Head Coach John Harbaugh
We make plays like that in a rivalry like this and a game that means so much early in the season I think that’s what big time players do. Right? Big time players make big time plays in big games. That’s what Marlon Humphrey just did. Wow. The Steelers, I thought that was another chapter in this incredible rivalry. We have much respect for the Steelers. I though they play a very good game. Well coached. Great strategy and good plan and it amounted to a really good game. They got turnovers, made plays; had a lot of momentum. They had us backed up at the one and the place was going crazy. That brings me to our team. When you have heart. When you’ve got that kind of character and play as hard as we do then you get a chance to accomplish anything. We can do anything with that. Now we just work to get better. We work to improve and become a better team in all three phases. Different things that happened today I thought our defense stepped up with a couple stops after the turnovers and first field goals. That was huge. Of course, [Justin] Tucker kicking the field goals. We just stepped up in so many different situations and found a way to win the game. A lot of things were going against us. Lot of things did not go our way. Our guys keep their poise. Our guys didn’t get overwhelmed by the moment and found a way ultimately to win the game. I told Lamar [Jackson] after the last play before the field goal. I said that was the best play you made all game. We had a play that wasn’t organized quite the way we wanted for whatever reason. They were throwing every kind of front look in the book at us to stop the run there and Lamar found a way to go forward and get a couple yards. That might have been the play of the game for him. I’m just proud of our guys. We’re young but we’re figuring it out. We just need to keep getting better. We need to keep improving. It’s still early in the season and we can become a lot better in terms of doing the things that we need to do. Okay what do you have?
How tough is it to kick in that direction to win the game?
Well that’s the point and I think that’s a good observation by you because that’s why they did what they did. Because it was an opportunity of us, and we didn’t do anything with the ball which is disappointing. Give Coach [Mike] Tomlin a lot of credit he knows this place better than anyone. I think we probably know it the second best because we play here so much. For our kicker to be able to make that kick in that end with the wind blowing says something about him, Sam Koch and Morgan [Cox] and our whole field goal protection team because it was an all-out rush as well.
Re: Ball punching at practice.
We have turnover takeaway drills everyday since OTAs started all through training camp and the punch drill is one of them. He executed it perfectly I will say when you’re a coach and you work on drills and the defensive coach sets up those drills you feel pretty good about it when you win a game like that.
Does Tony Jefferson have an ACL injury?
Thank you he does. He has a knee. He’s done. He at least has an ACL and probably more. So he will be out for the season as it stands right now. For the record we said a prayer over him. All things are possible, and he will find a way to come back stronger than before. I need to give you the end of that too; All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. My catholic friend (points to reporter) I see you in church all the time.
What are your thoughts on no pass interference on the pass to Mark Andrews and is it your understanding that all plays are reviewed?
Right, I think it went to New York. My understanding is that they did look at it. I didn’t see it I was told by the people in the box that they thought it was a clear pass interference. But they didn’t obviously see it that way.
So, are you saying you couldn’t challenge the play?
No, we can’t challenge that. We had that a couple times. We had it twice in the Chiefs game. Once on the interception the play Antonio Jefferson, there was a pick play and once on a touchdown that they had where it went to New York and I don’t think they even looked at it because they couldn’t see it. I think that’s one thing in replay they are looking at right now is finding on the scoring plays when they review them those kinds of things.
Did you ask for a review?
I asked for it, I ran down and told them make sure you look for that. After that you’d have to ask them what they saw.
Re: Defensive special teams
I think Josh [Bynes] played a lot more defense. He played Mike Forrest and looked like he played well in there. We’ll see on tape. Fort played really well on special teams. Our special teams played well. They had the one play where they pinned us down on the one-yard line, so you give them credit on that one.
What was the decision on Bynes? He wasn’t even on the team a week ago, now the starting linebacker?
We just felt like we needed to fit the runs better. We needed experience, to be honest with you. I put L.J. [Fort] in the same category. We just have to play on defense better. Those two guys are experience guys who have played there before. They were available fortunately for us, and I thought it was a good signing by Eric [DeCosta].
Did you feel like the defense did a better job?
Yes, we still had some chunk plays out there that we still need to keep working on. They have some great receivers, they run good routes, they had a little more time to throw the ball, which is challenging, but we didn’t have it thrown over the head, so I think that’s in the right direction.
I thought the team did a good job about moving onto the next play. You see another player, from another team out there, this is a brotherhood, they all care about each other. They never want to see that happen. Guys are playing hard. You have to brush it off and move on. I thought they did that with Tony [Jefferson] injury as well.
Were you able to see the hit with Earl Thomas?
They just showed it to me. From what I saw, Earl was closing, and Mason [Rudolph] was going forward, and Tony was going to make the tackle, and gets him right in the chin. Kind of like a boxing deal. Absolutely certain, he wasn’t trying to hit him in the head. It’s fast, and he’s closing, and Mason is running, and he’s not going down, throwing the ball. So, that’s what happen with what I saw.
QB Lamar Jackson
How do you think the offense did?
The offense did a great job. I just have to do better. Our offense did a great job. Our offensive line, they worked their butt off. the running backs do what they do. The receivers did what they were supposed to do. I just have to do better.
Re: Late second quarter interception
Just trying to stop the clock, catch the ball and get out of bounds. I should have seen that defender. I just have to move on.
But you still felt confident that you had enough time to move down the field?
It's all your fault, because you all ask me about these interceptions (laughs), so now every week I throw one after that. We aren't talking about turnovers anymore. I just have to do better and move on.
On the play near the end when Seth Roberts broke free in the end zone, is that a throw you wish you could get back?
Yeah, I feel like they were playing shorter coverage. Cornerback played it, he was kind of slow, safety was kind of slow, I just have to make a great pass.
Re: Confidence in key spot of game with Justin Tucker
One-hundred percent confidence. We have to pray, everyone got on their knees and prayed. But I didn't get on my knees and pray, because I knew he was going to make it. I was just happy I gave him enough room to kick from.
You mentioned this week that you love playing here, their song, their towels …
We were on the 1-yard line, I couldn't get pumped, but I wanted too. We just have to get out of their end zone. Move the ball forward try to drive the ball down the field and score. But Heinz Field lived up to the hype. It was a great game, and a great rivalry.
This is a pretty big story to come out of this game with a win the way that you did. What does it do for this team?
It gives us a lot of confidence going into next week. We have the Bengals, another division game. Just trying to add another win.
In a game with so many twists and turns, and you're able to get out of here with a win, are you able to purely enjoy that just for tonight and not obsess over the little mistakes?
Everyone loves to win, but I'm ticked off about the interceptions.
Hayden Hurst, TE
Re: On last weeks game against the Browns
We let the Browns game slip away from us last week. Any game in this division is huge, we just have to keep stacking wins.
What have you learned about this rivalry over the last couple years?
It’s crazy, it is absolutely insane. It’s really fun to be a part of and it’s really fun to be a part of the winning side.
Justin Tucker, K
Re: On the winning kick
I was a little nervous about the first half of the kick. I think it was starting straight at that upright. I know the previous kicks we had going that direction, at least the longer one just before, had a little bit of a fade to it right at the end of the flight path. My dad sent me a text right after the game saying, “I think Arc Angel might have blown that ball inside the upright, just a little bit.” As soon as it came off my foot, I knew it would have a chance just given the conditions. Several of the kicks I had today I kind of wish I would have hit them a little better, but at the end of the day, we made them. On a couple of them, my plant kind of came out from under me. That is a part of the reason why this is a notoriously tough place to kick, especially after a game like we saw today where the field is just getting trampled. Just at the end of the day, being able to come through, make kicks, and help the team win.
Re: On placing the kickoffs in their own 15
Hell yeah, our kick-off coverage dominated today. That was exciting to see. Our kick return did a great job setting us up on big time field position, Justice [Hill] had the long return there going from the left to right of our bench. Our special teams is something we are really proud of. We know they can help us win games. We aren’t trying to get through a game on special teams, we are trying to make the play that will make the impact in the game that will help us win. I think our special teams unit as a whole is spearheaded by Chris Horton, Randy Brown, and T.J. Weist. They did an excellent job of putting us in position to win the game.