run a portion of practice, our run game portion of practice down with George Warhop and Gary Brown,” Childress said. “It’s not daunting to him. I think he’s actually looking forward to the opportunity to play.”
Childress said the best thing about Lewis is the fact that his emotions are “not too high; not too low.”“He’s a flat-line guy, and I think that that’s what you look for in quarterbacks,” Childress said. “You don’t want them ready to jump off the building or have to dig them out of a hole.”