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What the Steelers Said After Beating Ravens

HC Mike Tomlin
HC Mike Tomlin

Head Coach Mike Tomlin

(Opening Statement)"[I'm] really proud of those guys in that locker room. Another challenging week, hostile environment, primetime television on the road, but those guys didn't blink. We obviously fell short of perfection in areas, penalties and things. It's an emotional game and an emotional environment. I really thought we got a hold of ourselves at the half and had some real frank conversations and had the type of focus that was needed to finish the game out. For that, I'm thankful. I can't say enough about our young QB [Kenny Pickett]. He smiled in the face of it. He's always ready to be that guy in the moments that we need him. And it's just good to see the young guy. We marched forward."

(on how they contained the run in the second half) "Like we talked about during the week, we had to throw a little bit more schematics at them, and we did. Can't say enough about young guys. Leal [DeMarvin] and Mark Robinson stepping up. The reason why we played them is, although they lack experience, the type of game that we were in lended itself to their approach to ball. They're combative, confrontational young people, and it was needed." 

(on keeping playoff hopes alive)"That's this game, particularly on this level. They're going to be challenges. You're going to be up against it. It's not about what happens to you, it's how you respond to it. We're a group that stays solid despite circumstance. As long as we keep bringing that stay solid mentality, we know what's in front of us." 

(on RB Najee Harris)"Najee wants it. He wants to be the focal point. He likes the tough circumstances. It's good to have young people that are running to it, as opposed to from it. We've got some young people that run to the action, and that's a good thing." 

(on the game-winning touchdown pass from QB Kenny Pickett to RB Najee Harris) "The play got extended. He moved to his left. Najee kept his eyes on him. Just two highly competitive guys finishing and making a play. Much like last week, I just like the overall demeanor of the collective in those moments when it's thick. Nobody is acting funny. You can drill it, but it's just that it's a drill. The reality of it is always a little bit different than the drill work."

QB Kenny Pickett

(on the touchdown at the end of the game)"I wanted to get my eyes downfield and give one of our guys a shot. We had a real similar play earlier to Najee [Harris], kind of extending it. He was down the left side, and you know, we didn't hit it, but really happy that we got him the one that counted." 

(on if the touchdown pass was intended for RB Najee Harris) "Yeah, yeah. He did a great job of extending and slipping past the linebacker. I just wanted to extend long enough to where those guys could free themselves up a little bit." 

(on the confidence level going into the game winning drive) "It's the same every time. It's just that everyone has to do their job. I've got to find a way to get the guys the ball and get in the endzone. So, it's a team effort, a group effort. Stevie [WR Steven Sims] really did a huge job by bending in there on that seam. Biggest play of the drive besides the touchdown. You never know when your number is going to be called and Stevie stepped up tonight. Huge for us." 

(on if the play was designed to go WR Steven Sims) "It's part of the call. We have options in every call and it was something, you know, I felt the safeties getting off the hash and speed to get behind the linebacker and in front of the safety. If he didn't bend, it wouldn't have worked out well. So, it was one of those timing and trust things that he was going to bend in front of that safety. He made a hell of a catch." 

(on what he thinks about the Pittsburgh vs. Baltimore rivalry) "Yeah, physical. Came down to the wire, just like the last one. You know, I was watching the last one, obviously. I saw it on tape, but now I got to experience it. It meets expectations, kind of exceeds it with how loud the crowd was. Their fans are passionate just like our fans. So, it's a great rivalry." 

(on the key to the running game) "I think it was the offensive line. The surge off the ball was great. Najee [Harris] and Jaylen [Warren] were setting the blocks. Hitting some jets, kind of getting them running, horizontally. And you know the basket, put their foot in the ground and get vertical. So, I think Coach [Matt] Canada called a great game and had us kind of doing different things and kept them on their toes a little bit."

S Minkah Fitzpatrick

(on his interception at the end of the game) "A couple of plays before, they were in the exact same look, same play. He [Tyler Huntley] scrambled and looked back across the field. I think the guy was open behind me, but he threw it short. That was really critical. I felt the guy going across my back and just made a break on the ball." 

(on playing multiple types of defenses week to week) "I kind of like that we have been a little bit different week to week. It doesn't make us stagnant; it doesn't make us an easy target. It's more because the offenses we've been playing are different style offenses. So, we've got to adjust and do different things week to week." 

(on the moment between him and DT Cameron Heyward after his personal foul) "It's just football. Something happens. We were just talking through the play. Making sure that at the end of the day, we are doing what we've got to do to win. That's it." 

(on his injury) "I rolled it pretty bad. It's hurting, but I finished the game. I was feeling it every play, but I could finish the game."

RB Najee Harris

(on his touchdown catch at the end of the game)"It's a motion-out play. Obviously, if the guy comes to me or not, I have to motion-out. And you know, I'm good right there. But if not, then Kenny [Pickett] looks somewhere else. But then it turned into the scramble rule and I just scramble, like in practice, and I was open and Kenny threw a good ball, and I was able to catch it and score." 

(on doing a better job rushing the ball compared to last time they played the Ravens) "That was a challenge the first time we played them this year. They've got a great rush defense, great defense in general. So, we know if we can control the line, then we'll be able to win the game. Last week, we didn't do that and this game, we were able to do that. So obviously, that helped us with the outcome. But you know, this rivalry, that's what it's going to be like. When we control the line of scrimmage, we win the game. It's just that plain and simple. That was what Mike Tomlin challenged us offensively and challenged me to get downhill and run on them, and that's what we did. We executed the plan." 

(on if it was difficult to stay with the run game) "No, it was rather just frustrating because we knew we were doing a good job of controlling it and we were really just hurting ourselves. You know, there's nothing that they did really to make us go off our gameplan and all that stuff we did; we had a false start, we stepped out of bounds right there. You know, we had a couple of penalties. I think we had the most penalties in the game and it was just stuff that we did. And going back to what I said, it's stuff that we do that hurts ourselves. We did that last game, you know, with the turnovers and this time we were able to control the ball, not give up good turnovers, and we controlled the line of scrimmage. So, it helped us obviously with the outcome." 

(on how it feels to win here in Baltimore) "It feels really good. It was good man, you know, to come in here and win. You know, it's obviously a tough environment, the rivalry is there. You know, to come in there and talk a little [smack] as always."

DT Cameron Heyward

(on the defensive line's performance)"We were consistently in our gaps. A couple times [Tyler Huntley] squirted out, but I thought for the most part we were able to match fire with fire." 

(on his unnecessary roughness penalty) "After seeing it, you know, I was already hot because I tried to put my hands up, and I got pulled back down, and I made contact with the ref. I didn't even know I made contact with the ref. That's when they threw the flag. It's unfortunate. I would have felt horrible if we lost that game because of me. My teammates were able to get it done though." 

(on talking to the referee about the unnecessary roughness penalty) "It's football. I was just trying to have that conversation. I've earned that right being in the league for a long time. I've been able to talk to a lot of refs, and I was a little irritated at this one."

WR George Pickens

(on how QB Kenny Pickett is playing with moxie) "I just really see a lot of guys putting in hard work and he [Kenny Pickett] is one of them guys. His effort, his thought process, the way he conducts himself. [There are] certain things out of a quarterback that need to happen that he does well in person. " 

(on when he felt that they could win the game) "To be honest, I never really thought that we were out of this one because it was a field goal battle. And with all that, you need seven [points] to compliment that. I never really thought we were out of this game, because they only had 13 points. So, I knew that if we could put up two TDs [touchdowns] or get a few field goals, which we did, or score at the end, which we did. That was going to be clutch." 

(on how the Ravens covered him differently from the first game) "Just a lot of protection. Guys having a safety over the top. So, really, you can't do anything with that when you are running a route with a guy over the top. So, that is probably what I would say. A lot of bracket coverage." 

LB Robert Spillane

(on the Steelers' linebacking core)"I think there's a lot of love in that room. We all want to look out for each other and take care of each other. It shows in the victory tonight." 

(on being heavily involved in the run defense) "It feels great. I love being on the field. This is what I love to do; come out and play football. It's something that I never take for granted." 

(on stopping the run in the second half) "I think we did a good job all night stopping the run. We were getting them in second-and-long, third-and-long situations and then getting off the field. I'm really proud of my guys for stepping up tonight."

LB T.J. Watt

(on shutting the Ravens out after going down 13-3) "We were just being aggressive. I think that's the thing as a defense. We've been playing more aggressive, but when you play a zone-read team, sometimes it kind of slows you down. You've just got to go, and I think that's what we did a better job of." 

(on the impact of LB Mark Robinson and DE DeMarvin Leal) "Mark [Robinson] throws his face in the fan every time he is going to hit hard. I'm super proud of the development he is showing this year. [DeMarvin] Leal, he's a 'yes' guy. He's going to do whatever it takes to win for this team, whether it's dropping in coverage, or rushing the passer, or sitting in the C-gap. I'm really proud of those guys." 

(on if there was a feeling of deja vu playing for playoff contention in Baltimore) "It all blends together honestly, every time we play. Earlier Coach [Mike Tomlin] said, like the last 30 times, maybe 33 times, we've played the Ravens there's a three-point differential. Today was no different."

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