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What the Steelers Said After Their 23-16 Win

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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 Pittsburgh’s third-down conversion rate of 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 the Ravens to field goals) “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 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.”

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 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 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 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.”

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."

LB Jon Bostic

(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.”

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.”

CB Joe Haden

(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 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.”

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