What the Steelers Are Saying About the Ravens


QB Ben Roethlisberger

On the Steelers' drama with Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown: "I think the noise is more outside the locker room than it is in it. Your guys' job is to report these things, and sometimes make a bigger deal of it than it really is, or that it is in the locker room and it appears bigger. So for us, there's nothing to it. We're fine; we're moving and grooving and moving on to the next week. Our mindset is just about football, so we don't worry too much about that other stuff."

On if he enjoys the Ravens-Steelers rivalry: "Yes and no. Yes in the sense that it's just … Man, I remember the days, and even now still going against that guy – [No.] 55 [Terrell Suggs] over there … Ray Lewis, [Haloti] Ngata, Ed Reed – the list goes on and on over there of guys that I just have the utmost respect for that are Hall of Fame players, that you enjoy just playing football and going against these guys. It's fun in that sense. It's not fun because typically after this, you feel like you've been in about five or six car wrecks. So it takes a toll on your body. So in a sense, it's not fun, but in a sense of just being a purist and loving football – this is a great rivalry."

On if his earlier comments about there being too many roughing the passer calls apply to Suggs: "Absolutely – if he gets close to me, I'm asking for flag."

On if Suggs is at the top of his personal rivalries: "We've played so many years against each other. I was blessed – I say 'blessed' because he's a Hall of Famer to play against – Ray Lewis, and I know Ed Reed is going to get in the Hall of Fame, too, for a good amount of years. I've been going on 14 years [playing] against Suggs and he's a first ballot guy for me. I'm not just trying to pump him up because we're about to play him. I truly feel that way. I would think … I know he does a lot of talking about me too, but I think there's a lot of mutual respect there between each other. There's a little bit of talking on the field – I wouldn't call it trash talking – but there's some mutual respect trash talking if you will that goes on. It's a special rivalry he and I have."

On if he can remember a specific on-field conversation he's had with Suggs: "When it comes from him, it's probably not family-friendly, so I'm not going to say anything like that."

On Wink Martindale's defensive system vs. Dean Pees' defense: "You know what, to me, it's about the players. You can talk about scheme and different kinds of things, but to me the players make the team and make the defense. You have [Eric] Weddle back there, a guy who I respect. He's calling the defense. That's crazy to think about a safety wearing the green dot on the helmet and calling the defense. Not sure if C.J. [Mosley] is coming back or not this week, but that's huge. You have [Terrell] Suggs and guys who make plays. So for me, it's just about knowing where those guys are and trying to find a way to block them."

On how the Ravens defense changes without C.J. Mosley: "Well he's one of the best linebackers in the game. In terms of playmaking, obviously when he's your signal caller, getting guys set up, his experience … He's just a phenomenal football player, maybe even better guy. I just think that when he's out there, he's a difference-maker."

Head Coach Mike Tomlin

On whether Bell's holdout and Brown's frustrations have affected the Steelers' mood: "No, we're focused on Baltimore, man. We have a short week. We're just coming off a Monday night game. It hasn't been on our radar at all, really. We're singularly and professionally focused on preparation for this game."

On his relationship with fellow long-time AFC North coaches John Harbaugh and Marvin Lewis: "There's a professional relationship, and those things are based on the here and now. The matchups, the strategies, some of the assistant coaches and things change, core players have changed, so it's changed elements of the matchup. On a personal level, I just think there's a level of respect there between men who have competed for the same things for an extended period of time, and I think we're all capable of separating the two."

On what he sees from Marlon Humphrey on tape: "Man, he's a top-notch athlete and really good player. Scouted him a lot when he came out, had a lot respect for his talents, and he appears to be off to a great start in his career."

On Roethlisberger and Suggs' rivalry: "Man, two legendary competitors battling. It's been entertaining just from that standpoint, but it's been also fun to watch their mutual respect and competitive spirit even grow over the course of their careers. I'm sure their stories are a shared one involving each other, which is one of the unique things that series such as this and careers such as theirs provide all of us."

On facing Marshal Yanda again after he was out both games last year: "I just have a lot of respect for him and his body of work and how he plays. I always have. It's obvious that he's the heartbeat of that unit and has been for a long time. I'll leave the evaluation of his play up to those guys."

On the Ravens' balanced passing attack: "I don't know that that affects us more so than just us getting familiar with the new key components. [Michael] Crabtree is new, John Brown is new, Snead [Willie Snead IV] is new, so getting a feel for those players, the division of labor and how they work and work together and how we can work to minimize it – things that you can kind of be familiar with in the series like this – is somewhat new for us. So, I think that's probably more of a focus than them spreading the ball around."

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