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Questioning the Enemy: Steelers II


*With the Ravens preparing to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend, two members of the enemy team answered a few questions about their squad. *

** gives you Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.


Head coach Mike Tomlin

Do you think there's any carry over or mental edge from the last time the Ravens played at Heinz Field and lost in the AFC Championship game?

Tomlin:"No. The one thing I know about the history of this series is how games have unfolded in the past really have no bearing on what's going to happen in this one. One thing you know: It's going to be physical. It's going to be emotional. That's always been the case. But, all these games have unfolded differently, and I think that's the approach that we're taking."

Has the attitude of the team changed after winning last week and still being in the playoff hunt?

Tomlin:"I don't know that that was the case. A lot of times it depends on when you catch people. If it's after a disappointing loss, they may have one perspective on the situation that may change after they sleep on it, etc. I think maybe that's probably more of the case than anything. I don't think our group at any point during this process has lost hope."

How much of a focal point has Ray Rice has become to them?

Tomlin: "You know, I think statistics and tape speaks for itself. He's their leading rusher, he's their leading receiver, he's a big time player – not only for them – but in the big scope of things in this league. I think he's gotten to that status."

What type of atmosphere do you expect this weekend?

Tomlin: "It's going to be the usual Steelers/Ravens kind of an atmosphere. It's going to be an exciting one; the fans are going to be fired up. I'm sure both teams will be prepared to give them what they came to see."

QB Ben Roethlisberger

What does this rivalry between Pittsburgh and Baltimore mean to you?

Roethlisberger:"For me, I just have a lot of respect for the guys on that side of the ball. When I talk about Baltimore, I talk about the defense, because that's who I have to go against. I have so much respect for every single one of those guys, from up front in Kelly [Gregg and Haloti] Ngata, to [Terrell] Suggs, to when Bart Scott was there, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed. I could go down the list. It's nothing but respect from me to them."

Is there an edge when you've beaten a team often in one venue?

Roethlisberger:"You're trying to get me to but some billboard material up, huh? You guys are not going to get me on that, but any time you're playing at home, you obviously get to sleep in a hotel you're familiar with, you're in your home locker room. It's always more comfortable playing at home than on the road."

What about those comments Hines Ward made saying the Steelers' playoff hopes were over after losing to the Ravens earlier this year?

Roethlisberger:"Hines Ward is a leader and a guy that we all respect and love. Me being a quarterback, I love having him on my team."

How painful was it to watch the first Ravens/Steelers game on the sideline?

Roethlisberger:"It was hard. During the National Anthem, I asked coach [Mike Tomlin] if I could go, and he said, 'No.' It was tough, but it was a lot of fun getting to watch Dennis [Dixon], a guy that I respect a lot, get his first start in the same place I got to play in my first game and go against one of the best defenses. To see his direction and how he handled it, I thought it was fun. Of course, I would have rather have been out there."

Can you talk about you game-winning touchdown last week against the Packers?

Roethlisberger:"It was a heck of a game. I thought it was kind of a shoot-out. Aaron Rodgers played great. The offensive line protected up front, and receivers got open and made plays for me. We had a long way to go and not a lot of time. When we got down there, my last read on the play - before I was getting ready to take off and do who knows what – was looking at Mike [Wallace]. The defender had his back to me, so I took a shot and Mike made a heck of a catch."

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