*Head Coach John Harbaugh *
(opening statement) "Great to see everybody. Obviously, it's … We sure enjoy these press conferences a lot more than the last four. Forgive me if I smile a little more than I have lately. I had an official down on the sideline at the end of the game say it was the first time he had seen me smile in a couple of years. *(laughter) *I don't think that's true. The officials – we've had a rocky relationship. *(laughter) *It was just a great win, a great team win. We found a way to play winning football. Guys kept faith, which I am really proud of. It's just a great win. Against the Steelers, it's always a great win. Our fans were phenomenal. Our fans were really, really into it, and that really helped us."
(on what was going through his mind on the missed onside kick) "When he missed it the first time, I was pretty sure that the play was over. Then he kicked it again, and I was pretty sure that wasn't allowed. *(laughter) *They were trying to run one of the double kick things that these kickers do nowadays, and fake one way and come back the other way. I guess it's easier in practice sometimes than it is in games. He didn't execute it, but I didn't really want it to come down to an onside kick. But, it did, and we found a way to win."
(on what he saw from the defense) "We stopped the run, and we didn't give up any big plays. I thought we tackled really well – put it that way. We played screens well, we played the check downs really well. We played fast, really disciplined defense. Sometimes you get into those situations where you're protecting the lead, and you might play a little bit differently because … What you really don't want to do in that situation is you don't want to give them an easy one. You don't want to give them a quick strike. The clock is in your favor. [Ben Roethlisberger] made a couple of plays against Cover 2, Tampa 2 – that hurt us. Those are the plays. It wasn't anything else besides hitting those seam routes versus Tampa 2 and Ben getting out of the pocket in the high red zone, and the low red zone for the scramble. We're going to look at that, and we're not going to like that when we watch the tape, him scrambling around out there. We want to keep him in the pocket, but pass rushers do get tired in two-minute situations like that. The whole fourth quarter was a two-minute drill. We'll look at it, and we'll decide if we should have pressured more. We'll probably decide we could have made it on that third-and-15. You don't second guess it too much. It just felt like we got hit in Tampa 2 twice in two big plays. That's what gave them their opportunities."
(on the blocked punt and how important blocked kicks are) "I feel good about the blocked punt, and blocked kicks have been really important for us. I just think [Javorius] 'Buck' Allen … 'Buck' and I have a really kind of interesting relationship. He's a competitive guy, and he wants to play. And, he wants to play running back. He hasn't been a special teams player in college and things like that. He's had to really work hard to become a special teams player. To see him have that kind of impact on the game in special teams speaks volumes for who he is and for how important it is to commit yourself to whatever way you can contribute to the football team."
(on how pleased he was with WR Mike Wallace's touchdown) "I was really pleased, because he made it 7-0. I was happy for him, but I was thinking more about the game and the fact that we made a big play. And the fact that we came off the 5-yard line and scored a touchdown – we haven't seen this in the history of the Ravens. We need more of that. Those are the kinds of things that really … We have the speed to do it. We have guys that can do it. I think we just have to keep finding those plays and see that happen. This game is really big."
(on if he was worried when QB Joe Flacco slid and left the field) "I saw the brace mangled beyond recognition. I was just hoping the knee underneath it was fine, which it was. That's all that went through my mind – how is the knee? I even said to him, 'How is the knee?' when he was coming off. He kind of just didn't say anything; he just went to the locker room. I didn't feel great about that. (laughter) Then, when he came back out, he was alright."
(on moving into first place in the division after the last four weeks) "I think it's just that kind of year. There have been other years where a team has just run away with the division. I think the Bengals the last couple years have done that. Since 2012, we haven't really been in a position to win the division this late in the season. Really, in the end, that's what matters. You take the circumstances as they come. What we have to focus on, really, is being a better football team. We've taken steps in the last couple of weeks to do that. We've done … You look in a lot of different areas and see things that were hurting us in a lot of those games. We've cleaned a lot of that stuff up, but we still have a ways to go. That's the beauty of football, especially in the NFL. It's a long season and you have the opportunity to improve. Our guys are willing to do that. I really do believe we have the pieces in all three phases to be very good, but we have to find a way to make it happen and keep trusting in one another, and that's it."
(on the performance of CBs Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith) "That's a really great point. Tavon got one of the game balls in the locker room after the game. Jimmy – I guess he didn't get a game ball because we expect it of him. Those corners played really, really well. They played solid, fundamentally, on-top, square, eyes-on-their-luggage football. They played their zone coverages and man coverages equally well. That's really important. And they did a great job against that team. The ability to make those plays with the weapons they have, I think, speaks volumes."
(on if he is surprised QB Ben Roethlisberger didn't throw downfield as much) "I remember that he went downfield a few times. I just remember that our guys made pretty good plays. There was one quarter-beater that he didn't get the ball downfield, that Tavon [Young] was chasing early. They had a chance, but he didn't get the ball out. I think we felt like, in the second half, the ball was going to go downfield a lot. We talked about that a lot in the locker room, and it did."
(on if Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger seemed limited) "I would like to say that he did, but he scrambles out for a touchdown, and he scrambles out for a touchdown pass. He looked pretty Ben-like to me. I would like to say that he didn't, but he did look normal to me."
(on T Ronnie Stanley's four penalties) "I hope it's a rust issue, and I believe it's a rust issue. He hasn't played for a long time, and he's a rookie. And he's going against good players. His footwork is really important, and his footwork wasn't right like it needed to be, and it got him in some awkward positions, and he grabbed people. I'll have to see the tape to see if it was a smart thing to do or not. But, he's capable of playing much better with his feet."
(on the offense overall at this point in the season) "I think our offense won the game today. That's the No. 1 thought. I felt like Joe [Flacco] figured out, especially in the second half … [He] played the game to win the game. He didn't really try to force any balls in there. Even some passes that you're going to look at and say, 'You know what, he could have completed that pass.' He chose not to a few times, I think. I think he understood the situation of the game, so I'll give him credit for that. The run game had moments, but the consistency wasn't there. We just have to do it. We know how we want to play. We have to continue to improve. I will say this – we have improved. Getting the guys back helped us. I thought we played better today than we have the last few weeks. We still have to just keep getting better. Really, we have to do that in every area."* *
OLB Terrell Suggs
(on the emotions after winning) "It's good, man. We haven't won since, what, September? It's good to finally, finally get one, you know, get back one in the winning column, especially against our division rival. It's good to win. We've still got a tremendous amount of work to do. Tremendous amount of work to do. So, we'll take the win, but we ain't satisfied."
(on how physical the game was) "I don't know. I'll let y'all decide that. I'll let y'all look at the tape. We've been in some dogfights, so I don't know where this stacks up right now. But I'll look at it right now, I'm going to enjoy tonight, but we've got a short week. We're on to Cleveland."
(on how the defense dominated for so much of the game) "I don't know, man. We gave up some plays down the stretch, and I don't like that. You don't ever want to have to win the game with your hands team, you know, especially when you have a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter. So, like I said, we've definitely got to finish better. Like I said, we've got to get better. We're going to take the win, but we're not satisfied. When we have plays to be made; when we can make a play and get off the field, we've got to make it, especially our best guys. You know, a win's a win. We're going to take the win, but we're going back to work on the short week."
(on if this feels like it could be one of the best defenses he's played on) "I don't know. I don't know. It's all in how you finish. If you miss the playoffs, who cares where your defense ranked. This is about winning games, going to the playoffs, winning division championships, winning championships. At the end of the year, you can [say] 'oh, they had a top-10 defense,' whatever, but if you don't win, it doesn't matter. Winning is the only thing that mattes, the only thing."
(on if this win can be a springboard) "Potentially, [if] we take the next step. We want to be a veteran team and not make the same mistakes twice. You all know we started out pretty good, 3-0, and we had some opportunities to just take some steps, and we missed those opportunities, so this is a perfect opportunity. We got another one to take another step. Veteran teams, good teams, they don't take steps back, they would take the next step. Unfortunately, that team in Northeast, they would continue to win, as they've been doing. If you want to contend, especially in the AFC, as competitive as the AFC is, you definitely want to take the next step, especially against a team in your division, especially against another AFC team. So, like I said, we're going to enjoy this, but it's going to be short-lived. We definitely have gotta move on, and I'm going to do my part and make sure them guys understand that."
(on how good it is to beat the Steelers) "It's always good to beat your division rivals, but what does it mean if we drop it Thursday. It means [nothing]. It's just emotional. It's time. We've got to start doing what we know we are capable of doing and winning. So we've got some work to do."
(on if the QB was who they expected) "Absolutely. He seemed like he wasn't hurt. He was very fluid, he scrambled, he almost shook off the sack. We broke the guy's nose, and he still continued to play. I wasn't fooled."
(on how his arm held up) "It started pretty good. I've got the best trainer in the world. We're going to treat it on a short week, and I'll see y'all Thursday."
(on how the Pittsburgh offense did better late) "They're a very explosive team. They're a pretty good team. They've got two of the best players in the league. That's the job every week. We're not surprised. We knew we were going to have to [watch] them, 7 [Ben Roethlisberger], 26 [Le'Veon Bell] and 84 [Antonio Brown]. I think we did a good job, for the most part. But we've got some corrections to make."
(on how the defense shut down the run) "We played Raven football, that's pretty much it. I don't have any schematic thing about it. We got back to playing Raven football up there. I think we only had two sacks. That sucks, but then again, this team tends to [not] let us get off too much, but we'll address that, too."
(on what might be at the top of the list of corrections he has for the team) "I would never tell y'all that. There's definitely some things we've got to work on as a team, and if we want to make a run down this stretch, especially with the teams we've got coming up, it's pretty obvious some things we've got to address."* *
WR Mike Wallace
(on what it felt like to beat his former team and his TD) "It felt really good, just to get back in the win column, and it was a little bit sweeter because it was against my old team, but I haven't been there for a while now. It was good, great to see people, but just to say, 'I really want to beat my old team' – that's out the window. I just really want to win because we need to win to get to the lead in the division. That was the biggest thing and the only thing that mattered, was try to get the lead and control our own destiny in this division."
(on the TD play versus CB Artie Burns) "You know, just press man-to-man, it's disrespectful. I'm a guy, who, I feel like if you press me, you're going to lose 90 percent of the time, maybe 95. He's a really good corner, though. I like him. I haven't played against him. He's a rookie, obviously, but I think he'll be a really good player, but on that play, it was just man-to-man, ran the slant, and I knew, probably the drive before, I caught a one-step, just take one step, jab and go in, and I caught it, and I felt like I could have gotten more yards out of the play. So I [thought], if I get another one of those, I'm coming up out of there. I got the slant, when I looked up and [saw] the coverage, I was like, if I catch this, I have a chance because they have nobody in the middle of the field. So I was like, if I catch this and beat the corner, it would be one-on-one with the safety, and that's exactly what happened. I just had to pick a way to go, if I was going to go inside or outside. I chose outside."
(on why he didn't play as much at times) "I wasn't hurt or anything. It was just that I used so much emotion, I was light-headed. I didn't each much this morning, just didn't have a big appetite, so it kind of caught up with me. Honestly, I think every time I ever made a big play, I always use so much emotion that I get a little light-headed, but I always come right back for the next series and be fine, but today it just set in on me a little bit. Just had to calm down, got a banana, a little water, and I was ready to go. I was just overly excited. I had to calm down and once that happened, I was ready to go."
(on having WR Steve Smith Sr. back and how it affected everyone) "Like I told Steve during the week, 'With you being out there, even if you don't catch a pass, it doesn't matter, just your presence brings this team to whole another level.' That's just me saying that just to let him know that's how much I want him on the field. I know that he's Steve Smith, when he gets on the field, he's going to ball out, that's what he does. Just his presence, man, he's a leader. I haven't been on the team for very long, but he's a great leader, one of the best I've been around from an emotional standpoint. The intensity he brings to the game, everybody has no choice but to feed off of it. I know I'm the first one to feed off it. I get so hyped when he gets hyped that I think that's what made me get light-headed because when he caught the little quick pass at the beginning, I get more excited about him making the play than he does himself. I just love having him on the field. He's a great guy, a competitor. I wouldn't want him on any other team."
(on his feelings when he saw QB Joe Flacco hobble off the field) "I knew it wasn't serious because I saw when it happened, but I was still scared because I saw when he slid. I'm like man, that's one of the ugliest slides I've ever seen. You can't be doing that. I think everybody admitted they were a little nervous about it just because the way he slid, and his knee brace got caught in the ground, but I knew he was fine because of how he acted when he was on the ground. He was just like, whatever."* *
WR Steve Smith Sr.
(on returning to the field) "It was fantastic. It was good to be out there and contribute towards a win."
(on how important the win was) "It was very important. I think we all knew we had to get a win in, and me and 'Siz' were talking about how we had to keep pushing ourselves, keep pushing our body. It is the grind of the season. Nobody is 100 percent. We just have to keep playing. Things that you have nicked up, you have to make her go. Whether she wants to work or not, she's going to work today."
(on if he felt like he set the tone with his 30-yard first-quarter catch) "Somebody said something that if our offense relies on a 37-year-old, then we're in trouble. I guess the difference is, I'm not your average 37-year-old. These young guys push me. Mike Wallace pushes me. Kamar [Aiken], Breshad [Perriman], Chris Moore [push me]. Bobby Engram, my coach [pushes me]. Coach Harbaugh [pushes me]. They tell me if I'm out there, they expect me to make plays. That is what I am trying to do. I don't really look at my age or whatever. It is what I can do. If I accept that jersey, no excuses – I have to go out there and play."
(on how much Steelers safety Mike Mitchell inspired or angered him) "Have you ever tried to build a house with a screwdriver? (Reporter: That is almost impossible.) Until the cabinets come."
(on what he means by saying that building a house with a screwdriver is impossible until the cabinets come) "I am a foundation builder. He [Mitchell] is a cabinet. That is the PG version. Any time I mention his name, it just increases who he is. He is not much. He was a teammate of mine, but at the end of the day, I am a Baltimore Raven and I have done a lot of things in this league. I'm not going to … I have been foolish and stepped into that and said things. I'm not going to say I probably shouldn't make it personal, but at the end of the day, I am a competitor. He ain't on my level; he never will be. He is not even on the same level as my kids. So I am not even going to concern myself with him until the cabinets come in."
(on what he saw in Mike Wallace's 99-yard TD) "That was awesome. I think he stiff-armed the same dude that I stiff-armed for a 30-yarder. That carpenter."
(on what type of win today was) "This is the kind of win that we need. To build on, we have to. We have another big game in four days. We have to hunch down and move past this and start focusing in on the game against Cleveland and go out there and play harder than we did [today] and get better each week. The games are only going to get harder."
(on if he was a game-time decision today) "No."
(on when he knew he would be playing) "What day was that? Wednesday. On Wednesday, I practiced. On Thursday, I practiced. On Friday, I was a full go. Saturday, I practiced."
(on if he was being cautionary with his ankle) "No. The only people who were in the dark were [the media]."
(on if him playing in this game was in the making before the bye) "All I know is I played this game."
(on if this game has a chance to be a springboard for the rest of the season) "It has to be. Whether we want it to or not, it has to be. We have to make this something, if not, we just wasted ourselves."
(on if he was concerned when he saw QB Joe Flacco hobble off the field) "That was the worst slide known to mankind. A few guys thought – I'm not going to say who – that it wasn't the knee brace that bent, but that it was his leg. But Joe is smooth."
(on if he takes it as a responsibility to elevate the energy of the team) "I just play. I just play, just me and myself."
(on the defense) "It was great. I told Timmy [Jernigan] at halftime, he should have tried to run [after his interception]. It was good."
(on how it feels to beat the Ravens rival and to be in first place) "Awesome. It feels great. You can feed off of that energy. But unfortunately, if we don't come out and have that same energy and increase the energy for Thursday, people are going to doubt it, and rightfully so."* *
RB Terrance West
(on running against the Pittsburgh front) "They're tough upfront. I thought we got off to a good start in the first quarter and kind of set the tone. But they just kept coming at it, made it tough for us down the road, but we were able to come up with the win."
(on how the bye may have helped the Ravens) "Yes, definitely. We took the bye week, got some people healthy and got our heads together. This was a good test for us, an important division game, and we were able to come out on top. This was a great win and we're in first place in the division right now"
(on his reaction when he saw [Joe] Flacco limp off) "I saw him go down on the play and when he jumped back up he said it was the brace, so I knew he was going to be OK."
CB Jimmy Smith
(on the win) "This really was a great win for us. Really tough physical game against a good opponent. We did have some opportunities and could have gotten more but it was a great day for the defense and a great day for the Ravens."
(on what this means for the team) "This is just one game though. We know we have to come out and be on point against Cleveland coming up. They jumped out on us by 20 points out there and it's always a tough game against the Browns. We have our hands full coming up Thursday and need to play well to make this win meaningful."
(on what it takes to win in this league) "You have to scratch and claw to get every W in this league and it makes no difference who you play. We have to come prepared to play Cleveland on Thursday night and keep this role."
(on the play of Tavon Young) "He's impressive for a rookie. He's come onto the big stage and for him to play the way he has, making big plays, tackles, turnovers, that's impressive. Overall I think he's playing good football."
(on how they contained Antonio Brown) "It was really a team effort and a lot of credit goes to [Defensive Coordinator] Dean Pees for his game plan. We mixed some things up and kept Pittsburgh on their heels. They got some things late, which no one likes. But, we're real happy with our performance."
DT Brandon Williams
(on breaking the four-game losing streak) "It feels great. Even after the four weeks we didn't get it done, we're in first place in our division, and it came down to this game. We executed with passion and intensity, and I'm so proud of everybody and proud to be a part of this defense. The team just persevered and we got the W today."
(on how they stopped the Steeler attack) "Biggest thing is we stopped the running game. [RB] Le'Veon Bell didn't get off. I think at the half they had 16 yards rushing and then we kept the pressure on. We were being patient defensively, making sure we were keeping our gaps, executing our plays and getting three-and-outs."
(on his pass deflection that lead to the interception) "It was just an effort play. I was battling the double-team and saw 'Big Ben' [Roethlisberger] about to throw it. I jumped up and swatted it. Timmy [Jernigan] made a great focus play and he got the ball. It was a huge play at a big time in the game."
(on getting ready for Cleveland) "Quick turnaround. Thursday game against a division opponent, we have to come back in tomorrow and work on that. Job's never done."* *
QB Joe Flacco
(on when he left the game) "The brace got caught when I went down on it. I was just trying to do my little slide pop up. I could tell right away and it surprised me. The brace got caught and just totally bent out. I knew the trainers had another one, so I was just trying to get that on as soon as possible."
(on getting the new brace) "I just went down into this tunnel right here. Right underneath of us and the trainers were already on top of it. They had the brace there for me. I mean, you guys saw it. I think they ran three plays, and I got out there for fourth down."
(on hopping off the field) "It was bent, so it was stuck at a 90 degree angle. And it was putting a lot of pressure on my leg. I just hopped off to get off the field."
(on causing grief for the fans) "Hey man, that's part of this game. I'm sorry to put everybody through that. That's what one of our coaches told me. On your way into the tunnel, couldn't you just tell me it was your brace. I was thinking, 'Man, I'm not thinking about that.' I'm just trying to get back out there as quick as possible."
(on the 95-yard touchdown throw) "That's how it works. Especially for guys that have speed like that. You win your one-on-one. They were playing some man coverage today. He did a great job of getting his arm on the safety and throwing his steps off a little bit, then out running him to the end zone. I love those. They're as easy as possible for me."
(on the importance of scoring first) "It was definitely big. We moved the ball early, but we didn't take advantage of it. I turned the ball over one time. I think we had some penalties on the other drive. So, we were moving the ball early. I think we felt pretty good about it. That didn't necessarily carry over to the rest of the game, but that was certainly a big score. It got the crowd even more into it than they already were."
(on getting the win) "We have a lot ahead of us. And that's what you have to keep telling yourself. We lost four games, but it's funny, it didn't matter if we would have been 5-2 going into this game we would have a bigger lead right now but the game would have meant the same. If Pittsburgh would have won today they would be in the lead, and if we won we would be in the lead, and that's exactly where we are right now. Yeah, we don't have a big lead, but we have a lot to play for, and we're excited about it."
(on Mike Wallace losing his breath after the touchdown) "I knew that he was having a little bit of an issue with that. I said to somebody 'What did he do? Celebrate too hard?' You know he celebrates for 15 minutes after he scores a touchdown. I'm pretty sure that had something to do with it.* (Reporter: He said didn't eat.)* Hey that's one of the things that people don't understand. You have to try and make sure you eat as much as possible. These schedules – 1:00 games. You wake up, and you eat breakfast, and then you start preparing for the game at around 8 or 8:30, and I'm not going to eat again until 6:00. That's definitely an issue, and you have to stay on top of it."
(on Mike Wallace playing against the Steelers) "He really wasn't any different and he wasn't any different when he scored either. He has scored a few times, and he does the same thing every time. He gets pretty fired up about it."
(on the offense not being better) "There's not disappointment right now. They are tough football games to win. But yeah, there is a little frustration in the fact that we're not playing as well as we want to."
(on breaking his brace) "My brace caught. It totally bent. It almost bent in half. It's a metal brace, and it got caught pretty well."
(on whether he needs a different brace) "I don't know. I'm not going to look too much into it. I'll talk to our trainers about it. But I'm not going to get too affected by it."
(on whether he thought he was hurt) "I knew there was nothing wrong with my knee. I went down, and it surprised me obviously when all of a sudden I wasn't sliding like normal. I looked down, and my brace was totally opened up. It looked like there was something sticking out the side of my leg. Obviously, I could see it was the brace, and it was putting a lot of pressure on my leg. Even though it was broken, it was stuck in a bent position, so I couldn't play and I couldn't move. I just said, 'I gotta get out, I gotta get down to the tunnel and get a new one,' and I just wanted to get back as quick as I could."
(on if there is a warranty on the brace) "I have no idea. It might be a good thing that it bent the way that it did. You never know if it got caught and held up really well. You never know. I could have done something to my MCL. Just chalk it up as lucky that it was just my brace, and that's it."
(on the field goal drive before halftime) "It was definitely big then you get up 21 points, you think you have it but these games are always nerve racking at the end. All points that you can get are big. I think that two-minute drills at the end of the half, end of the game. Whoever wins those battles usually win the football game. That definitely was big. We didn't look really good on that drive to be honest with you. So we were pretty fortunate to overcome that stuff early on in the drive and get three points."
(on the balance of protecting the ball and trying to score with a big lead) "We went out there one time and didn't do anything. We went out there the next time, and it would have been nice to get a good drive there. The next time we got the ball, we were up by 14 points, and there wasn't a whole lot of time left. The one thing you don't want to do is throw an incomplete pass or have something crazy happen. The only hope for them was to go down and score and get an onside kick. That was the only chance they had."
(on the onside kick) "It was just a relief. I saw him miss it. And then when he kicked it again, I just assumed that's illegal touching. I assume it's just like one of their guys touching it before it goes 10 yards. You can't do that. It was just a relief. We could finally relax."
(on getting the win) "The significance of getting this win is that it puts us in a position to win the division. We can say that we're atop the division. I think when you have a handful of guys on your team, and this is the first time being in this game with these guys, it gives them a lot of confidence moving forward."
(on being excited about playing Thursday night) "Of course I am. It will be cool to put our new uniforms on. I want to show everybody what they look like. I think they're really cool."
S Eric Weddle
(on playing the Steelers) "Woo! Man, there's no better win in this league. Shoot man. I could get used to this game, the intensity, the energy, and our fans. Just an amazing team win in all three phases. And we needed every bit of it. If we could catch, it would have been a 21-7 win instead of a 21-14 win. But hey, we're just getting humbled a little bit. Just trying to keep your P's and Q's and giving you something to work for. I couldn't be more proud of the team. Our effort, playing together knowing the type of game it was we needed four quarters we weren't going to play one half and think we were going to win. We were playing well on defense, but we knew we were going to have to finish it. Shoot, it feels good to win."
(on shutting down the Steeler offense) "It was great to get C.J. [Mosley] and 'Siz' [Terrell Suggs] back for our confidence. C.J. [Mosley] brings just a calm demeanor calling plays out. 'Siz' [Terrell Suggs] is just an incredible player, and he's such a force in the run game. It was big to get them back. It solidifies our defense. Our front seven is outstanding. It really enables myself to move around and mix match coverages, disguise things that give quarterbacks trouble. It made them struggle all day today."
(on if he talked to Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger afterwards) "I did. We even talked throughout the week. He is just a good buddy, and I have so much respect for him. He's playing on one leg pretty much. That's the type of guy he is, wanting to play in this game. I wish him nothing but the best. Obviously, not against us. He's definitely a tough competitor. We knew he was going to start making a run. We had a couple of opportunities to get off the field with some picks. And like I said, we didn't do that. There's always room for improvement, but to get a win against a great opponent, a division opponent, really showed what we're all about."
(on his dropped interception) "It was the worst. I am such a loser. You know, you just got to keep grinding. If you want to be great you got to make those plays. That's what I'm all about."
(on whether the Ravens defense gets enough credit) "I think we're just going to keep putting our heads down and keep grinding. We're blue collar. We're really not worried about what the outside thinks, or wants, or appreciates, or thinks we're good or not. We know we have to play a full 16 games and then we can see where we're at. Where we're at as a team, we have to play great week-in and week-out to give ourselves a chance to win. When we limit team's big plays, and we don't let the ball go over our heads, you see what we can do and what were capable of. We got a little bit out of whack giving up big plays the last couple weeks. There's a reason though. We're Top 5 in the NFL in different categories. We limit the run; we limit big plays. We have to continue that the rest of the way."
(on taking away Steelers WR Antonio Brown) "He's one of the best receivers in the game. We kind of got away from that against the Giants in the second half. We let Odell [Beckham] get off on us. We just don't want that to happen again. We're not going to let their best players beat us. You're going to have to throw the ball somewhere else. Today we did that for the most part."
(on whether this was the Ravens defense's best performance) "Yeah. This and [Week 1 vs.] Buffalo. We were working all three levels of our defense. Even the scoring drives, the fourth-and-15. We kind of had a break down there. C.J. [Mosley] has to get a little deeper there. The second scoring drive, we dropped three picks. Realistically, it could have easily been 21-7 or 21-0. You just have to work on those little things. We were playing well on all three levels. The front really shut down Le'Veon [Bell]. They weren't giving him any running room. And if they did, the linebackers and safeties were there to shut him down. And there was nothing over the top in the secondary. We really showed what we can do. We just have to keep playing together and playing as one."
(on Ben Roethlisberger's fourth-quarter success) "He's one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He's done it for so long. He's a Super Bowl winner. Guys like that you know you can only hold them down for so long. You try to move around and do as much as you can, but eventually he's going to see he's going to make a check, and he's going to make you pay for the mistakes you make. You're just trying to play and hold on as much as you can. When you have a chance to make a big play, you have to come up with those because you know he's going to come back if you don't."
(on if the Ravens will ever play anything but a one-score game) "That's the Raven way, man. I'm sure hoping that. And we'll keep striving for that. A blowout would be nice. In the fourth quarter just be out there making picks and stuff and smiling and not stressing. But if that's the way we have to win, then we'll do it and be happy about it."
(on if the Ravens defense has to win games) "I feel like we have to play great to win games. That's no slight to the offense. That's no slight to this team. We're playing complementary football. But we feel like we have to get turnovers, and we have to hold teams to low points. That's the way our team is, and there is nothing wrong with that .We have to play great defense. Every team wants to play great defense. If we go out and play great defense, we are probably going to win. If we don't, then we're going to lose. That's just the way this league is."* *
DE Lawrence Guy
(on the defense seemingly getting better each week) "We're building a relationship with all the players. We've got young players, we've got veteran players [and] we're all coming together. You learn from your mistakes – the mistakes we made weeks and weeks ago. Every game we keep getting better and we get the chemistry and we can just grow as a unit. The more we grow as a unit, the better we play on defense."
(on the defense continuing to fight all afternoon) "Yeah, this is Raven defense. Raven defense, we fight. We fight for every down, we fight for every play. That's what we do. If we didn't, we wouldn't be the Ravens."
(on what this win means for the team) "It's Pittsburgh week – rivalry. We come out and we play hard. We try to beat Pittsburgh every single game that we face them, home or away, that's our goal, to beat Pittsburgh. If we lose to Pittsburgh then we feel down about ourselves, and we're not going to get down on ourselves. We're just going to go out there and play as hard as we can."
(on being in first place) "It's a great feeling. We strive for it, and I'm happy that we got it."
T Ronnie Stanley
(on his performace today) "It was a fight out there and we got the win, and that's what really matters. But yes, I know I can play better."
(on his first Ravens/Steelers game) "It was great. The atmosphere was great, the fans, they really showed out. I knew Pittsburgh was going to travel well, but our fans really made sure our stadium stayed a home court advantage."
(on OLB James Harrison still playing at a high level) "I remember watching him when I was a kid. So, that was kind of surreal going against that guy [and] seeing him face-to-face. But it was definitely a good experience."
(on how much of it was the Steelers having a really good pass rush versus him missing the past four games) "I think it was a little bit of both, just coming off of missing four games and just to play in this game. Once you're in the game you're going against one of the more prolific bull rushers or strong edge players in the whole NFL. He's [James Harrison] been doing it for years and it was definitely a good challenge for myself and just the whole offense."
(on how his foot is doing after the game) "It's a little sore, but it's getting better."
DT Timmy Jernigan
(on what the key was to shut down the Steelers) "I think the biggest thing is first you had to stop the run when you are playing the Steelers. They have a good offensive line. I don't think people give those boys enough credit upfront. I think they are really solid upfront and you just have to control Le'Veon Bell. That is the first thing, and if you can contain '84' [Antonio Brown] and '7' [Ben Roethlisberger] then everything else will fall in its place. For us as a front, our biggest thing was attacking those guys and staying in our gaps. I really think that [Le'Veon] Bell is a guy that is very patient, and he waits on you to make a mistake. I think we did a good job of staying in our gaps and not lying to the linebackers. They knew where we were going to be fitting up at, so I think that's what made everything go smooth."
(on what this performance says about the defense) "I think the sky is the limit for us. I think you have on the field at all times, no matter who is in, I think you have 11 guys who are unselfish and are willing to do anything for the guy beside them. I know I am."
(on if he gets the 'good hands' award for the defense today) (*laughter) *"I wouldn't call it that, it's just one play. There are a lot of plays to be made."
(on what his thought was when he saw the ball pop up) "Catch and fall. That is it."
(on him knowing to go right to the ground) "That's all it was."
(on if he had in his mind this time that he was not going to advance the ball) "I wasn't even thinking that far. I was simply thinking about catching the ball and then falling. I understand the situation. I am a fast learner (laughter). Growing up in my household when my mom told you to do something, whether you liked it or you didn't like it, if you didn't do it, there was going to be problems. I know to respect my elders and if coach wants me to fall on the ball, I'll fall on it. Period.
(on the feeling in the locker room after getting the win) "It feels good. What better game for it to be than Pittsburgh. You get that time off. You get a whole week off, to just marinate and think about what has been going on. It has definitely been on our minds in the last couple of days. We understood what was at hand, and I think everybody came out on the same page. It feels good to get a 'W'."
(on the upcoming challenge of playing the Browns on Thursday after a tough win) "It is going to be tough. Cleveland, I believe they are physical upfront too. If you take those guys lightly, they will jump out on you 20-0. You know what I mean? We're not going to take anything lightly. We are going to come out ready to play ball on Thursday. I guarantee that."
(on the mentality of the interior defensive lineman such as DT Brandon Williams, DT Michael Pierce and himself) "It kind of just goes back to what I was saying at first. We have guys that are unselfish. I would do anything for big Mike, I would do anything for Brandon. We are always on the same page. I understand how they play and they understand how I play. Everything just kind of gels together, I think it is the perfect combination."* *
RB Javorius Allen
(on the punt block) "It was a great block if you ask me. Before that punt even got blocked, I told Coach Jerry [Rosburg], 'He keeps leaving me.' Before the snap, he just runs outside, and that's my man. He said, 'OK, we're going to handle it.' I knew I could get a block on him. If I faked like I was rushing and then go under, I knew I was going to block it. I just want to be a playmaker, honestly. If it's playing running back or anywhere on the field. I just want to be a playmaker. I feel like I'm a playmaker. I'm never going to get down on myself; I don't care what situation I'm in."
(on getting the right angle for the block) "I just knew if I got past the slot, I was going to block it. I didn't care if I hit or touched the ball. It was just a great call. Coach Jerry [Rosburg] made a great call at the right moment. I just executed. Like they say, coaches call the plays, and players make them."
(on WR Chris Moore recovering his blocked punt for a touchdown) "I told him I threw him an alley-oop. He has to 'Blake Griffin' it. That's what he did, and I'm proud of him."
(on committing to playing special teams) "I'm always committed. Just because I'm not getting runs at running back doesn't mean I'm not going to be committed. It's the game of football. I love it no matter what I'm doing. Going out there and being a playmaker and helping us win, I can't be more happy."* *
WR Chris Moore
(on his blocked punt touchdown return) "On special teams, we put great emphasis on it. 'Buck' Allen made a great play blocking that punt. I just saw the ball spinning like a little top, and I did whatever I could do to get and score."
(on if this was a designed play) "On my side, I wasn't supposed to be rushing the punt. I think for 'Buck' Allen, it was a designed block for him. He just made a great play and took advantage of the weakness in the punt coverage. With the scoop and score, it was a great play."
(on the importance of special teams) "They emphasize it a lot here. It's very important. Special teams is an important part of the game, especially here with the Ravens. Whenever I'm on the field, I'm giving it everything I have, because I know that's where I can make an impact every game. I might not be able to catch touchdowns, but I can scoop and score them."
(on his first two touchdowns being after blocking punts) "It's crazy. I never thought it would happen like that. I had never scored a special teams touchdown in my life. Now that I have two, it's amazing. It's all thanks to my teammates and God."
(on the decision not to just fall on the ball) "It was just spinning there perfectly. I didn't see anybody in front of me besides their punter, so I decided [picking it up and running] would be the best play to do."