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Transcripts: Steelers Post-Game Quotes

Head Coach Mike Tomlin

(opening statement) “Tough environment today. Obviously, the Ravens’ were playing with a lot of resolve. It’s great to get an AFC North road victory under those circumstances. We weren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I just loved the spirit, the competitiveness of the group. And, I am just very grateful to get out of here with a win. We don’t have a lot of time to absorb it. We have to quickly transition to Thursday night ball and embrace that challenge. So, real quickly, we’ll get ready to move forward. Not a lot of significant injuries to speak of. Everyone that got hurt at some point, reentered the game. Ben [Roethlisberger] just got the wind knocked out of him. The other stuff was probably even less than that. We’re thankful on that front as well. Tough environment for our football team. It’s always that way when you come in here. I don’t think we helped ourselves with the penalties. We’ll look at those and see what they are, we’ll analyze that and look at what we’re doing at an effort to be cleaner there. That was not an asset to our cause.”

(on QB Joshua Dobbs’s third down conversion deep in Steeler territory) “Josh [Dobbs] is uniquely mature as an individual, not as a football player. He’s “Steady Eddie.” That personality trait is a personality trait to him. We have a great deal of confidence in him. You know, that guy was challenged in a big way, to earn the job he has, the role that he has for us. He has never blinked at any point in the process, even when it was seemingly stacked against him. Because of that, we have a great deal of confidence in him, and it was displayed. He confirmed it with his play.”

(on Pittsburgh’s third down conversion rate, 10-of-15) “It was huge for us. We were sitting in solid position at halftime the last time we played them. I don’t know how many third downs we converted in the second half at Heinz Field. But we acknowledge that this defense in particular was stingy in the second half in that area. I actually thought that first drive of the second half, after we were able to convert a couple third downs and drive down the field, really set the stage for us to combat that area of the match up.”

(on holding Baltimore to field goals in the red zone in the first half) “You talk about what the Ravens’ offense does uniquely well, they were third or fourth in red zone offense in the NFL. So to hold those guys to field goals in the first half was also significant. I think those were the two most significant elements to the game – holding those guys to field goals and us being able to convert on third down in the second half.”

(on the Steelers’ resiliency to scratch out a win here) “I just think the further we go down this journey, the tape is the story teller. If we’re doing what we’re supposed to do they need no endorsement from me. You see it, it should jump at you off the tape.”

(on the moment of silence before the game that Baltimore stands with Pittsburgh) “We in this NFL community, man, this is a brotherhood. We understand the roles that we play within our community, and we embrace that. We want to be leaders within our community and for this nation. If we can entertain our fans on a Sunday and maybe forget some of the realities for a moment, then we embrace that opportunity to contribute in that way. We want to show respect to those who are hurting. I appreciate that from the Ravens, not that it was unexpected. They are a class organization.”

(on what RB James Conner means to the offense) “I don’t want to take anything away from James [Conner], but the big boys up front are opening up holes, and so it’s a collective effort. James [Conner] is going above and beyond, but I am more pleased on what he is doing in the passing game from a blitz pickup standpoint. That’s a little more unique than the rushing. We knew he could run the ball since he showed up at Pitt at 18 or 19 years old.”

(on Matt Feiler filling in at OT) “The standard is the standard. Matt [Feiler] is just the latest guy to display that. We have a lot of guys that are capable, and we just respect what they are capable of. We expect everybody when they are presented with an opportunity to be successful. So, we respect Matt [Feiler]. We know he’s capable, and he continues to show that he is, like others have. What’s unique about Matt [Feiler] is that Chris Hubbard had that role last year, and it’s just good for Matt [Feiler] for his career to continue in that tradition.”

(on if he’s happy with his teams consistent play) “I am not painting anything with a broad brush. I am just trying to win week in week out. When we get further on down this road, it will be revealed to us instead of us going out searching it. We have a short week coming up. We have Carolina, and that’s all I am focused on.”

QB Ben Roethlisberger

(on his injury that cost him one play) “I just got the wind knocked out of me. A big man fell on me. I didn’t know how badly I was hurt. First thing you notice is that you can’t breathe right away. Then you start doing an inventory, and then I realized I was ok. Once I got up, I knew I’d be alright.”

(on the play of the offensive line) “Those guys were fantastic. They did everything you can ask of an offensive line. And they did it against the No.1 defense in the league.”

(on QB Joshua Dobbs’s play at quarterback) “That was awesome. I think they had a run play called, but he checked down to a pass and got a huge gain. It’s very hard for anyone to come into a game off the bench when facing a second down and 20 at the five. But I am not surprised. Joshua [Dobbs] prepares like he’s the starter every week.”

(on spreading the ball around today) “Well, you just never know who’s going to be available to you. [Eric] Weddle just does a great job disguising coverage. Baltimore did a great job taking away big plays from us today. So, we just settled for whatever we could get.”

(on the difference between this game and the loss to the Ravens in September) “Our defense is playing with a lot more confidence. Offensively, we’re a team that likes to spread it out. We’re a team that use the pass to open up the run. Our first drive of the second half was awesome. We used up most of the third quarter and got a touchdown out of it, and we converted a bunch of third downs, and they weren’t easy ones to convert.”

(on the special cleats he was wearing today) “First of all, I want to say it was a very class act by the Baltimore Ravens for the moment of silence they had for the victims at the [Tree of Life] synagogue. We really appreciated it. I wore those shoes in honor of the victims and keep everybody’s thoughts on them. I always thought love should conquer hate, and we should work together on that.”

RB James Conner

(on his strong start today) “We wanted to get rolling early. We wanted to start fast and make some plays. This team is playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

(on the difference between this game and the first game with the Ravens) “Each game is different. Learn something every week. To me, every game is the biggest game, because it is the next one.”

(on the offensive line) “Every game they come out with an attitude and try to dominate. They bring energy every week. They were great on that drive to start the second half. We marched right down the field and used up eight minutes off the clock. It was huge to get points of that drive.”

(on his touchdown reception) “It was a check-down pass, and I got open. And I was lucky to beat the guy to the pylon for the touchdown.”

WR Antonio Brown

(on the Steelers winning streak) “We’ve got to continue to control our destiny. Take care of business. We continue to get better. We continue to come to work. That’s our commitment to these guys in our locker room. There’s a lot of football left. Today was a great win. That was a great win against a division opponent. We have to get ready for a short week.”

(on QB Joshua Dobbs’s pass) “We work with him every week on Wednesday. We know what he’s capable of doing. Every man in here believes in him. When he came in, it was no surprise to us.”

(on being a veteran in the locker room) “It’s all about taking care of business. Never getting too high or too low in this business. Always getting better and putting your best foot forward.”

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster

(on being the receiver of QB Joshua Dobbs’s pass) “It was great. I’ve got to give him credit. We were backed up on our goal line, and we gave him a play, and as soon as he threw the ball, I was like ‘I’ve got to make this play.’ I’m not surprised it was a pass play.”

(on the play of all the secondary guys) “We’ve come a long way. Talk about building chemistry. James [Conner] – I’m not surprised. He’s been a baller since he’s been here.”

(on when QB Ben Roethlisberger got hurt) “It’s tough when the starting quarterback goes out. The whole world’s wondering what’s going on, but me knowing Ben [Roethlisberger], he’s a tough player.”

LB Jon Bostic

(on the defense) “It was a lot better than last week. We still left a lot of plays out there. Sometimes they got us when they changed personnel, but that’s expected with the Ravens. We didn’t play perfect. We’ve got a short week against Carolina, and we’ve got to get ready for that.”

(on the Ravens using QB Lamar Jackson) “You can expect him at any point in the game. The thing about [Baltimore is], they like to put the ball in the hands of playmakers. So why not give him the ball in any situation? For us, we left some stuff out there coverage wise. We’ve got to play better, especially this coming week.”

(on the season) “We can play a lot better, there is a long way to go. We are going to need to be better against Carolina. They have an explosive offense that can do a lot of things. We’ve got to stop the big plays.”

(on the linebackers corps) “We’re getting better and better each week. Guys are playing with each other within the defense and making the plays when their number is called upon.”

S Sean Davis

(on the defense) “Our defense is working in the right direction. We held the Ravens to 16 points today. And I feel like we’re putting together winning performances. As long as the defense continues to do that, and with our offense playing the way they’re playing, we’re just going to continue riding the roller coaster. Our trajectory is high. This is our fourth in a row.”

(on the difference between the first Ravens game and this one) “The first game they just beat us. They wore us down, we couldn’t stop the run. Today we did what we were supposed to do. We stopped the run and didn’t allow them to make big plays on us.”

(on seeing Lamar Jackson as often as they did) ‘We had a gameplan for them, and we did it well.”

(on was this the best game for the defense) “It was up there. One touchdown, three field goals.”

OT Alejandro Villanueva

(on RB James Conner) “He’s showing that no challenge is too big for him, against the number one defense or whoever it might be. You know when you’re so close to him, and he lowers his shoulder, and you see him get a couple yards, it’s extremely motivating. You have to give him a lot of credit for his performance today.”

(on being 3-0 in the division) “You have to take one game at a time. You can’t look at the past or the future. This league is extremely difficult. Obviously we are happy with the performance today and the team win. By any means, we’re not going to get complacent, and think that we’ve accomplished anything until the end of the season.”

(on the progression of the offensive line) “Coach [Mike] Munchak is doing a phenomenal job. He’s by far the most inspirational leader not in uniform that I’ve served with or played for. He’s being really smart in how he uses everybody in the protection. For me, it’s just an honor and a privilege to play for Coach Munchak, and I don’t want to let him down.”

(on QB Joshua Dobbs play) “It was fun, because obviously we saw the way he played in the fourth preseason game. We know he’s a player that performs very well under pressure. It was really cool to see him sling the ball and get a completion. It was a huge play.”

DT Cameron Heyward

(on protecting a lead) “We gave up a touchdown late, but the offense kept the lead, and [scoring] was kind of low. You’ve got to do that to good teams.”

(on the difference in the Steelers’ team since the last Ravens game) “We just take it one game at a time and try to get better. We just focused on doing more good than things wrong. There’s still a lot we can improve on.”

(on facing a Ravens’ line with backups starting) “They used some misdirection; some was [maximum protection] where they keep more guys in. We knew that going in. I thought we condensed the pocket a lot. [Joe Flacco] couldn’t step up to make throws. We made the most of our opportunities.”

CB Joe Haden

(on the defense minimizing Ravens’ scoring) “They kicked for three and didn’t score six. That’s really big in making sure we win.”

(on winning a tough game against the Ravens) “We tried to keep them under 200 yards passing and keep them uncomfortable. Putting pressure on them and getting hits on them. We gave them a lot of different looks in this game than last game, and that’s why we did better.”

(on the quick turnaround for the next game) “We came out of this pretty healthy, which is pretty good. They’re a good, physical offense. We have to make sure to contain Cam [Newton]. They scored a lot of points today in the first half. We’ll have to watch the tape and see what they did.”

(on the secondary play) “We did a really good job. Sometimes, on those big plays, there were a couple of flags. We made sure they didn’t catch [balls] on the outside. We tried to keep [John] Brown in the box and not let him get over the top like he did last time. We paid a lot more attention to him. Those were some of the things to make sure they didn’t get big plays.”

G David DeCastro

(on the ability to run the ball) “It was huge. It just wore their defense down a little bit. They’re one of the best defenses in football. So, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We stayed with it and converted some third downs. Last time, we couldn’t.”

(on whether he was surprised at the pass play called for quarterback Joshua Dobbs) “It wasn’t a surprise. Not at all. He was doing it all preseason. We have a lot of faith in him. We blocked it up and gave him some space. It was a big play.

(on the continued absence of running back Le’Veon Bell) “Honestly, no one cares anymore. Why would I? I don’t want to waste the energy. I have to block some of the best players on the best defense in the world. Do you think I’m going to worry about a guy who’s not here? Like I’ve said before, ‘I love Le’Veon.’ There’s great memories with him, but it would do an injustice to this game worrying about someone else when I’m on the field. I’m just trying to give my best effort for the rest of the people on the field with me.”

LB Bud Dupree

(on facing the Ravens without both starting offensive tackles) “They did a lot of things to help out the starters, but we still made some plays. We took advantage of some opportunities. Some of those penalties we committed, though, put them in better field position than they should have had during the game.”

(on getting a big division win) “It’s still going to be a long ride. It was great that we got the win to get on top of the division again. We’ve got another game against the Bengals. We just need to be sure to dominate everywhere.”

(on whether the defense changed from the first Ravens game of the season) “We did the same thing for real. We really did the same thing. We just stopped them this time.”

(on holding the Ravens to field goals in the first half) “It was great. It was an opportunity to show that we have a goal-line defense that works.”

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