Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, good to see everybody. Thanks for being here. We have a nice contingent. We started our week, obviously, in preparation for Pittsburgh. So, we are excited about that. It's a great rivalry, great team, great program. So, it's a game we get excited about playing – like most every game we do – but this is a little bit special.
"One thing about personnel: Ray Lewis is here; he's rehabbing. He's not practicing today, and we'll just play it day by day as far as whether he practices or not. He is not imminent to return to play or anything like that, so to me it's really a non-story. He'll go out there when he's ready to practice when the elbow holds up, and when that happens, we'll let you know."
**In terms of his [Lewis'] involvement, it's just basically vocal right now? *(Jerry Coleman) *"I don't understand the question. I think I was pretty clear with what I just said."
**John, you talked Monday about the Pittsburgh quarterback situation. Is there any difference at all in preparations for Charlie Batch or Ben Roethlisberger? *(Dave Ginsburg) *"Really, no, because we don't know. There's been no announcement that way. We'll do the same thing we did the last time, the same thing we really do every week: We'll prepare for their offense. Their offense is very formidable. They have a big, physical offensive line. They are very capable of running the ball very well and very aggressively. They have playmakers at every one of their skill positions that have to be defended that can score a touchdown at any time. They've got physical backs, too, that have proven against us and everybody else that they can break tackles. Whatever quarterback ends up playing in this game, he's going to be very capable of running their offense very well. We've seen that before. We've seen it from experience. So, that's what we'll prepare for."
**Given the short layover between the two games vs. Pittsburgh, is it easier to make adjustments given that it was only two weeks in between? *(Kris Jones) *"There's not as much of a body of work that we have to go back and study from the last game. We're basically adding two games – our game and then the game they played last week – onto our breakdown. So, in that sense, there's not quite as much volume."
**What changed in them since the last time you played them? They've added Plaxico Burress. What does he change to their offense and what does he bring? *(Garrett Downing) *"He's changed nothing to their offense. They still run the exact same offense. What he brings is the fact that he is a heck of a player. Obviously, he's a red zone threat. They've already talked about that, but having played against Plaxico Burress in the NFC East for a number of years, and before that he was here [in the AFC North] … So, this team has seen him, historically. He can make every run, every route. He can make every catch. He's a threat on the sideline to go up and make plays. He's a threat on 'six' routes. He's a big body coming in there. He's a threat on slants, bodying up on corners. He's just a great player. I'm sure, from what we read, he's in really good shape, and he looked good last week."
**How much pride do you guys take in what you've been able to do at home and the dominance at home over the last couple of years? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"How much pride do we take in it? We take pride in it. We're very proud of our fans. We are very proud of our city and very proud of the environment of our stadium, and our guys really like playing there."
**Does it feel like a charmed season at all? You've had so many close wins. Is it big picture like that or does it not matter? Do you get a sense of something special with this season? *(Pete Gilbert) *"I don't believe in magic. I never have. It's not in my theology system."
The fact that it is Pittsburgh lends an urgency in this game, no doubt. But when the game is played, it will also be December. I think December is the best month in this team's history. Does December mean as much as the fact that it is Pittsburgh? (Joe Platania)"Probably yes. Those two things – this is what you play for. This is what you prepare for. It's what we are all in this for – it's what we work so hard for – [are] these opportunities to be playing relevant and meaningful games in December and playing meaningful games in your division against your biggest rival. That's what it's all about. Our guys get excited for every game. These games are valuable. You don't get that many of them. It's not like other sports. None more so than this game."
**Justin Tucker looks unflappable. Is it fair to say he is poised beyond his years? *(Bo Smolka) *"It probably is fair to say that. He's got a great head, as we say. He's really smart, he's tough. He's a detail guy – the technique. He's meticulous in the way he goes about his work, and he's got talent. We're real pleased, but the story is still to be written, as they say."
They are expecting to have Troy Polamalu back for Sunday's game. Is he still a guy you have to be aware of on every play? (Glenn Clark)"They're going to add some good players, it sounds like. Obviously, with Troy, you have to be aware of him at all times. They've done a great job of playing defense back there without Troy. So, you add a guy like that in the mix, obviously, what a factor that can be. And Antonio Brown is another player that looks like he's going to be added into the mix. He's a playmaker on offense and special teams. He's another factor on offense. That will obviously help. It would help any team."
**What's your level of anticipation for Dannell Ellerbe this week? I think on Monday he would be limited and be day-by-day. *(Ed Lee) *"His level of participation today? He will not practice today. We'll just take it by ear tomorrow to see if he can go. I think we are day-by-day with Dannell."
**If he is for some reason unavailable, how confident are you in guys like Brendon Ayanbadejo and Josh Bynes to step in like they did on Sunday *(Ed Lee) *"Very confident. That's what we do. Those guys have done well whenever they've had their opportunity. We are very confident with whoever [plays]. If he's on our team – a player – then we are confident that he will play well."
**John, a win on Sunday and you could win the division, clinching a playoff spot, a team goal. Is that something you discuss with the guys this week? *(Brett Hyman) *"We always let the guys know. We're not about hiding something. The guys know what the situation is and the standings and those kinds of things. We understand that. But, it really doesn't have much bearing on the game itself and the preparation. The preparation does not change. That doesn't factor into how we prepare. It's just the reality of it."
**With Jah Reid having a few good games at left guard, is he the guy you are going to go with at that position? Or could you imagine Bobbie Williams or Ramon Harewood getting some work back in? *(Jason Butt) *"I could imagine those guys getting worked back in there, sure. Those guys are really good players. Jah has done well, but Bobbie is a heck of a player and brings something to the table that's a little bit different. And Ramon has had a great chance to kind of resettle, reboot a little bit, and he's been practicing really well. So, those are pluses for us."
**At the risk of telling you something you don't want to hear, there is a column today on NFL.com that says Joe Flacco can't be trusted in the playoffs. Knowing that you certainly don't feel that way, can you explain why it is that this organization does trust Joe Flacco? *(Glenn Clark) *"If I have to explain that, then whoever would be asking that question probably is asking it for the right reasons. But, I don't feel like I have to explain that, and NFL.com is not something that's on my to-read list every morning."
**QB Joe Flacco
On if this Steelers team is like Steelers teams of old:"Of course they are. We played them a couple weeks ago, and it was a battle. These guys are a great team, and it's going to be another great game."
On if there is a perception that the team is catching the Steelers at the right time: "I don't know. That's for you guys to pay attention to. We don't really pay too much attention to all that stuff. All I am concerned with is the fact that their defense is playing well, and we are getting ready to go against a team that we need to play lights out against."
On what he thinks gets the offense in a rhythm:"It's just a matter of getting some first downs and making the plays and not committing any penalties and things like that. It's probably a variety of things, and it can be different week to week."
On if having a three-game lead in the division puts the team in a more comfortable position and makes this game feel a little different:"No. It may seem like that, but we're really not in any more of a comfortable position. The more and more games we win, the more and more important all these games become just because we've positioned ourselves well. But, we haven't decided anything yet. The stakes are high. We're trying to become one of the top teams in the AFC. In order to do that, we have to win every week. We understand that, and there is a big emphasis on continuing to win. It may seem like a loss may not kill us, but you never know. In this league, anything can happen, so we have to go out there and put our best foot forward each week and make sure that we go out there and do the best things we can to win this football game."
On how much pride he takes in taking the team to the playoffs for the fifth-consecutive season, which would happen with a win on Sunday, and how often he looks back on it:"Not too often. It's definitely become kind of the norm around here to make the playoffs, especially in the last handful of years. I probably take it for granted a little bit just because it is what we're used to around here, and it's what I'm used to. But yeah, we definitely look at that as an accomplishment. At the same time, we haven't really accomplished what we ultimately want to. So, if we can get back there again, it's just the beginning of what hopefully we can make our goal."
On if the quick plays ran at San Diego were designed to neutralize the Chargers' pass rush:"I think we spread them out a little bit, and that's just what happened. Some of the throws were 10 yards down the field. They're not necessarily quick, but they come out quick because they were open, and we had room in there. I hit Torrey [Smith] on one, and some of them just happened to be low-crossers that actually did take a little bit of time and the offensive line had to do a great job on. But, I think as the game went on, we put the ball in the hands of our athletes and allowed those guys to do work after the catch, and I think it worked out really nicely for us."
On if Sunday's comeback can be a turning point for the offense:"I don't know. We didn't score a lot of points against Pittsburgh, but the week before that, we scored a ton of points against Oakland. We didn't play a very good half against San Diego, played a great second half. I don't know if there is any turning point. I think we definitely need to become a little more consistent, but we are confident as always. It was definitely a big moment in that moment, but now that we have moved on, we have to move on to the next one, and that really has no impact on how we'll play this week."
On what the differences are between the good and the bad:"I don't know. You guys can see. You guys know just as well as I do. It's frustrating out there a little bit when we're not playing the way we would like to, but it's just the way it goes. I don't exactly have the answer. We look at the film, and we pick out things that we have to do better. We all understand that. Sometimes, it's because there is good defense. Sometimes, it's because we need to do something a little bit better. We do the best we can to improve on that each given week. I would say we just need to do it a little bit more consistently."
On if he has done any reflection on the fourth-and-29 play at San Diego on Sunday:"I don't want to do reflection on that. We got away with one, and I'll be glad. I could have looked like a big-time idiot if we don't get that play.* (laughter) *I kind of went out on a limb there to check the ball down on fourth-and-29. *(laughter) *We don't get that, everybody is crushing me: 'What the hell is he doing checking the ball down on fourth-and-29?' I don't think that will ever happen again in the time that I play – fourth-and-29 and it gets converted, especially on a checkdown like that. I am just happy it happened."
On if a lot of people have questioned him for checking down on fourth-and-29:"No, I haven't really heard that, but I would have heard it if we didn't get it, I'm sure about that." (laughter)
On if it feels like there is something special going on with this Ravens team:"I don't know. I don't really believe in that stuff. All these games are tough – that's the way it is. We've won tough games in the past. I wish we would make them a little easier on ourselves, but that's the way it is in this league. You have good teams, and teams look at us as a good team, and they are going to come in there and they are going to give us their best. So, we have to be willing to take everybody's best shot each week and get up and keep on going. In doing that, we are going to have to play some close games, and games are going to have to come down to the end. We have the guys that can get it done when we need to."
On what it feels like when the offense is on a roll:"Everything is more open. It doesn't feel like it is; everything is more open. It's really the way it should be all the time. There is no reason it shouldn't be like that all the time. That's what we really need to get to."
On what Steelers S Troy Polamalu brings to the field:"Troy is a great player, and he has his little things. He just has a good knack for the game of football. He usually can figure out where the ball is going. He just has a feel for the game. While you try to combat that and account for him, there is always a certain amount that you really can't account for what he is going to do. So, you just have to go out there, play your game and take care of him by playing sound, fundamental football."
**RB Ray Rice
On if "Hey Diddle Diddle" was his original line:"I didn't get that from Lydell Mitchell. You really want to know where I got that from? I said it a few years back. I was playing around with my ex-teammate, Le'Ron McClain. I just had to resurface it, because when you get asked the question about how the play developed, people know on fourth-and-29 there's no magical call. We didn't come up with a play where we are going to start lateraling the ball. It's a base play call in the offense. People asked, 'So, what was the play call in that situation?' I just thought it was kind of funny – the phrase. You see the pocket collapsing on Joe [Flacco], and once he threw it to me, I had to do my best to make a play. Obviously, I had help in Anquan's [Boldin] block and everything. It was only right to name it, 'Hey Diddle Diddle, Ray Rice Up the Middle,' with a little bit of slash and dash, but eventually I had to go back to the middle."
On what "Hey Diddle Diddle" means: "When you get older and the kids get older, you can tell them it was a nursery rhyme."
On how many times he has watched the fourth-and-29 play: "To be honest, I watched it a few times, but the few times that I've watched it, it was actually just because it came on TV. I was at Torrey Smith's radio show, and you see them playing it. You see the guys debating it – whether I got the first down or not. We've been on the opposite end of that where you see guys catch a touchdown – maybe they were in, maybe they're not. To see something go our way in that kind of situation … People are using the word 'magical' and all that other stuff. I'm glad with the flip of the coin the ball is rolling our way. We've been on the opposite end of that. It just shows that our team is maturing and we're finding ways to win games. You credit it to the hard work, and I just think that we are one of the hardest working teams in the NFL. Our training camp isn't easy. Nothing we do around here is easy. At the same time, when you are in those clutch situations, the reason why we work so hard and we're winning games is because we practice that stuff. I think that's why."
On if QB Joe Flacco took him out to a "thank you" dinner: "I think the story will be sweeter after we go ahead and take care of business. I wouldn't mind it. I'll actually do the treating this year. Joe [Flacco] can take me out to dinner … We know his situation. I have my contract already, so maybe it's only fair to say, 'Let me take him out.' When he gets his, trust me, I'll be sitting back there like, 'Joe, come on. Let's go.'" (laughter)
On if there is a different feel to this game because of having a three-game lead in the AFC North: "Put records aside – put everything aside – [they are] still the Pittsburgh Steelers. Put records aside, it's still the Pittsburgh Steelers. Every year, like I said, the rivalry never changes. They are who they are. When they play us, you have to put the records aside. We are, obviously, still trying to do what they've done, and they've won multiple Super Bowls. For us, you can't just call it another game. We know what it holds. It's a division game. We have one there, but it is our job to protect our house, and we know what kind of game it's going to be."
On how much pride he takes in the home winning streak: "I think the home dominance is something that Ray Lewis preaches about – something that we can all relate to. You just aren't going to let somebody come into your home and let them walk all over you, especially without putting up a fight. This is our home. This is Baltimore. These are our fans. This is our city, and we want to do the right thing and go out there and play as hard as we can to protect our house. Every team in the NFL feels the same way, but to be able to do what we did and win at home is great. We've had some battles here. We've had a lot of battles. Last year we had a playoff battle. This year, Dallas comes in and we had a battle that game. We are finding ways to win games. Being at home definitely helps when you have a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers coming in, because with our fans getting loud and getting into it, it definitely helps out."
On if the team takes pride in winning ugly: "Sometimes when you win, it's not pretty. I think there is such a saying as an 'ugly win,' but an ugly win still goes down in the win category. We aren't going to sugarcoat it. I've said it before: This team is a pissed off 9-2 because we feel like we can get so much better. I've been around five years and this year just feels totally different, because we are 9-2 and nobody is satisfied. Nobody is satisfied with the way we are playing on offense; nobody is satisfied with how we are playing on defense; nobody is satisfied with the way we are playing on special teams. Week-in and week-out, coach 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] and the team – whether it's one little thing a week that we are going to work on to get better … That's what's special about this group."
On if there is a level of concern that the offense has only scored one touchdown in the last nine-and-a-half quarters: "We have to find ways to score points. The level of concern is, obviously, something that we work out in practice. We are getting opportunities to get down in the red zone. We are getting down there. The fourth-and-1 [at San Diego], if we convert that, it's a totally different game. We are getting opportunities; we just have to find ways to execute them. That's the reason that I called ourselves 'a pissed off 9-2,' because if we score points it helps our defense out. Earlier in the year, they were talking about how our defense was playing. Now they are playing lights out. If we piggyback off of each other and just continue to do what we do, we are going to be a force to be reckoned with moving forward."
On what it would mean to the team to have LB Ray Lewis back on the practice field: "It means a lot just seeing him out there. If he gets out to practice, it would be pretty amazing. The guy, to me, [is] my modern day Superman. If he can do it, anybody can do it. You look at where I am at in my career, and you look at a guy 17 years battling the kind of injury he had, trying to come back. Why is he coming back? People ask that question all the time. He's coming back because he firmly believes this is the team that can go ahead and do it. He does it for us. He doesn't do it for stats. He's not doing it for fame. He's not doing it for none of that anymore. He's doing it solely because he loves the Ravens, he loves his teammates, he loves this organization. When you are thinking about that, and you put your pride aside, for a guy like more than anybody on the team, it's our duty to give our best ability every day. That's where it's at for him. Seeing him in there working as hard as he is, you go in there, and the guy's in a full out sweat. I'm going to have to figure out how to get the keys to weight room."
On why he thinks the offense is so hot and cold: "The thing is, now with our offense … When you're trying to be great, you have to become good at something. We have been working and working and working, and some things we've become really good at and some things we have to get better at. The things that we are really good at are showing, but the things that we have to work on are showing as well. You don't work on them in a game; you have to work on them during the week. That's where I think the stumble comes. Every team goes through that. When you want to be great, you pick out the things you need to work, and you get better at them. The things that we are doing really well, we are getting better at that. So, you see us when we are out there and Joe can throw for 300 yards in the second half because of an adjustment we made and just trying to get out. We ran the ball pretty well. We just wanted to get out there and score points. That's something that we have to get better at."
On what it was like in the film room after his fourth-and-29 conversion: "I actually told 'Harbs,' [John Harbaugh] just because of the kind of guy that I am, I just felt like it was another day at the office. I'm not trying to downplay the play. I'm always the guy that reflects after the season, but this is one of the ones that when people start to bring it your attention, you did something really big and you, obviously, look into it, it's something that over my career, besides my -yard run in the playoffs against New England, this one is going to go down as one of those plays. It was actually remarkable to see our defense. It's kind of funny. This is the funniest thing: When I got back on the plane, the defense said when Joe checked it down, the defense was like, 'What the heck are we doing?' Next thing you see is the whole sideline going, 'Go, go, go!!!' I had my best friend's mom tell me she turned off the game and said, 'Oh, "Walking Dead" is on,' and then came to find out we won the game. It was one of those moments where you realize you did something special, and now it's something I can live with. Obviously, after the season it will be more special if we go ahead and do what we have to do."
On the offensive line's run blocking: "Our offensive line is what we have. They aren't a patchwork group; they are a group that's mixed with veterans and young players that are getting better each week. Have I seen the holes that I've wanted? Not exactly. But you know what? Each week we don't panic. We go out there, we run our plays. Last week we didn't face a slouch defense and we grossed over, I don't know how many rushing yards we had in the game, but the mixture between me and Bernard [Pierce], we did get over 100 [yards]. That's something that each week you take pride in. We had some really good holes last week regardless of the situation. That was a really tough defense. Every time you see in the first half I got the ball, the safety was right there making a play. The second half it loosened up a little bit. We got some big chunks. Each week our O-line … I'm not worried about those guys. They are the ones that after I get tackled, they're picking me up saying, 'Ray, let's go.' That's the same way I feel about them. Every year is different."
On clinching the division so early in the year: "Clinching this early, you sort of think of, 'Do you get settled right there, or is there more?' When you clinch this early, then you have to look at the rest of the AFC. You look at where New England is. You look at where Houston is. You look at where Denver is, and then once you clinch, you think about that kind of deal. You are talking about home field throughout, but you are also talking about a team that in five years, if we do what we have to do this week … I've been in the playoffs every year that I've been a pro. That's a testament to coach 'Harbs' and the Ravens organization. We have a great team."
On how much home-field advantage throughout the playoffs would mean to him: "Home-field is great, trust me. Home-field throughout, that's a long shot right now with a lot of football left, but there's no place like home. Trust me, there's no place like home in the playoffs. That's where we play our best football, obviously. We have won a few games on the road this year, but our best football is at home. We would like to go ahead and try to do what we have to do this week and then we will focus on that."
On the shirts that were made for the fourth-and-29 play: "The more and more I thought about it … I'm always thinking of way to give back. I could have easily said, 'Let me make a profit off these t-shirts,' and do all that, but no. All of the proceeds will go to my foundation. I do a holiday event for kids. That will be my way of giving back to the community. I want to be able to have events where if I can make something off a t-shirt, I want to put it into my foundation, so when it's time for me to give I'm giving in the right way. I'm not looking to make any extra money off of these t-shirts. It's holiday time. It's a time where I feel like it's better to give than to receive. So, all the proceeds that go to when I have a toy drive, or when it's time to go to a shelter, or it's time for me to throw a 'Ray Rice Day' in Baltimore and give to different events, or for example, Vonta [Leach]'s event next week where he goes to Target and takes the kids shopping … He's going to get a donation from me, from my foundation, to help out kids who don't have a Christmas. That's what it's all about this time of year. For me, my profit is winning games, and that's what I'm trying to do while I'm playing football."
On if he would ask another NFL player for an autograph: "I don't see anything wrong with that. Peyton Manning – everyone knows what he's going to be. I've seen guys do it to Ray Lewis. I've seen guys personally go onto the field to Ray Lewis – maybe not asked on the field – but you know what? That's Ray Lewis. Peyton Manning, same caliber. I don't see anything wrong with that, especially if it was Jamaal Charles for his mother or brother. They were probably too shy to go up to a guy like Peyton Manning. My family asks me all the time, and I'll do it if I see Ray: 'Ray, will you take a picture with my cousin?' [They] are scared to go up to him and say something. He's human. I don't see anything wrong with that. Obviously, they are making a big deal of that. We're fans as well. I go through the star-struck phase. I get to play against these guys that I watched growing up. There's a time and place for it. Obviously, it was after the game, so I don't see a big deal with that."
**OLB Terrell Suggs
On whom he would like to see at QB for the Steelers this weekend:"We don't know who's going to be under center, but we're going to prepare for them both. We don't know which one we're going to get, so it's better to leave no stone unturned, so to say. So, we're definitely going to prepare for them both. If [Ben Roethlisberger is] in there, he's in there – it definitely changes things. It changes things if he plays, but if he doesn't play, we still have to go out there and play the game. And like I said last week, no game has ever been won on paper, and they're still the Steelers. They're still the Pittsburgh Steelers and they're going to come in, they're going to be hungry, and they're going to try to get a win."
On if it feels any different having a three-game cushion in this rivalry right now:"It's all, 'What have you done for me lately?' Because, you know, all of that can change in one play, in one game. The two teams are playing … They've got their reasons [for] what they're playing for, and we've got our reasons for what we're playing for. So, you just expect to see another good, physical football game. And anybody that's expecting something different, they're kidding themselves, because the level of dislike is still there, but the mutual respect is also still there. So, it's still going to be a very competitive contest."
On what it means to have LB Ray Lewis back in the building:"It's going to be great. We can't wait to get him back. I mean, I know when he did it, all you guys said he was out for the season – but we've heard that before. *(laughter) *So, I guess [it's] what they've got down in the water up here in Maryland. It's going to be good once we do finally get 'The General' back, but whenever that is, we're going to continue to play football until he gets back."
On why the defense has improved over the past four weeks the way it has:"We all have become Buddhist; we meditate together for 24 hours at a time. *(laughter) *No, I don't know. Like I said, I think early going, it was just we weren't executing, whereas we are now. So, I don't think there's any main reason why the defense is continuing to play better. But like we said, we're used to a certain style of defense around here, and we're getting back to it. So, like I said to you guys last week, let's see where we end up at, but we're going to continue to work and get better."
On if it's hard to emotionally get back up for Pittsburgh when you just played two weeks ago:"No, it's not emotionally hard to get back up. I walk in here and their color is still that color. And when we see it, we have unpleasant memories of them, and when they see us, they have unpleasant memories of us. So, it's just like that one guy you've just got to keep fighting again. Both teams, we love it, so to say. So, it's going to be good that we get to do it again in that short time span."
On what it's like to be able to talk about clinching the playoffs or division this early in the season:"Who's talking about it? You are. We're not worried about it. Like I said, we're just going to continue to chalk up [wins], and most importantly defend M&T [Bank Stadium]. We've got a special thing going in front of our stadium, in front of our home fans. Like you said, you're pretty much the only one talking about it – well, you guys. We know what the bigger picture is, the overall goal, and we can't be satisfied with anything to chance so early in the season, because it's still a long season and the end goal, everybody knows, is in February."
On if there is any motivation from the fact that Pittsburgh is the last team to win in Baltimore:"I didn't know that. Thank you. I didn't know that, but we do now. *(laughter) *But like I said, that's first and foremost – defend M&T [Bank Stadium]. She's been mother to us all and been very good to us. So, we've got to continue to be good for her."
On if he can describe his emotions when QB Joe Flacco threw the check-down pass on fourth-and-29 at San Diego:"No. *(laughter) *I'm not going to. If there's a camera, you all get a picture of it – we were like, 'OK…' *(laughter) *And then, [Ray Rice] made one guy miss, then he made 17 guys miss, and then it was like, 'Oh my God.' And then the play happened. I said, it was hands down one of the best football plays I've ever seen in my life. And thank God for Ray Rice."
On what his emotions will be when he runs out of the tunnel to face the home crowd against the Steelers:"Every time is better than the last, but I think we all can agree that this one is a little bit more special, for the simple fact of what our team has been through this year. [It was a] very, very unusual start to the season, but we weathered the storm, and now I get to run out against the Steelers. It's going to be surreal, but I'm going to take it in and enjoy the moment. But like I said, once that ball is kicked off, it's back to business – business as usual."
On his take to RB Ray Rice saying this team is a "ticked off" 9-2:"I totally agree. It's just we know we can play better, and we're going to continue to work and try to play better. So, it's good that we're 9-2 and in the position that we're in, but we're still not satisfied. So, I think our best ball is yet to come."
On if final record, playoff byes and home-field advantage are important issues when you're a Super Bowl contender:"All that ties into everything, but you've got to focus on the task at hand. You don't want to get ahead of yourself. You don't want to start looking up to see who's ahead of you and who's playing who. If you take care of yourself, everything else will pretty much take care of itself. So, we've got to do the small things first. I remember we were in similar spots where we went on the road and lost to four teams that didn't make the playoffs last year. So, you can't get ahead of yourself. Whatever task is in front of you, that's your main objective. That is your final standings, or your home-field advantage – that opportunity right there that's in front of you. [It's] not later on down the road, and who you play, and who's in front of you and who they play. The main objective is the task at hand, and that's the Pittsburgh Steelers."