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What the Steelers Are Saying About the Ravens


Head Coach Mike Tomlin

On if the Ravens defense is doing anything different this year:

"At this juncture, they are making some splash plays. They are catching the ball in the back end, they are creating disruption upfront, and they have very familiar characters that are providing a wave that the other guys are riding. [Terrell] Suggs is a dominant player and has been for an extremely long time. He is setting the pace – sack-fumbles and tipped passes and so forth. They put together a really solid secondary. They had acquisitions of veteran guys at safety, drafted a quality talent at cornerback like [Marlon] Humphrey, and obviously, have the acquisition of [Brandon] Carr. They are playing really good football up front and in the back end."

On what makes Terrell Suggs a special player:

"I think it is his football intelligence. His physical talents are what they are, and they are well-documented. He is athletic. He is powerful. But his awareness, his feel for the game is displayed statistically in the number of passes that he bats and the fact that he is always not just playing for a sack, but that he is a ball-aware guy, he is a sack-fumble guy. I just think his football intelligence is on display in just about every element of his game. He is a very aware player. He makes plays because of that. He has very good hands and eyes."

On if Suggs has ever talked to Tomlin during a game, and what was said:

"He has, and I won't. *(laughter) *He is a tremendous competitor. I have a lot of respect for him. It is a lot of fun competing against him; it has been over the years. Any exchanges of that nature are just in that spirit. There is a mutual respect."

On if it helps to play the Ravens coming off a loss:

"I think the opponent is irrelevant. Football is a man versus himself battle. It really is, particularly at this level. It is about us preparing and playing at the level of our capabilities, just like it is for Baltimore. The opponent is less important than those things."

QB Ben Roethlisberger

On the rivalry:

"This game is crazy. It's a special game. I'm still here, Suggs is still over there. We have a lot of respect for each other in this rivalry. C.J. Mosley and Jimmy Smith and [Brandon] Carr and Eric Weddle now; I think we have enough guys here now that have played this physical AFC North game, both there, here, playoff games. I don't think it will take long if the young guys don't know now what it's going to be about."

On how to beat the Ravens defense:

"I don't know yet. We're still working on that. They are a very good defense. Eight interceptions, 10 turnovers in three games – that's unheard of. Suggs is still him, he's still getting after it, a lot of respect for him doing it this long. Obviously C.J. has kind of taken that role of Ray Lewis in the middle directing that defense. Their secondary, they spent a lot of money on it and they're playing like they spent a lot of money on it. Whether a ball is tipped in the air, they always seem to find it, or if they just step in front of a pass, they know how to play the pass well. They kind of force you to not run the ball, so you have to throw it, and that's when they jump all over you."

On what makes Baltimore a tough place to play:

"It's a tough environment. The crowd is loud and they really feed off that. Silent count. They can't really get off the snap of the ball. Create some issues. Get you behind the chains, force you to pass it and then throw some different blitzes at you. Their rushers and coverage guys just create a lot of tough situations for you."

On the struggles of the Steelers offense:

"The quarterback needs to play better. I didn't play well enough to win. I feel like we lost the game because of me, because I didn't play well enough. It's not on anyone else."

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