Postgame Transcript - Week 9 at Steelers


Head Coach John Harbaugh

(opening statement) First of all, congratulations to all the fans in Baltimore. Congratulations to everyone back in Baltimore, who was watching this game on television tonight, who jumped off their couch when Joe Flacco threw that pass to win that game. Congratulations to you all. This is as much for you as it is for us. It's us together. Just as far as the performance by our quarterback, let's start with our quarterback and what he accomplished. (We drove) 92 yards in two minutes, and were 14-of-21 third-down conversions. This Steelers, Ravens game is a game for men. It's a game for big men. You got to shine bright in the stadium if you want to win this game. Nobody shined brighter than Joe Flacco in this game. I couldn't be more proud of our football team, I couldn't be more proud of our men, our players and our coaches for what they accomplished out there, for 60 minutes, in a battle against a great football team, a great quarterback, a great defense. But our guys have what it takes, our coaches and our players to win a game like this.

(on the cut on his chin) It's from when Ozzie (Newsome) dropped me when we were celebrating. They're supposed to hold you when they pick you up.

(on field goal at the end of the first half) Crunch time is critical; we talk and work on it all the time. Matter of fact, we were in the last play situation on my game on Saturday, working on those kind of situations. I just think our guys did a great job of handling the situations tonight. We just stand by our quarterback.

(on Flacco's criticism and tonight's performance) If people can't see it, and I know people do see it, but if people want to write about it and if people want to be naysayers about it, it's not that critic who counts. It's the man who is in the arena, whose face is covered with blood, sweat and dust. He will never be with those poor and timid souls who know no victory or defeat. So that's what I say to all the people. They don't count.

(on Tori Smith's game and last catch) That's what football is all about. That's what fighting the fire is all about. You walk through the fire and come out untouched. You get purified by it, and that's what he does. That's what our guys do. He walks off to the sideline, and our guys do nothing but put their arms around him and tell him, "You're going to make the play." That's why we're a team.

Joe Flacco

(on what it means to get Torrey Smith that game winning touchdown after he dropped a couple passes earlier) It's not my job to get down on Torrey, and it's not his job either. I could tell he was feeling a little bad about dropping those few, but what are you going to do? If I don't go to him, I really don't have anywhere else to go. I have to go to Torrey and I hope he makes the play. I have all the confidence in the world in these guys, especially Torrey. He's a playmaker, and when you need to make a big play down the field, he's the best guy for that. On that last drive, we went to him a couple times, and finally it worked.

(on what this team is really capable of) I hope so, we had a lot of scoring drives today. We had a lot drives that didn't end in punts, we were able to move the ball today pretty consistently, and remain on the field. We battled well today, as did the Steelers. We've had a couple games this year where we didn't play well, but we're six and two and we're feeling pretty good about it. We know what we're capable of.

(on how critical Dennis Pitta was in third-down situations this game) Dennis is great. I keep saying it, both those young tight ends are going to be a huge asset for us. It's like putting three wide receivers out there, they know how to run routes, they know how to get open, and he was big on a couple of third downs tonight.

(on what stands out most from that drive) We converted on fourth down, we were backed up on our own ten-yard line, and we had one time out that we didn't even use. There were lots of things that stood out, but we kept our heads up and made the plays when they counted most.

(on the kind of moment that all quarterbacks look forward to) Well I really don't know, I think you live for fifty to nothing blowouts but if you are going to make it tough on yourself, this is probably the most fun way to do it.

(on how tough it was with the heat that James Harrison was putting on) I really think we did a pretty good job on him. The forced fumble was something that I didn't feel too good about, but we did a good job making up for it. He's a playmaker, and a difference maker on their defense. Their defense has been pretty good all year, with him and without him.

(on what does this win means) I'm really excited about this win right now. What this really means to me is that we are six and two, we beat Pittsburgh two times, and we put ourselves in a good position to win the division.

Terrell Suggs

(on feelings before last play) Either one of two things is going to happen, either we're going to be the same team from last year or shown how we have grown up from last year. We did just that.

(on reading the interception) He was talking to the receivers too long. Wallace was their number one and he just gave him an extra look. So I said, if you don't throw the screen, then so what. But if he does, then I have a chance to pick. I should have scored, but I didn't. It was a blessing.

(on beating Ben Roethlisberger in his house) Let's not be fooled by the other team in the locker room. They're a great football team. They're a really good football team. This is the toughest place in the world to win. That says something about our team, and that definitely said something about our quarterback. It's a big accomplishment, and in my eyes they are still the defending AFC champs. They're still the team to beat. If we play Raven football throughout, when we see them again, it'll be in our house.

(on what does this win mean to you emotionally) It's huge. It's our division rivals. If you think about it, this is the only team in the world that's capable to play like we play, and can match us blow for blow, just like they did tonight. So it's huge. We swept them, but don't be fooled. We're going to have to see this team in January. We just positioned ourselves for them to have to come to M&T so we can do it.

(on touchdowns by the Steelers) I think it would be great if we didn't give up any touchdowns, but they're the Steelers. They've been to the Super Bowl twice in the past three years or something like that. If they get some points, we can't get down on ourselves and make the next play. We got the stops when we needed the stops and our offense came through and got one for us.

(on where this win ranks in his career) The highest. I don't think I've ever won here when Ben was playing. There was one in 2006, but I mean with their new team that they are now, with the dominance that they've had. If this one is not the highest, it's one of them.

Torrey Smith

(on dropped passes) For me, after I dropped those couple of balls, I was down for a second. At the same time, I've been through it, starting with the Redskins game in the preseason. My teammates warned me, move on to the next play, move on to the next play. You're going to make a big one, you're going to make a big one. So, for me, it was all about my teammates just having the confidence in me, and me obviously knowing I could make the play myself. I can't thank those guys enough.

(on which player gives the most encouragement) All of them. I can't point to one person. Just the fact that they have that much confidence in me, it motivates me a lot.

(on the final play) The final play was actually supposed to be a speed-out so I could catch the ball and get out of bounds. But, he was in press coverage and I was just able to run past him. I saw he was holding onto me a little bit, and held onto me a little bit earlier. I saw the ball in the air, and I saw the flag out of the corner of my eye, so I gave him a little nudge myself and was able to get open.

(on what it says about Flacco that he goes back even after dropped passes) Joe is a great quarterback. That's the biggest thing for me, especially in a game like this when I know what type of pressure you guys put on Joe. We all know what type of pressure you put on Joe. We all know what type of quarterback he is in our locker room, but just the expectation that everyone outside of our locker room has for him. For me to drop those couple of balls, and mess up his rhythm, that was the most frustrating part for me, just letting him down. Our teammates as well, but specifically him. For him to keep coming back to me, it meant a lot. And Anquan (Boldin) had my back. I'll never forget on the sideline, I was down after I dropped the ball. Anquan said, "Are you with me?," just as simple as that. He wasn't mad, he just said "Are you with me?", and that meant a lot.

(on game-winning catch) Joe threw it a little later. I was all the way down the field. He has a gun, so that's something that I have to learn. Even if he has a little pressure, you just got to keep running. You can always adjust to it coming back. It was the same case a few plays before on the double move, I had him beat and I saw Joe scrambling, so I started to slow down and check the scenery to see which way he was going. Next thing I know, I see the ball getting bombed. If I would have kept running, the game would have been over a few plays earlier. We made it a little more dramatic than it needed to be.

(on how Flacco was in the huddle during the last drive) Joe was the same way he was in the huddle every single play, calm, confident and actually a little more fired up like, "let's go win this game," but for him he's the same person he always is. He was really relaxed and definitely confident that we could get it done. It's like we practice all the time, our two-minute drill, perfect scenario. We were down by 4, touchdown wins the game, one timeout left and we would have executed just like practice.

Dennis Pitta

(on success on third down) It's all about making money on third down. Those are critical plays. Joe did a great job of seeing the field, and delivering the ball right on the money. We were able to take advantage of some mismatches out there.

(on the importance of getting a win in Pittsburgh) It means a lot, obviously, to position ourselves at the top of the division. It's a tough place to play. To come in here and get a W the way that we did, it speaks volumes for this team.

(on Torrey Smith's ability to persevere after dropped balls) Unbelievable. He just keeps fighting. He has no quit in him. This is the second consecutive week that he made a big play at the end to put us in position to win it. My hat's off to him. What an unbelievable job.

Ray Rice

(on assessment of game) I felt with the 76-yard run to start off the game that we were going to have a decent day. But we know what we have to do against the Pittsburgh Steelers. You have to be able to run and pass against them. Heinz Field is one of the toughest places to play. Give those guys credit next door. It wasn't Week One. It was classic Steelers-Ravens coming-down-to-the-last-minute football. It was a tale of two halves. They came out swinging, we came out swinging.

(on huddle of the last drive) Nobody blinked. My job and Anquan's job is not to blink. I had a drop. We don't blink. We're getting to the point where our leaders lead, and our players play. Joe Flacco is going to put the ball in the right place. Even when Joe gets sacked, we get to the next down. That's what we did tonight. We fought to the last minute. It just came down to pure heart and desire. I think we'll get the respect from our defense now. They've been carrying us. We're happy to do things like this. It builds team camaraderie. There's no other way to do it. Tonight was a great win. The power of respect – you should never disrespect. That team on the other side is a great team. You couldn't ask for more. I'm sure they'll go look at the film. Everybody, when they look at the film, will say that they could've done things better. It just came down to that last minute. It was heart and desire. Torrey Smith dropped a few passes, then came back and made another. That's not skill, that's all about will and desire. For a rookie to step up that fast, this early in his career, that's special. I always tell Torrey Smith that he was a second-round draft pick for a reason. I was in the same boat as him, and I felt the same way that he feels.

Michael Oher

(on his feelings after the win) I can't get a better thrill than this. To beat these guys here, it's amazing. Words can't describe it. It's awesome.

(on the effect of not knowing which linebackers would play for the Steelers) We have a little system going. It's our offensive line coach doing a great job of scheming things up.

(on the huddle of the last drive) It's amazing. Coach Harbaugh said we just drove 92 yards. For Joe to be so cool under all that pressure. He did great that last drive. That's awesome.

(on the return of Ben Grubbs to the lineup) Obviously Ben is a proven player. We've been missing him, and to have him back is always good.

Ricky Williams

(on confidence as a result of the win) We played tough the whole game, and when things looked tough for us at the end we stayed strong, made some plays and came away with the win. I think this team has been built to come here and win this kind of game. It's a good feeling that we're on the right track.

(on the Steelers-Ravens rivalry compared to others he has been involved in) Nothing compares to it that I've ever experienced. This is incredible. You take a town like Pittsburgh, which is probably one of the best football towns in the country, and Baltimore's not far behind. You bring that energy together and it's just amazing.

(on his role on the team) I've been doing really well. I'm happy to be part of this veteran team that did so well. I think we're going to go deep in the playoffs, and I'm just along for the ride.

(on the play of Joe Flacco) It's huge. I said even before this game that Joe's probably the best quarterback that I've ever played with in my career. For him to go and win the game like this is huge. It's huge for us, and it's even bigger for him. There's been so much debate as to whether he's an elite quarterback, and today he showed what he can do.

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