Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Good to see everybody – appreciate you guys being here. Good practice, the guys are working hard, and we're getting ready for Sunday."
*Are you confident the now-healthy and stable offensive line can get the offense going to the extent that you'd like? (Joe Platania) *"Yes. I'm looking forward to it."
With WR Mike Wallace, you've seen him from the other sideline, and it's nice to have him on your side now. How do you think he is playing for you guys?* (David Ginsburg)* "Mike's playing really well – great attitude and work ethic. He loves football, loves coming to work every day, loves competing on Sunday, and he has played well for us."
*Does this feel like a Pittsburgh week to you, with you guys playing for first place? (David Ginsburg) *"We're excited about it. It's a big week. I'm really not into describing the rivalry, in all honesty. We've done that many times over the years. I think everybody understands it, who has been paying attention and following it. It's a great rivalry. It's a great game. It's an important game, and it'll be a great football game on Sunday."
**John, it seems like the Steelers' quarterback decision is going to come right down to the wire. With Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley being in that offense for a while, do you expect to see a similar offense either way? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"Yes, we expect them to play their offense. Of course, Ben [Roethlisberger] is more experienced in the offense, so there's more … He has more tools at his disposal that would appear when you watch the tape. We understand what those things are that he does. We have played them a lot. You can't assume that if Landry Jones plays that he won't have the ability to do the same things. We'll just have to see how it goes. We'll be ready for everything Ben can do. If it's not Ben – if it's Landry Jones – then we'll be prepared for that, too."
What are the important keys when you're going up against a receiver like WR Antonio Brown? (Jamison Hensley) "You just can't let him loose. He does a great job, obviously, extending plays. He gets himself open, makes plays. They've hit him on a number of nine-routes. They've also hit Sammie Coates on a number of nine-routes. Four of their guys each have one a piece. They'll take you deep. You look for that. He's also a catch-and-run guy. He's just a good receiver. You have to play good defense. You have to play good, fundamental, solid defense. You have to know where he is, but he's not their only weapon. Really, every single guy they line up out there is a potential weapon, and we have to respect all of those guys. Really, it's about playing our game. It's about playing the way we play on defense, doing what we do and doing it really well. When we do that, we're very confident in our ability to stop anybody."
Would you be surprised if I told you WR Antonio Brown has one career touchdown against Baltimore? (David Ginsburg) "I haven't really been keeping track. I'm really concerned about just keeping it there. That's the main thing that we have to try to accomplish."
QB Joe Flacco
On his excitement about having a full, healthy offensive line in front of him:"I don't really think too much about it, but it's just nice to see guys healthy. They all want to play. They want to be a part of the team and contribute, so it's nice to have them back out there for sure."
On how he views this week against a division rival: "It was good to get out of here for a week. I think it put some things in perspective and just let us see how many opportunities we have in front of us. This is just another one of those games. It's a division game. They're all big inside the division, especially when the division is the way it is right now. It's all up for grabs still. This is the first time we're playing them in Baltimore [this season]. You always know it's a heated rivalry between the fans. It's going to be a lot of fun. For us, like I said, it's a division game, and we always take those very heavily."
On the fan rivalry between the Steelers and Ravens: "It's just a lot of fun. It really is. That's where you feel a lot of the energy from, during the game, is the crowd and what kind of energy they have and they bring to it all. Obviously, you're going out there and you're fighting against guys that are fighting against you, but that happens every week. The teams change so much every year that you draw a lot of that rivalry from the fans and how they look at this game."
On if he gets the sense that this game means more to WR Mike Wallace: "I haven't talked to him about it. I haven't really sensed that. His locker is right next to mine, so I'm with him a lot, but I haven't directly talked to him about it nor have I sensed that. I'm sure it's in the back of his head though. It's been a little while. He's been at a couple of teams since he's been there. I know I'd probably have a little bit of feeling about it."
On how much he attributes his decrease in statistics to a revolving offensive line: "I don't know. I know, but I don't think you can look at that stuff. Overall, we're just finding ways to put the ball in the end zone. That's what we're lacking right now is scoring points. That's a bunch of things. We're not precise enough. We're not running the ball well enough, but we have to be more precise in the passing game. We have to be more consistent across the board. We're just not giving ourselves any opportunities, because we're hurting ourselves with penalties once we get inside the 50-yard line and we're not getting in the red zone enough. There's been a handful of games where we've gotten down there, and we've done well, but we're just not getting down there on a consistent basis because of the precision in the whole thing. And yeah, not having guys out there adds to that and makes it a little bit tougher, but that's no excuse in this league. We just have to be tougher.'
On what he has learned about WR Mike Wallace from having a locker next to him: "I don't know. Probably nothing. (laughter) I'm not really diving deep into Mike's life or anything like that, just because he sits next to me. I'm probably the wrong guy to ask that."
On if he goes into most games knowing it will come down to the last plays to win: "You always have to be ready to play a full 60 minutes, whether that's closing a team out or winning a game at the end, you know you're going to have to play 60 minutes. Like you said, I don't know if that's so much the fact that we're playing against the Steelers or if that's just every game that we play. It's been at least two seasons where we're always right there at the end with somebody, either winning or trying to win. That's just all of our games at this point. Against the Steelers, you know you're going to have to play a full 60 minutes no matter what, and you're definitely prepared to do so."
On if there is a common thread preventing them from wining those close games at the end: "You've seen it all. I try to think back at some of those. Oakland, we didn't do anything. Washington, we had our chances. New York, we had chances to win that game. I don't know if we … The last drive we had chances, but that's just really giving our self a chance. That was a little bit of a different game towards the end of the game, similar with the Jets, we just didn't play well enough in those games. They're all separate cases, and they're all really different when you look at them, but I think in the Washington game, for sure, we were down in there and had a chance to win the game and just weren't able to do it."
On if it is bothersome when people question his work ethic: "Mine, personally? I don't really hear it, and they're not really here. No, it doesn't bother me. It is what it is. I come in here and do my job. That's really it."
On if he completely got away from football during the bye week: "After we left here on Wednesday, I was here Thursday, went home Friday, and came back Sunday. It was basically a long weekend. We came in Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then got out of here."
On having more stability on the offensive line: "I think it'll definitely be a help. We still have to go out there and play, but it's definitely nice to have those guys back."
CB Jimmy Smith
On how much he looks forward to the Steelers game: "It is my favorite game of the year, for obvious reasons, such as the opponent. This is a battle for first place, so it is a lot on the line besides just the uniqueness of our rivalry."
On how grateful he is to have lost four games in a row, but still have the opportunity to go into first place: "That is huge. But that is just because we got three games under our belt. This is not an ideal situation to go into, especially against a team like this. It is not going to make or break our season, but we obviously have to have this win."
On if he is anticipating that QB Ben Roethlisberger will play, despite his injury: "There is no question. There is no question in my mind that he is playing. It is not even up for debate. When he is practicing, he is playing."
On what his reaction is when he hears that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is injured during the week: "I don't [have one]. Since I've been here, and what I have learned about this guy … Unless he has no foot this week, I don't think he won't be in the game. The only time he wasn't playing we knew for sure [was when] he was at home. Other than that, if he is even around the facility, he is going to play."
On if the defense is excited to get to LB C.J. Mosley and OLB Terrell Suggs back on the field:"Absolutely. Everybody is excited to get their starters back on the field. That puts our defense at full strength, and to go against a team like this, you need that. That is a big upside for him [Mosley] and 'Sizzle.'"
On how big of a challenge Steelers WR Antonio Brown is:"For a guy his size, he is one of the biggest challenges in the NFL. You know what he does. We all know. It is going to be a lot to contain him and '26' [Le'Veon Bell]."
On what has been the key to containing WR Antonio Brown in the past: "Honestly, it is a rivalry game. We know each other. We know what they are trying to do to us. They know what we are trying to do to them. It is one of those games that, fortunately, at times, we come out on the better side or get going against them. Some of the game plan is obviously directed towards him, so we are doing what we are supposed to do if we keep him with minimal yards and catches."
On why this game brings out the best in the Ravens: "I don't know. That is just how rivalries go for years and years. For any other game, it is just not the same. It is not that intensity. 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] is not coming out with an iron [gladiator] mask on when we play the Redskins. *(laughter) *You feel it and you sense it. I learned it from the veterans here that were here about how much the rivalry meant. For me to pass it down to the young guys to really let them know how intense this game really is, how physical it really is [is important]. Everybody doesn't realize. I would say some of the young guys don't really realize what the NFL is like until they play in this game."
On how much it helps to only be a game back in the division even though they have not won in a month:"I don't know if it is necessarily encouraging. It is more desperate right now. It is more of a desperate situation, at least in my mind."
On if he has to prepare differently for a guy like WR Antonio Brown than against a guy like WR Brandon Marshall: "You do not prepare differently. You should prepare A-1 against every receiver. But it is a different ball game. Brandon is a big guy that is going to go up and get a jump ball. With Antonio, he is more of a catch-and-run [receiver]. He can catch a slant and take it 60 [yards]; that is his game. You prepare a little bit differently in some of your technique and what you want to do. But as far as the level of preparation and watching film, I do not think so."
On if this is a week where he could go into the game telling the coaches he wanted to match up with a certain WR: "That is not my call. That is the defensive coaching staff's call. Whenever they call my name, that is where I will play. I have matched up on him [Antonio Brown] before, and there are games where I haven't matched up on him. It is whatever the coaches want."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On how his triceps is feeling:"Triceps? He doesn't do his homework. It is Steelers week; you have to be on point. The triceps are really good. *(laughter) *The biceps are pretty good, too. Like I said, I have one of the best medical staffs here in the world. We are just rehabbing and getting better every day."
On what his limitations are with his biceps injury: "My limitations are only limitations in my social life. As far as football, we are pretty good. I'm working on being ambidextrous. We are pretty good."
On using ambidextrous, a five-syllable word:"Don't let the Arizona State [education] fool you. (laughter) *I'm pretty smart; I only play this role on this team." *(laughter)
On how he views the game in terms of needing a win, but it also being against the Steelers: "You just said it: It is also the Steelers. The characters have changed in this show. But the mentality and the mood is still the same. Yes, we don't have '92' [Haloti Ngata], '52' [Ray Lewis], '20' [Ed Reed]. They don't have their guys – '86' [Hines Ward], '43' [Troy Polamalu], their '25' [Ryan Clark]. But the mentality and the team is still the same. All both teams did was get younger. The aggressiveness and the will to win is still the same. It is only Wednesday. We can't play the game until Sunday, but it is Ravens-Steelers."
On if he is the last "villain" left for the Ravens in this rivalry:"Of the old regime. Of the old regime, I would say, I was one of the last. But you know, Jimmy [Smith] was here, [Lardarius] Webb was here back when we were doing it. Albert [McClellan] was here." *(Reporter: "Yes, but there are no Joey Porters anymore.") *"I know! It is different. But I'm talking to our young guys like, 'These games will define you – hate or not.' There was a time here where we couldn't get over that Steeler hump, and you had to become a different kind of player when you played them. I love this game. I love playing there, most definitely. But I definitely love this game. Like I just I told the guys walking off the field, 'This game has the potential to define you.' You will never forget it. I remember every one – every one, every big play, every dumb call, every personal foul. I remember all of them. I think you know what I am talking about. I remember all of them. You do not forget these games. It is only Wednesday, and you can't play the game until Sunday. We are just going to prepare."
On if he has thought about bringing the gladiator mask back for intros:"Bringing the gladiator mask back on Sunday? I might. I might come with something else. I think you move on to the next gag. You don't do the same gag twice. You move on to the next one."
On if he thinks the rivalry has lost any steam: "You have to understand [that] we had some special guys here. I don't mean talented, like football-wise. We had some special guys here. Jarret Johnson is still one of the toughest guys I have ever played with, particularly in this game [against the Steelers]. We had some different kind of guys here. I would not say it has lost his edge, but it has definitely changed. It has changed a little bit. But that is where the game has gone, not necessarily the two teams. We used to get a lot of giant [formation], two tight ends, smash-mouth – Heath Miller and their other big guy, Matt Spaeth. They used to have some big guys over there. I used to have to get an extra lift, like, 'Alright, I know I'm going to be fighting with '83' [Heath Miller], so let me go ahead and get an extra lift and get my neck right.' It definitely has changed. The NFL and people want to see points and touchdowns. This game … I remember we lost a game to them, 13-10. It used to be like that. I think if it ever got out of hand, then we did the fans injustice. But it is still Ravens-Steelers."
On QB Ben Roethlisberger potentially not playing:"No, do not fall for that. You have to understand. I just told them [the Pittsburgh media], 'I saw this movie before.' He is going to act like, 'I am not playing; I don't know. I did individuals today; I threw a little bit. I still don't know.' Then he is going to walk his big ass on out there. I'll be like, 'How are you doing, Benjamin?' He will be like, 'What's up Sizzle?' Then it is on. Don't fall for that. I am telling my boys that '7' [Roethlisberger] is playing, and not only that, he's going to try and light our ass up, so prepare. (CB Jimmy Smith walks by.) *I'm making sure '22' [Smith] stays hydrated. You good? *(Smith nods his head.) Make sure you stay hydrated. They have a special guy over there, both of them in the backfield and out there at receiver. We have some [stuff] we have to tend to."
On how much responsibility he carries in passing on the mentality of the rivalry to the younger players: "I take a tremendous amount [of responsibility]. They have to know if they are not ready, then they are going to go out there and get their shirt wrinkled, as we would say back home. You do not want to get punched in the mouth. You are going to fight a kid that pretty much has the same identity as you. You better know your opponent; you better know you are in for a dogfight for four quarters."
WR Mike Wallace
On what it feels like to be on the Baltimore side of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry:"It feels good just to be back in the rivalry. Obviously, I'm on the other side of it, but it's still, to me, the best rivalry in football. No matter what side you're on, it's going to be a great game to play in."
On if there was hate for the Ravens when he was in Pittsburgh: "Yeah, a lot of hate. *(laughter) *It's always respect though – same as here. We're going to respect each other, because it's two great organizations – two great football teams going up against each other, but it's a battle for the division. It's going to bring a lot of hate. It's respect, but it's a lot of hate. No love."
On If he can actually hate the Steelers now having been on their team to start his career: "I don't know if I could ever just hate them because of all of the stuff I've been through in that organization. I'm definitely on this side to win. It doesn't matter, when we line up Sunday, none of those guys are going to be my friends. At the end of the day, it's kind of hard for me to just sit up here and tell you I hate them, because I really don't. At the same time, when we line up Sunday, none of those guys are on my team. We're out to kill them. We're out to win the division. I'm definitely trying to do everything I can to do my part to bring the win back this way."
On if he feels a difference in intensity for this game, compared to other games: "You just know it. You just know it. It's a different week. To me, just being on this side is a little weird, but you hear guys like 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] talk about it, and you know what type of week it is. It's the same thing I used to hear on the other side. It's a little different. It's a little weird, but it's fun. Like I said, it's the greatest rivalry in football, so you want to be a part of it no matter what side you're on."
On why the Steelers have so much success drafting and developing wide receivers: "Honestly, I think it's luck. The big thing is Ben [Roethlisberger] is a great player. I think he can make a lot of people look good – a lot of wide receivers look good. He's that type of guy. Honestly, I think it's a lot to do with Ben. Guys have talent – a lot of talent. They get lucky. I think it's just luck. Obviously, I'm not in the draft room or anything like that, so I don't know exactly what they're looking for. But, to me, it's a lot of the same type of guys like myself. None of us were really just that big. They got a couple of guys last year with Sammie Coates and Martavis [Bryant]. They got a little bit taller and bigger, but for the most part, they just look, I guess, for the same type of guys. The same body style and play style."
On a lasting memory from the Ravens-Steelers rivalry: "'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] probably doesn't want to hear that one. Third-and-26 in that [Divisional] playoff game when 'A.B.' [Antonio Brown] caught the ball down the sideline on the side of his helmet. That's the biggest memory I have of that rivalry, because it sent us to the next round, and we went on to the Super Bowl that year. That's the biggest memory I have."
On if he remembers the one touchdown he scored against Baltimore as a Steeler: "Yeah, I remember. I got a lot of yards, too (laughter). I might not have had as many touchdowns, but I had a lot of yards. They kept me out of the end zone pretty good, but they couldn't stop me from getting a lot of yards." (Terrell Suggs interjects: "Whoa, whoa!") (laughter) "My bad, 'Sizz.' I didn't know you were right there. (laughter) We're on the same side now. You didn't hear me? I actually gave you a shout out. I'm wearing the purple, baby. Ravens! But at the same time, they won a couple of games, I guess. When I was there, we were the better team, but this is now. It's 2016, I'm a Raven, and we're going in to be the better team."
On head coach Mike Tomlin's comments that he has seen a bit more from Wallace lately:"Probably because of the things I've been doing the past couple of years. It's a just little different here. I think I'm just getting used differently here than I have been in the past. I always had routes; you just have to look at it. I been had sauce. You just have to look at the film. When people say stuff, I feel like it's just one person taking it from another person, what their observation is and just rolling with it. If you just watch it, I've been running a lot of different routes. At the same time, you try to get better every day."
G/T Marshal Yanda
On what he needed to recover from his injury:"Just time to recover. That was the plan after the Redskins game to take this approach. [I've] just been progressing after we made the plan three weeks ago and doing good so far."
On how difficult it was to sit out those two games: "It was hard. I try to play through everything to be out there no matter what, but sometimes you have to play it smart and look at the big picture. It was very tough. You just have to deal with it and move on. You just have to handle it."
On how excited he is to have a healthy offensive line again: "We're excited about it. Everybody is working hard out there. [We're] just putting together a good game plan and getting ready to go out and have a good game on Sunday. That's what it's all about. We're taking those steps toward Sunday, and everybody's really excited."
On how much a stable offensive line will help QB Joe Flacco: "No matter what, protecting the quarterback is very important. Obviously, we haven't been getting that done as well as we would have liked. It's going to be very important. We're excited about the challenge. We're excited about keeping him clean and letting him play his game."
On if there is a sense in the offensive line room that it is their responsibility to get the offense going: "I feel like it's on us every week. I feel like it starts up front. Obviously, in the NFL, it starts up front winning the line of scrimmage. When we do that, we usually have success. When we don't do that and don't protect the quarterback, things usually don't go our way. It starts up front every week, especially in our division, and we understand that for sure."
On if he sees the Steelers game as a rivalry or a chance to break the four-game losing streak: "We all understand that there's a lot on the game. No. 1, it's a division game, and we understand that we want to win all of our division games. Obviously, it's Pittsburgh, and there's a lot of history there, and all of the old guys have played in a lot of these games. They're fun, physical games. We're looking forward to winning one game. Like you said, right now we've lost a lot of games in a row here. We're looking to win one game, put together a good performance – offense, defense, special teams – and look forward to go out there and win."
On if the Ravens-Steelers rivalry is as good as it has ever been: "I feel like you can kind of throw the records out the window. It's going to be a dogfight in there. It's going to be a physical battle. Usually, who wins the line of scrimmage up front is usually a big sign of winning these football games. It's a great rivalry, and we're looking forward to it."
On how ready the team is to commit more to a successful running game: "They know that we're going to come in and try to run the ball. Most offenses come in trying to run the football. We understand that they're going to be ready for us, but that's us wining our battles up front. Sometimes it's not about them knowing the play; it's about us beating our guys one-on-one and winning the block physically. That emphasis of winning the line of scrimmage, run or pass, is all about that. Getting the running game going and protecting Joe, it all meshes together."
On if there is a difference in physicality against the Steelers: "No, I feel like every game is physical. Those guys are paid money up front, and the defenses are really good in the NFL. There are little differences between guys and personnel. It is Pittsburgh, but I feel like every game it starts up front. No matter if it's Pittsburgh, no matter who it is, you have to come out there and be physical right out of the gate."
STEELERS CONFERENCE CALLS: WEEK 9
Head Coach Mike Tomlin
I was wondering if you could provide us with a quick update on Ben Roethlisberger's status: "It is day-to-day at this point. We had some participation from him last week, and it was all positive. We are really just taking it on a day-by-day standpoint. We have some work scheduled for him today. We will see how he handles that work. We will see what the reaction is to that work, and then we will go from there."
If Ben Roethlisberger is unable to play, this wouldn't be the first time that you guys have played against the Ravens with a backup quarterback. Would it be fair to say that you guys are sort of familiar with going in with a backup quarterback sometimes?"That is just how the ball bounces. That is the nature of this game. Injuries are a part of it. It is our job to adapt and improvise and overcome. We have been in that circumstance some in the past. If we are in that circumstance again, the standard of expectation will remain the same. We understand that."
Can you talk about Landry Jones? What do you like about him? How much confidence do you have in him? "We have a great deal of confidence in Landry. He has been here for a number of years now. He has grown over that time, not only in terms of the tangible things that come with playing that position, but also the intangibles. I think that has been reflected in the upward swing of his play when given the opportunity in recent times. We have a great deal of confidence in him. If he is called on to do the job, we will expect him to do winning football."
You face a Ravens team that has lost four in a row under John Harbaugh for the first time. What do you see from this team this year so far?"We respect what they are capable of. We don't overanalyze the position that they are in. We have a matchup history with them that is highly documented. We have been in a lot of close football games with these guys. We respect them. It is at their place; it is a division game. Those are the things that kind of encompass our focus. They have some usual suspects of guys that have shown up big in the history of this series. We are preparing from that perspective, because that is what aids us in preparation in terms of us securing what we need to secure this week."
I know the Ravens had a down year last year, but they managed to beat the Steelers twice. Was there any common thread to those games that you take away? "It is not really anything that I am taking away from those games in an effort to win this one. Last year is last year. They did a great job against us and won both matchups. But last year's teams are in the books for us and them. We better stay focused on the challenges that are ahead this week and the components and the matchups this week. We have some new significant components within our group, as do they. From that standpoint, we are just focused on the here and now."
There has been a trend with three of the last four games being won by the Ravens in this matchup. Is that something you think the guys will use as motivation for Sunday? "I am sure in some ways, informally or formally, it will happen. Again, there is enough motivational things – direct things relative to this matchup with these two teams and this stadium this week."
You dealt with a quarterback who has been injured. The Ravens are dealing with QB Joe Flacco coming off of his ACL tear. A lot has been made of his play so far this year. What have you seen watching him on film and how he has looked this year, relative to other years?"He looks like Joe. He still is a guy that is capable of hurting you in a lot of ways. His deep ball is exceptional. His short game … He is getting it out as quick as he ever has. His pinpoint accuracy in the small spaces in the short game is exceptional. He is Joe to me."
What is your perception of WR Mike Wallace here in his first year with the Ravens?"Burnell is Burnell. You can tell him I said that; that is his government name. He likes to keep that a secret. *(laughter) *Burnell is still running by folks and ringing up the scoreboard. We have a great deal of respect for what he is capable of. More important than that, we are proud of his success and what he has been able to do in his career. We take a great deal of pride that it started here for him."
As an organization, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been very good at drafting WRs. Is there a reason as to how you guys are so successful at drafting WRs?"We just hit on some of those guys. I'm not going to make more out of it than what it is. We do our due diligence just like everybody else does their due diligence. I am not going to pretend like our processes are better. We are just trying to get the very best players as consistently as we can, like everybody else. We have been fortunate in that area."
Where some teams go after free agents at wide receivers, you guys have done a very good job in terms of drafting them and developing them. How much of a point of emphasis is that within the organization?"That is not just at the wide receiver position; that is all at positions. We are a team that builds our team primarily through the draft, and we supplement through free agency. That is no big secret."
RB Terrance West is a guy that you are familiar with because not only did he play with the Ravens, but he played with the Cleveland Browns as well. How much does that familiarity help you when you play them? "Familiarity is one thing, and stopping someone and minimizing the run game is another. We are somewhat familiar with him, but we still have to do our job and still have to minimize his impact on the game in that way."
What is your assessment, in terms of CB Jimmy Smith, in terms of his matchup with Antonio Brown?"I do not know whether or not he intends to match Antonio Brown. We do not have any control over that. Whether he matches or whether he plays with right or left corner, we will have to deal with it as it comes to us."
How would you assess CB Jimmy Smith as a corner? "He needs no endorsement from me. He is a top-flight guy."
WR Antonio Brown
On the Steelers' success at drafting wide receivers: "I think the organization and the scouting department does a great job getting the necessary guys to surround Ben [Roethlisberger] and put us in good positions. It has been going on for a long time. Those guys do a great job in the scouting department of getting good players in place."
On if he notices a certain pattern between most of the Steelers' wide receivers:"I don't know. I just think we have a great coach in [wide receivers coach] Richard Mann. He harps on the details, and everyone is excited for their opportunities and to make plays in that regard."
On where Ravens CB Jimmy Smith ranks on his cornerbacks list:"He is up there. Obviously, he is a big, long, rangy guy. He has always been playing at a high level all the time. He is always highly competitive and always going to stick the best receiver. You have to pay a lot of respect to a guy like Jimmy for all he does and come out and compete and cover the best man on every guy's team week to week. Even in Cover 3, he presses Cover 3. That is the type of guy Jimmy is."
On how many different things he sees on a week-to-week basis: "I think guys always do a great job. Teams are always going to do whatever is necessary to take me out of the game. It is not even surprising to me anymore. For the past couple of weeks, all I've been seeing is press with a guy over top. That is what teams have been doing – deciphering guys to stop me and giving other guys opportunities to get one-on-one matchups."
On if it changes his approach at all if he has a cornerback follow him around the field:"That is what I would be hoping for, to go against the best corner and get some one-on-one [matchups]. I think every receiver in the league always looks for a one-on-one matchup. But you have to react to what you see. You cannot anticipate what you are going to see. You just live in that moment and work at it in that regard."
On why he likes one-on-one matchups: "It is pretty much them saying, 'Our guy is better than your guy.' You do not have to worry about two guys, you have to worry about one guy. It is easier when you study one guy instead of having to deal with two guys, maybe three."
On if the Ravens are going to try one guy against him:"I wish." (laughter)
On how Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger looked today from his perspective:"Ben is a champion. Anytime he is out there, he is always looking great. It is all on how he feels and what the smart thing is for him to do. I think he is going to give us what he's got in regards to being there and giving us his all. We will see how the week goes on and progresses. We will see how he feels."
On if it upsets the Steelers that the Ravens having won four out of the last five games:"Every year is different. Obviously, if you are looking at stats and [the numbers against them] those guys are doing a really good job lately. But all that matters is now, where we are at now. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to go against those guys, and we are looking forward to it."
On if there is a revenge factor going against the Ravens: "We just want to be the best team on Sunday. It is no revenge or anything; we just want to be the best team on Sunday and get the win."
On what it is like playing with Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell: "It is fun. I tell him before every game that I'm excited to see what he is going to do. You know what he brings in the running game; you know what he brings in the passing game. That is the type of guy you want to have on your team – a guy who comes to work every day, displays a good work ethic and is a big-time player."
On how much Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell changes what opposing defenses can do against the Steelers: "I think they just know what he brings in the run game. Obviously, they know what he does in the pass game. I think they just have to prepare for all of those things."
On if he is excited to see former teammate Ravens WR Mike Wallace on Sunday: "Yeah, that is my guy. I facetime with him pretty much every Monday. We have a habit where we facetime each other on Monday and check in with each other and see how we are doing. I am excited to see him play. I am so excited for all the success he has been having out there in Baltimore. I know he is going to be fired up this weekend, and I am excited for him."
On if it will be weird seeing WR Mike Wallace in a Ravens uniform:"Yes, it will be funny to talk to him and see how he feels about the battles being on the other side. Obviously, I know it is probably weird for him being able to experience the rivalry from both sides. But I'm sure he will be a professional as usual, ready to make some big-time plays and ready to compete."