Skip to main content

Beachum: 'It's nasty. It's mean. It's personal.'

Prime Time Rivalry: It's a rivalry that's made for prime time television, one that deserves the bright lights, the attention of all football fans focused on it.

It's Steelers-Ravens. One that isn't for the weak of heart.

"It's nasty," said tackle Kelvin Beachum when asked to describe it. "That's what it boils down to. It's mean. It's personal. We know that, they know that. The history of this rivalry proves that. If it were one word, nasty."

Earlier this year it was in Baltimore, on a Thursday night, when the Steelers lost to the Ravens 26-6.

This week it's at Heinz Field, on NBC's Sunday Night Football, a battle in the tight AFC North.

It's Steelers-Ravens. And for most players, that's enough.

"Not a lot needs to be said," said Beachum. "We know what we need to do. We didn't come out and play the game we needed to play when we were in Baltimore. We left a lot of plays on the field. We just didn't do the job. We know what this rivalry is all about. We need to take care of business. We have a tough opponent in front of us. We just have to do a great job."

And while they have moved on from that September loss, any time you lose to your division rival it doesn't completely go away.

"You can call it revenge," said cornerback Will Gay. "They spanked our butts on national television on a Thursday night. We need to get that back. It's Baltimore week. There is a lot on the line. Both teams are trying to get to 6-3. We have to do everything we can to make sure we get to 6-3."

The players are expecting the atmosphere at Heinz Field to be electric, with the combination of the Ravens and the Joe Greene jersey retirement. They are ready.

"It's about the fans making sure we are up for the rivalry," said Gay. "It's an important game because it's the next game, it's an AFC North opponent, but then you put Baltimore Ravens on top of it.

"The atmosphere is one you can't even explain. It's going to be scary at Heinz Field."

A look at the Ravens:The key to the Ravens offense this season has been the play of veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. Smith leads the Ravens in receiving with 41 catches for 675 yards and four touchdowns.  

"Steve Smith, Sr. is still Steve Smith, Sr.," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "He is a man for all situations for them. He is making critical and combat plays for them. He is tough to get on the ground after the catch. He has proven that over the course of his career. It was a factor the last time we played them in terms of the yards he was able to get after the catch. We have to minimize that.

"You have to work to deny a guy like that the ball, but you are probably not going to deny him the ball. But you can work to minimize his impact after the catch. We have to do a good job of staying close to him and tackling the catch in regards to him."

What the Steelers are saying:
About Joe Greene, who will have his No. 75 retired on Sunday night:

Cornerback Ike Taylor:
"He is what the emblem on the Steelers helmet is. He is what it means to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. What it is to dominate and play hurt. A guy who could have been as selfish as he wanted to be, but by being unselfish was better for the team. A guy who hated to lose. A guy with a lot of pride. He started all of this."

Center Maurkice Pouncey:
"He is the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the greatest player to ever play here. If you watch 'The Football Life: Joe Greene' it really shows the impact he had on this football team, this organization. When I came here and got to meet him, great guy. He is an inspiration when you see him. He is a great guy and was the keystone for the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Linebacker James Harrison:
"I can't even put into words what he means to the Steelers organization."

Steve McLendon:
"Joe Greene means something to everyone in this locker room. He is one of the greatest Steelers of all time. That's the standard." 

The Ravens perspective:Ravens Coach John Harbaugh on the Steelers:
"They have good players. They're well-coached, tough as nails. They compete like crazy. They have a lot of pride over there. We understand all that, and we have respect for them. We play them all the time, and we know what they're about. We're very comfortable in that rivalry. We're very comfortable in that stadium. We understand what it takes to win there. We've won there. We've lost there. We've been in great games there. So, we'll be there. We'll be there right on time. We're not really thinking about them as much as we are thinking about how we play. We need to play to win the game."

The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Baltimore Ravens.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.