STEELERS NATION UNITE: Join for FREE | Login

News

Print

Inside the locker room at Baltimore

Posted Dec 27, 2015

Go inside of the Steelers' locker room after a 20-17 Week 16 loss to the Ravens.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin
(opening statement) “I’ll tell you guys the same thing that I just told the football team. We’re capable of beating anyone, but we’re also capable of losing to anyone. Particularly if we lose the turnover battle, which we lost today. We didn’t secure the ball. We didn’t get the ball. So, we were minus two. Or you can view it as minus three with the turnover on downs of the first possession of the game where we didn’t get points. That creates an atmosphere for what just happened. I give those guys [Ravens] credit. They did what was necessary to win today. They made critical plays, particularly in the turnover game. They took care of the ball, and we didn’t. Hopefully, it will give us an opportunity to learn from this, and we’ll learn that hard lesson moving forward. We didn’t handle the business in the stadium today so we’re left to look around at other stadiums. Such is life this time of year when you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. And we didn’t today. We take ownership of that. From an injury standpoint, [Antwon] Blake went out with a back. He’s being evaluated. [Roosevelt] Nix with a foot, the fifth metatarsal, Mike Mitchell had a shoulder that occurred a little bit in the recent weeks. We’ll evaluate those guys and others, but, more importantly, it was a painful lesson we learned today if we already hadn’t learned it in terms of the turnover ratio.”

(on the Ravens stopping the offense) “We turned the ball over, and they had something to do with that. Obviously, they got the turnovers.”

(on two straight slow starts) “I’m not going to give you an emotional response there. I was comfortable with the way we were playing. We just can’t lose the turnover battle.”

(on whether he changed his decision to kick a field goal on the first series) “No, there was no change.”

(on whether Ben Roethlisberger never got into a rhythm) “I’ll let him speak for himself in that regard.”

(on the Ravens’ defense) “They worked hard. They didn’t do anything that others don’t do consistently when they play us. They worked hard to minimize [Antonio Brown] on possession downs. They did a nice job of mixing the rest of it up in terms of playing coverage and pressures. They did a nice job.”

(on losing control of playoff possibilities) “We’ll see how today finishes, and we’ll go from there. That’s all we can do.”

(on not stopping the Ravens’ running game) “I wasn’t completely disappointed about that element of the game, really. I gave you guys my assessment in terms of what I thought was critical in terms of determining the outcome of the game. We didn’t make enough splash on defense and create turnovers.”

(on being aware of the Ravens’ decision to start Ryan Mallett) “Yes.”

QB Ben Roethlisberger
(on if Baltimore’s defense presented new challenges) “No. We just didn’t make the plays today. It’s hard to get anything going if you don’t convert third downs, and that’s a credit to them. They did a good job of slowing us down on third down, and that was a big key to the game.”

(on what was the difference in the game) “It really comes down to third downs. And it’s really a game of inches, and we just didn’t make the plays to stay on the field.”

(on the last series, third and fourth downs) “We knew we had to take a couple of shots, so we went outside, single-upped, and then the last one, kind of the same thing. We just had to get everything on that one and weren’t able to make the play.”

(on not controlling your own destiny) “Really, that’s our fault, my fault. We controlled our destiny, but we gave the ball away today, and we can’t do that. I can’t do that.”

(on conservative first half game plan) “That’s really because of them. They played a lot of deep coverage today and forced us to run the ball. I thought we did a great job of running the ball. I thought our line did a good job of making it happen. They say it’s a game of inches, and it just went their way today.”

(on scoring 30 points in each of last six games and not today) “We’ve always said that we can only beat ourselves. Obviously, they did a good job of stopping us today, but still we had a couple of times to make plays. Obviously the turnovers hurt us today. Like I said, it’s a game of inches. I got Antonio Brown down the middle, and you can never throw it short down the middle. I left it a couple of inches short, and their guy [Daryl Smith] makes the play. The second one to Antonio Brown was a pass that we’ve completed a thousand times before, and I didn’t put it outside a couple more inches, and he [Jimmy Smith] made a great play on it for them. A few more inches outside, and it’s not a pick.”

(on going for it for it on fourth down early) “No, I’m glad we went for it. I thought it was a good call, and we were moving the ball. Unfortunately, one of our linemen tripped, and we just weren’t able to make the play.”

(on difference between last week and this week) “They’re just a good defense. We didn’t make the plays today when we had to on third down or whenever it was to win the football game.”

(on not controlling playoff destiny) “We don’t have that right now. Like I said, we shot ourselves in the foot today. It’s our fault. It’s my fault. The only thing we can do now is play, win, watch and hope.”

DE Cameron Heyward
(on what the Ravens were able to do offensively) “They were throwing a lot of short balls and got into a good rhythm. We weren’t surprised by that, but it was very effective.”

(on disappointment of loss) “Really, the only thing we can do is prepare for Cleveland. We can’t worry about what the Jets do – we put ourselves in this position. Obviously we need help. All we can do is win next week.”

(on their play last week vs. Denver versus today) “You go week to week in this league, and sometimes there’s inconsistency all the way around. It’s a downer. It makes me mad as a leader to know that we didn’t get the job done. We have to look right in the mirror. This is unacceptable.”

(on being prepared by coaches) “Yeah, the coaches prepared us. It’s not their fault – it’s our fault. I thought the coaches prepared us very well, but we didn’t do our job. I can’t look at anyone else except myself. I have to be a better teammate, a better player, a better leader. I have to communicate better. It’s tough to admit all this, but I have to be better.”

(on if they were surprised at Baltimore’s efficiency) “No, they were completing shorter passes and got into a good rhythm, and we didn’t get off the field when we needed to. I thought we did well to rally to the ball and put pressure, but he [Ryan Mallett] was able to get it off and we couldn’t do it. We didn’t win the turnover battle, and when we don’t win the turnover battle, it lowers our chances of winning.”

(on not controlling destiny) “All we can do is tune everything out and go play a game. It sucks, but we made our bed for us. It’s hard to look outside and say, ‘Do this for us.’ I just hope we get another chance, but it disturbs me as a leader of this team, I didn’t get the job done.”

LB Ryan Shazier
(on overall thought of the loss) “Really, they just did a better job than we did. We expected them to battle – it’s an AFC North game, and that’s exactly what they did.”

(on reaction to Ravens going no-huddle) “No, we expected them to do that. Really, it ended up that they did what they wanted to do, and we didn’t do what we wanted to do.”

(on not controlling destiny) “All we can do is win. If we don’t take care of our business then nothing matters. We can’t control what happens in the Jets stadium or wherever, so we just have to control what happens in Cleveland next week.”

(on disappointing loss) “It’s very disappointing, because we knew that if we won this game, we would be in control. Obviously the one thing you don’t want to do is lose. We just didn’t take care of our business, and that’s the most frustrating part. We just didn’t get our job done.”

S Mike Mitchell
(general comment) “It was all about execution. They were just able to make more plays than we did. We always thought that we could get it going, but hey, hats off to Baltimore. They made more plays today than we did.”

(on chance that Baltimore ended Steelers’ postseason) “I don’t know, we’ll see what happens next week. Like I said, hats off to Baltimore.”

(on if Mallett’s performance was surprising) “No.”

(on the Ravens using the no-huddle) “We knew they were a quick-tempo team, and they didn’t do anything that we weren’t expecting today.”

(on how they prepare themselves for next week) “We have a job to do. We have to be professionals, and we may still have a chance in it, so we have to handle our next game.”

(on Baltimore’s success in long-distance situations) “I really don’t know why, I have to look at the film. I know they did a good job of finding the zones, finding the seams.”

(on if communication in the secondary was an issue) “No, I thought we communicated well, but they executed.”

WR Antonio Brown
(on if the loss was on the offense) “It’s a team loss. It’s not on any one thing or individual. It’s us a whole. As the Steelers, we lost today.”

(on not being able to score as many points as they have been) “We just didn’t get it done today. We need to bounce back next week against a good opponent.”

(on the time of possession) “Time of possession, turning the ball over, that was a pivotal point in today’s game. We just didn’t get it done. Anytime you turn over the ball, you don’t get those points, that’s what happened today, that’s the outcome.”

(on if the Steelers were over confident) “I don’t think we overlook anyone. It was time of possession, turning the ball over. We have to find a way to be better in that area, especially on the road.”

(on losing to the Ravens twice) “It’s the NFL. You can’t take any team for granted. Everybody is going to come out and give us their best shot, and today we didn’t play our best.”

(on the second half of the Denver game versus today’s game) “It doesn’t matter. We came out today. We didn’t have time of possession and we turned the ball over.”

(on if the Ravens did anything differently than expected) “We have to protect the ball. We have to play smart. Anytime you come on the road, you always have to protect the ball and get time of possession. And we lost in both of those departments today.”

CB William Gay
(on the defense) “We lost as a team and now we’re 9-6. That was our performance.”

(on QB Ryan Mallett’s play) “We lost the game and hats off to them”

LB Lawrence Timmons
(on the defense) “We just kind of started off flat. We have to finish stronger. We have to get off the bus and come out here like fire. Set the tempo. Make big plays. We lost a turnover battle today and that’s not like us. That’s not what we do.”

(on QB Ryan Mallett’s play) “He has a rifle. I thought I had a pick on a play; he put it right in there. I have to give it to him; he came in here and got the job done. You’ve got to give that to him. I have nothing but respect for him.”

(on the Ravens rivalry) “This is the AFC North. I’ve been battling with this for six or seven years, probably longer than that. As a linebacker, I love this type of game. It’s physical. I’ve been playing in the NFL for nine years. I love this game every time we play them.”

WR Markus Wheaton
(on the offense’s play) “We just didn’t make plays when we needed to. A couple third downs we needed to make; we just didn’t make them. A couple fourth downs we needed to make.”

(on his play) “I didn’t make that last play. It’s kind of frustrating. I wish I had that one back. I had one on one, so Ben [Roethlisberger] came to me. I tried to go for it, and the guy made a good play.”

RB DeAngelo Williams
(on whether it was Pittsburgh’s game plan to run the ball) “Our plan was to come in here and do what we do best. Our plan was to move the ball up and down the field and score points. We had a few guys that stalled, and we had a few turnovers in places when we didn’t execute. That’s what cost us the game.”

(on whether the Steelers hurt themselves or the Ravens defense stopped them) “It was a little of both. It was a combination of us hurting ourselves. They played a really good game, and they executed well. They executed better than we did.”

(on facing the Ravens as a Steeler) “I haven’t been in this rivalry very long, but I know all about it. You throw out the records and the stats and everything else, because it’s Steelers and Ravens. It’s going to be a very physical game, and you have to be prepared for that.”

(on whether the Steelers were flat) “No, I don’t think we were lacking intensity. With the playoffs on the line and playing our rivals, we don’t overlook anyone. We just didn’t execute, and that is very frustrating.”

(on the Steelers not controlling their destiny) “We have to win next week. We’ll be going into another tough environment, facing another AFC North team in Cleveland. We just have to execute and worry about ourselves, then let the chips fall where they may.”

(on the fourth down play in the first quarter when the Steelers came up short) “I’m not sure if it was a big swing of momentum. We were disappointed we didn’t get any points. If that play had happened in the fourth quarter, it may have been a big momentum swing.”

LB James Harrison
(on whether the Steelers were flat) “I thought maybe we were in the first quarter, but we came back strong. You have to give credit where credit is due: they played very well today. It doesn’t get much worse than this. We had control of everything in front of us, and we just didn’t come through. A few mistakes cost us big plays, and they capitalized.”

(on whether the Ravens offense surprised the Steelers) “No, they pretty much did what we thought they would do. They just executed well. Give them a lot of credit. They played really well.”

(on the Al Jazeera report) “Plainly, it is B.S. I’ve never heard of those guys. I never took a steroid, and I don’t plan to. Just because somebody says something doesn’t mean it’s true. I just work hard. I don’t take steroids, and I guess it’s a compliment to me that people think I do. There is nothing to this report.”