Inside the locker room


Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 12 game at the Seattle Seahawks.

COACH MIKE TOMLIN** (On the outcome…) "That was a hard-fought game.  It was two teams fighting tooth and nail.  It was a significant game, obviously.  They made the necessary plays to secure a big win. Really, in all three phases I thought our guys fought hard, but we had chances. But just not good enough today in some specific areas.  We're minus-four in turnovers. That's going to be difficult. We gave them some big plays on defense.  That's part of it.  I thought the fake field goal that was unsuccessful, I own that.  That's part of it.  But you can't question the effort.  Just not good enough today.  We'll own that.  We'll compliment them.  We'll make the necessary corrections moving forward.  From a health standpoint, Heath Miller has a rib injury that didn't allow him to continue.  Sean Spence has a hamstring, and Ryan Shazier and Ben (Roethlisberger) are both in concussion protocol.  I don't know where they are with that.  But that's all the information that I have."

(On if Roethlisberger's health issues prompted him to kick a field goal late in the game…)  "No it did not.  We needed to get a stop.  I felt confident in our ability to do it.  Obviously we didn't.  But those are calculated risks you take during football games.  It was a five-point game.  Just wanted the lead, and give those guys an opportunity to take the points and maybe win."

(On why it took so long for Roethlisberger to leave the field to be tested…) "All that stuff is going on behind me, guys.  I don't want to get into all of that.  We were going to do what's appropriate and take care of our guys.  So don't make that assumption, you know what I mean?  We're going to do what's right to safeguard the health of those guys.   My eyes are on the field.  I don't know.  We'll find out."

(On if he got his personnel on the field as he wished for the fake field goal…) "It was a change of quarter, and often in changes of quarter people are moseying around.  I didn't have any issue with that.  Those guys are executing and did a nice job.  They're a unit."


(On if he had a look on Seattle's kick team that led to his decision…) ** "I'm not going to get into that detail.  I just told you, I took responsibility for the play's failure, as I always do."

(On if the game plan was to rely so heavily on the passing game…) "We were going to take what they gave us.  Obviously we had some success throwing the football.  It is what it is.  We're going to mix. We feel like we can run it.  We feel like we can throw it.  Obviously we felt like the opportunities were there today in the passing game, and they were.  Just not enough largely, collectively to win."

(On Richard Sherman's interception, if he felt there was only incidental contact…) "I didn't have direct eyes on it, and often you don't get replays on plays such as that, particularly when you're on the road.  So I didn't see it."

(On getting Markus Wheaton more involved in the offense…) "When you're playing a team like that, and I think we even talked about it earlier in the week, if they're matching Richard Sherman, then other guys not named Antonio Brown are going to have opportunities, and that's what it's about.  Let's not make too much out of that.  Markus did a nice job, no question."


DE CAMERON HEYWARD** (On allowing 39 points…) "The offense gave us 30 points. When you get opportunities like that, it's hard to swallow the letdown. We've got to grow from this – myself included. It shouldn't sit well with any of us."

(On putting the blame on the defense…) "I think we should always look in the mirror. We've got to put a lot on us. I've got to make better plays; I have to get off double teams faster.  I have a lot of confidence in this team and our defense, but five touchdowns and 100 yards rushing is unacceptable."

(On forcing Seattle to convert on third downs…) "It gave us confidence, but we didn't have enough 3 and outs. There were so many times we had them on 3rd & long and we didn't capitalize. We kept them on the field. That's disheartening because it means that we were doing our job on first and second, and not getting off on the critical down. We talked about it going into this game – that was one of our goals – and we didn't accomplish that."

(On allowing the touchdown on 3rd & long…) "I would have to look at it, but if we get them at 3rd & 16, I am betting on us. There's no reason why we can't win that down. That's in our favor, and there is no way we should be letting them score on those plays or convert on those plays, as well."

(On the back and forth nature of the game…) "We still had a chance, but kudos to them – they did what they had to do to get the victory. They took care of business, we didn't."

(On if Russell Wilson surprised the defense…) "Yeah, he scored a lot of points. They had a good day today, kudos to them. They executed. They moved the chains when they were supposed to. We just needed to capitalize like we're supposed to today, and it really hurt us."

(On Wilson's ability to move out of the pocket in the second half…) "Like I said, he capitalized on those plays. We adjusted in the second half, but I don't know. They just capitalized on their plays and we didn't."

(On Doug Baldwin's 80-yard touchdown reception…) "I didn't even see that play – I was on the rush. I had my back turned to it. I heard the roar from the crowd, so by the time I turned around he was down by the end zone."

(On if the fake field goal attempt was a turning point…) "You can't say that because they scored two or three touchdowns after that, so in the big scheme of things we didn't execute, we didn't get off the field on third down, and we gave up too many points. That's the big scheme of things."

(On Doug Baldwin's 80-yard touchdown…) "They ran a good concept to beat the coverage we were in. The bottom line is that we have to make an incomplete pass or make a tackle on that."(On forcing Seattle to convert on 3rd & long…)

"Definitely. We had them behind the chains a lot on third down. They converted, and we stayed on the field. We needed to get off the field more."

(On falling out of the playoff picture…) "We just have to worry about ourselves and handle our business… We've just got to win games and make plays."

(On if Alejandro Villanueva was the primary option…) "Heath (Miller), then Al. They covered Heath pretty well and I tried to put one high for Al. He made a big play."

(On why Jeremy Lane was covering Villanueva…) "They read it out. That guy made a great play, man. You've got to give him props. He did an incredible job on that."

(On replacing Ben Roethlisberger for the final drive…) "Right when they were about to go onto the field the doctors started to check him out. I don't know what they were saying, but for brain stuff I feel like you have to be more safe than sorry."

(On concussion protocol…) "For me, I had a concussion in the preseason, and it was handled really well. I think it's a good thing to take it out of the players' hands and make it the doctors' call whether you can go into the game or not."

(On if there should changes to the current protocol…) "I don't know what else you can do. That's a better question for the doctors."


WR MARTAVIS BRYANT** (On the threat of deep balls…) "We always throw deep balls in the game, that's what we do. When we have a great matchup we've got to take advantage of it."

(On Ben Roethlisberger…) "Ben is a tough quarterback; he is a great quarterback. It's great to see his knee [is stable] and he's back to being his original self and doing things he should do."

(On his outlook…) "I just wanted to go out, play hard, and do what I have to do to support the team."G DAVID DECASTRO

(On where the team stands…) "It's one of those things where we have a lot of games left that we have to win. We've got to make it happen."

(On choosing to kick the field goal late in the game…) "It's one of those things where you trust your guys. We have put them in that situation before and we made it happen. You can't say that we should have done this or should have done that – everything looks right in hindsight. We have to be professionals and execute the plays that are called."

(On the fans creating a tough place to play…) "They are. [It is] a great football environment. I think both teams played a good game. We made more mistakes [and] they capitalized on them. We gave them the short field and they scored when they had to. We can't do that. Moving forward, the teams that we are playing, we've got to be honed in."

(On the defensive breakdown of big plays…) "We'll watch the film. We definitely can't give up the big plays like that… We've got to keep that down."

(On execution…) "You definitely tip your hat to them – they executed when we didn't. They capitalized on our mistakes."

(On if Seattle surprised the defense…) "I don't feel like they did. I just feel like they made plays and we didn't."(On if the blame is on the defense…)

"Our offense put up 30 points, they were moving the ball consistently throughout the game, so I definitely take the blame for that, defensively. It's something we have to learn from."

(On pinpointing what went wrong on defense…) "I've got to watch the film. The biggest thing that stood out was the big plays, and that's on us a whole. We can't give up big plays because it turns a day where we are feeling like we are having success into a disaster."

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