Transcripts:Week 2: Steelers Conference Call

Head Coach Mike Tomlin

On whether he will be on the kickoff team Thursday night: "No, I won't be. So, tell Jacoby [Jones] he's safe."* (laughter)*

On whether he expects people to talk about him stepping onto the field while facing the Ravens last season: "I really don't care, to be honest with you. It's a non-factor in terms of what I'm doing, in terms of preparing for this opportunity and, obviously, what needs to happen for us in the stadium. I don't tote those bags."

On the Ravens' defense: "I see a continuity group. As long as you talk about guys like [Terrell] Suggs and [Haloti] Ngata and [Elvis] Dumervil and others, they have a core component of guys that have been there. [The Ravens] do a nice job of drafting talent and developing that talent. And that talent ends up showing up on the field. So, it might be new to the fans, but they're not new to the program. Chykie Brown is playing a lot now, but he has been there a number of years. Courtney Upshaw … You could go on and on. They do business like we do business in that way. They draft guys into their system and they raise them. And when they get on the field, they may be new to fans or opponents, but definitely not new to them and the system and how they do business. I have a lot of respect for that."

On whether he thinks the NFL showcases the Ravens-Steelers game because of its appreciation for the organizations: "I think they like the way we play when we come together. I think it's entertaining. I think football fans have a level of appreciation for it whether they root for the Steelers or the Ravens. And it's humbling to be a part of something like that."

On whether he views the Ravens' rushing attack as formidable: "If you saw our run defense last week, you know that we have respect for anybody's ability to run the football. We have a lot of work to do in that regard."

On Cleveland Browns rookie RB Terrance West: "I'm sorry, I hadn't thought about Terrance West since the football game. He had a good day."

On the short practice week: "It's a non-issue for us. We don't have control over when and where we play. We get assignments from New York in that regard, and we'll be there and we'll be ready to play."

QB Ben Roethlisberger

On former Ravens RB Ray Rice: "We pray for [Ray Rice] and his wife and his family. The biggest focus is the game on Thursday, because that's really all we can afford to deal with right now with such a short week and notice. And that's the most important thing for us now, is what we can control.

On the Ravens' defensive front: "It's still a good defense. A short week always kills us, because we're trying to figure out what they're doing and trying to prepare for a great defense, and obviously [Terrell] Suggs, [Haloti] Ngata up front and the rest of those guys. But [there are] some familiar faces, some new faces – [Elvis] Dumervil out there on the edge and stuff. But it's a good defense. It always gives us trouble."

On incorporating new receivers into the Steelers' offense: "We're making strides. We're making little steps here and there, and we're getting better. I like that fact that last week a couple guys stepped up. And we know what we have in 'A.B.' [Antonio Brown], but we have some younger guys that we want to continue to see growth from."

On the Ravens-Steelers rivalry: "It's one of those things that – I've always thought when you play this game – you throw records out the window. It could be Week 16, or whatever, last game of the year and neither one of us has won a game. This is one of those ones that you get up and you talk to the young guys about, you talk to free agents about, because this is a different kind of ball game. It's not just a 1 o'clock, Sunday game. That's an animal in itself playing Baltimore. But going to Baltimore, playing at night, primetime game, it's like nothing these young guys or free agents have ever experienced."

On playing the Ravens early in the season: "This game is, like I said, every true football fan's dream come true, because it's never really high-scoring. It's usually really close. It's hard-hitting, it's nasty, it's two very similar teams. And it's just crazy that the NFL would schedule it so early for both of us to beat each other up so early."

On head coach Mike Tomlin stepping onto the field during the Ravens-Steelers game last season: "You know what? Until you brought it up, I hadn't even thought about it. Obviously, we know what happened and everything, but it's … Last year was last year. The things that happened, you can't afford to look back and think on those things. I know it came down to a two-point play and the last drive, and there were all kinds of things that happened in that game. But for us, it's about this season. I'm sure [the Ravens] are saying the same thing. It's about right here, right now."

On whether he re-tooled himself in the offseason to prepare for the season: "It was important for me to make sure that I was ready to play this year. I'm getting a little bit older at 32 now. And kind of the last couple years … Who knows how much longer you can play? But, [I am] getting myself ready, making sure I was in shape better than I've ever been, healthier than I've ever been, because I think that's the right thing to do."

On the importance of establishing the play-action: "Well, we want to be able to mix in everything. We have to take what the defense gives us, and that's not usually a lot, because they're so good on defense. And we have to be able to run the ball. We have to be able to throw it, the play-action. But it's not going to be easy to do any of it."

On preparing for CB Lardarius Webb: "You have to know what you have, what you had in the past against [the Ravens], what he can do, what he brings, his strengths, his weaknesses. And then you prepare that he's going to be out there, because he's a player and you expect that he's going to step up on this stage."

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