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Questioning the Enemy: Steelers

*With the Ravens preparing to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football, two members of the enemy team answered a few questions about their squad. * gives you head coach Mike Tomlin and wideout Hines Ward.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin

How have the Ravens had success this season?

Mike Tomlin:"I think, more than anything, is that they're 2-0 and they're playing to their strengths. They're dominating time of possession, 37 minutes to 23 on average, over the first two games. They've run the ball 90 times in two games. That's more than we've run it in three games, and we run it more than most. The punter [Sam Koch] is doing a nice job; he's a 44-yard dead average. And they're playing great defense. They've got the No. 1 defense in the world. So, you put those things together, and they're playing their brand of football, and they're 2-0."

Is the biggest rivalry the Steelers have with the Ravens?

MT:"Well, you know we've got some big rivalries in this division. We think the Cleveland one is pretty big, too, but I'd be hard-pressed to pick one over the other."

What makes it a great rivalry?

MT:"I think it's the people involved. That's a dynamic group over there, led by some strong-willed people. I believe that we have the same here, and I think it creates for an interesting matchup."

Is the war of words between players good or bad for the game?

MT:"I think more than anything, people pay attention to the war of words and they miss the game. The people that you're talking about [Bart Scott and Hines Ward] play the game with great passion, they play it the way it's supposed to be played, and they're great competitors. I tend to focus on that, whether I'm talking about Hines or Bart Scott, or whoever else is involved in it. I mean, these guys play, and they play with great emotion, and I appreciate that element of it."

What did you think about you offensive line play against the Eagles last week?

MT:"I think to say anything other than the fact that Philly did a nice job would be a discredit to them. That needs to be said first, but from our standpoint there were a lot of things we could have done better, both players and coaches, and we acknowledge that. We're about the business of making those corrections this week, and all we can do is swallow it whole and prepare for our next opportunity to perform, which is Monday night."

WR Hines Ward

Do you remember the threat he received from Bart Scott last season?

Hines Ward:"Yeah, he threatened to kill me after the game. I got a big laugh out of it."

Are you excited to see Scott in Monday's game?

HW:"Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. He's a great ballplayer, and any time you get competitive, it's always great to go out there and compete. I'll go out there and smile at him a couple of times on the field."

Is it hard to not take what Scott says personally?

HW:"No, not really. I mean, out on the field you're going to have a war of words. Guys are going to talk about your mother, talk about anything to try to get up under your skin. We played with one of the best of them in the league – Joey Porter. It's just words: 'Words don't hurt me,' or whatever. I'm pretty sure if I see Bart out in the street, outside of football, I'm pretty sure he's not going to kill me."

Do you have any special message for Scott?

HW:"Tell him I said, 'Hello.'"

How difficult is it for a quarterback to make his first road start at Heinz Field?

HW:"It's going to be very difficult. Between the two teams, we're similar in many ways. We try to run the ball, we have great defense, Baltimore has a great defense [and] special teams is about the same. The difference is in the quarterback play. Ben [Roethlisberger] has proven that he's been a winner, and the young quarterback in Baltimore [Joe Flacco], he's 2-0 right now. So, this is going to be his first challenge coming into hostile territory on primetime. I'm pretty sure, defensively, we're going to try to contain him, and try to put it in his hands to try to win the ball game. We've just got to go out there and execute. If we go out there and execute, and not turn the ball over, then it's going to be a great game to watch."

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