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Opponents on Steelers

Raiders are talking about T.J., Ben and more

The Steelers are headed back to Heinz Field on Sunday for the home opener against the Las Vegas Raiders. Both teams head into the game with a 1-0 record, and it will be a matchup of two teams that have a long history.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr even threw it back to the 1972 Steelers win over the Raiders in the AFC Divisional Playoff game, the game where Franco Harris made the legendary 'Immaculate Reception.' 

"You got to respect them obviously," said Carr. "That ball touched the ground (The Immaculate Reception).

"We've had our fair share of battles in my career too, which is fun for me to have a little bit of history in that rivalry. Just crazy memories when you think about these two teams, and I'm blessed that I get to live a life where I get to be a part of that honestly.

"As a football fan, I'm honored that I get to even step on the field at Heinz Field and get to play against these guys. It's cool for me as a fan, but as a competitor you want to do well and win the game."

The Raiders talked about a variety of other topics, including T.J. Watt, Ben Roethlisberger and more.

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Coach Jon Gruden on how much of a test the Steelers defense is going to be for the Raiders offensive line:
"They are going to be a challenge. They've obviously added (Joe) Schobert and Melvin Ingram, a couple really good veteran players to go with T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward. They're well coached. Keith Butler does a great job, and they too are unorthodox. They present a lot of different looks, and we have our work cut out for us on a short week."

Defensive end Maxx Crosby on Roethlisberger:
"Obviously he's not as athletic as Lamar Jackson (laughing). Lamar is kind of an anomaly in a way. But Big Ben is a great quarterback. Big Ben is a heck of a player. He's a first ballot Hall of Famer. We're definitely looking forward to it and I'm excited."

Quarterback Derek Carr on what he has seen from Ben Roethlisberger over the years:
 "Ben is unbelievable at extending plays. I don't know if he would win in a foot race with the guy we played last week (Lamar Jackson), but Ben is someone I've admired from afar forever. He's a great talent. I was able to be at one Pro Bowl with him, so I got to ask him a lot of questions and just kind of listen and learn. He's a Hall of Fame quarterback and who wouldn't take the opportunity to try and learn from that guy. So, I just sat there, and I listened to how he talked to his team and the players that he had there with him and communicated with his coaches that were there. They had their staff, so it was kind of nice to see that too.

"But he's unbelievable at extending plays in the pocket. He can extend plays out the pocket, but he can also do it in the pocket. He's unbelievable at that. He's crazy accurate. He's not afraid to take chances, you've seen that throughout his whole career, and he's gotten a couple of rings out of it. He's one of the best quarterbacks in our game still. That's one thing too, is in the offseason you hear, is he done? And I'm like, I watch the film on this guy, I hope he's not done. I mean the guy is unbelievable. He's playing at a high level, so our guys, they'll be ready, but I hope they're ready because he's one of the best to do it." 

Gruden on what T.J. Watt brings to the Steelers defense:
"I mean you've seen him. I'm not going to say anything you don't know, or fans don't know. He's one of the premier edge rushers in the business and you better account for him or you're in trouble."

Carr on how much Watt changes the game with his disruption:
"He just doesn't stop. Just like his brother (J.J. Watt). Those two guys, whenever you play them, you know you're in for a fight for the whole down and they're going to fight and claw and do whatever they can to get to you. Whether you hold it for one second or you hold it for eight, they are not going to stop. The one thing I do know is the guys that are playing alongside of him on that front make it really hard also. You can tell they are a very unselfish group. Whoever makes the play they are all celebrating each other and all those kinds of things, so you can tell that bond is special and they all know they can all eat because the other guy does his job.

"He's fun to watch from afar and I admire his game, but exciting challenge for us also to go against him. He got his new contract and deserves every penny. That's easy to see, but it's also fun to compete against the best."

Crosby on if he watched the Steelers growing up:
"My best friend growing up, Nelson, he was a diehard, he still is a diehard, Steelers fan. We used to go to Buffalo Wild Wings in Grapevine, Texas, every Sunday and watch the football games and he would have his Troy Polamalu jersey on, and he would always talk about Big Ben, the Steelers constantly. His dad is also a diehard Steelers fan.

"I grew up hearing about the Steelers all the time. You know they're a legendary organization. They've done it the right way for numerous years. And it's exciting going to Pittsburgh. I've never been there in my life and really looking forward to it. It's got a lot of tradition."

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