It's a tough game.
It's a physical game.
It's a hard-hitting game.
But when it comes to the Steelers-Ravens game, it's also one of mutual respect.
"We respect the Steelers, the whole organization from the top down," said Ravens Coach John Harbaugh. "From the ownership, the Rooneys have been tremendous. I can remember Mr. (Dan) Rooney before he passed away, in our stadium or their stadium, would come down after the game, win or lose, would always shake my hand and just say well-played game. The epitome of class. I think their organization reflects the family. The values of the region and the family for sure. General manager, head coach, coaching staff, scouts, everybody. The kind of players they bring in. We had a chance to be around their players in the Pro Bowl and really enjoyed that. Have respect for them. You can see why they are successful. All of the things they embody show up on the field."
When the Steelers and Ravens meet on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, that respect will be evident, as it was this week when the Ravens talked about the Steelers, including Ben Roethlisberger, Chase Claypool, Minkah Fitzpatrick and more.
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Coach John Harbaugh if he sees Ben Roethlisberger getting rid of ball quicker than usual and so difficult to defend:
"Statistically he is overall. But as you go back over the years, he has always had the ability and it's always been a part of their offense to get the ball out fast. He has always been great at it. This offense is built really well by Coach (Randy) Fichtner, Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the offensive coaches. I think they do a good job of organizing the offense around the players they have, around the quarterback, obviously, who is a great player and around the pieces, they have a lot of playmakers. That is part of it this year and it's been really successful for them."
Cornerback Jimmy Smith on Chase Claypool and the receivers:
"I'll start with the unit. The unit together – I think they have a lot of playmakers, obviously. They've got some shifty guys who do well in space. I think they're getting the job done for Ben (Roethlisberger). Ben is throwing the ball quickly to them and letting them do damage. Claypool is a huge dude; I think like 6-5 or 6-4 – something like that – 240 (pounds) and can run. So, we're going to have our hands full with him. Like I said, overall, as a group, we know what we have to do to try to stop them and slow their offense down, and I think we've got the guys for the job."
Harbaugh on Claypool:
"The tape speaks for itself. He was high on our board coming out. I thought they did a great job picking him, certainly fits what they do. He would fit what most anybody does. He is a big, strong, big radius receiver. He has speed, he is tough, he blocks, he does a heck of a job and he makes big plays, someone we have to be very conscious of defending.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson on the Steelers defense:
"Their defensive line is great. Their front four, those guys get off the ball, they get after the quarterback. (They force) a lot of strip-sacks. T.J. (Watt) and Bud (Dupree), they do a great job of getting to the quarterback, harassing the run game. I feel like our offensive line is going to be ready, and we're just going to go out there and play football."
Tight end Mark Andrews on the Steelers:
"They're a very talented group. They're a team that's kind of hitting on all cylinders. They don't make many mistakes. We have a tough game. Obviously, we all have to be on our 'A' game. So, this is going to be a good test for us to see where we're at, and I know all the guys are excited for this one."
Harbaugh on Steelers grinding it out and converting on third downs:
"They're executing. They're protecting their quarterback and they're executing. They're making throws, they're making catches. They have handled pressure, mainly by Ben and the receivers."
Jackson on the Steelers secondary:
"Minkah (Fitzpatrick), he's a ballhawk. He's great at doing his thing; coming down, making tackles, catching picks, scoring pick-sixes – stuff like that. I feel like our receivers and our offense are going to be ready. We're just going to have to see when the game comes on."
Defensive end Calais Campbell on Roethlisberger:
"It's the best I've seen him. He's always been great, but he's locked in. He's getting rid of the ball fast, making great reads, getting the ball to his playmakers, still throwing the ball well down the field. You have to love what you see on tape when you watch him. He's a great player. Hall of Fame worthy. He's a lot better player overall. He's always been great, but they're rolling. So, we have our hands full. I'm looking forward to the challenge. He's a great challenge. He's definitely up there with the best to do it."
Harbaugh on Roethlisberger and if this is the best he is playing:
"Yes, I see Ben. We've played against him many, many times for many years now. I've seen him on the field, I've seen countless, countless hours of him on tape. I've done countless breakdowns, have played against him numerous times. I know him fairly well, because he's a Miami of Ohio guy, so we have that in common, and we sometimes talk about our team. But great respect for him. He's playing at a very high level. I think their offense is … it's kind of his offense. It's built around him, for him. It certainly has been for many years, but they've also tweaked it. They've also advanced it. They're doing some different things than they've done in the past, which has been obviously very effective for them."
Linebacker Pernell McPhee on Roethlisberger:
"Basically seeing the same guy. He gets the ball out a tad faster, but he's still 'Big Ben.' He's still standing in the pocket. He still can take hits. He still can push defenders off of him and make great throws and be that Hall of Fame quarterback that he's going to be in the future. I think he's still 'Big Ben.' I think he still has the arm. I still think he has the power to stand in the pocket and brush guys off and make big plays down the field. It's going to be very exciting going against him Sunday."
Harbaugh on the Steelers defense and the attention they are getting:
"Well-deserved. They're one of the top defenses in the league, statistically, and it shows up on the tape. Their front is as good as any. We got a chance to know those guys a little bit – in the Pro Bowl even better – with T.J. (Watt) and (Cameron) Heyward. They're dominant players. They're wrecking-ball-type players. You have to account for those guys. And not just those guys; (Stephon) Tuitt is playing great, (Bud) Dupree is playing great. Vince Williams is always a guy who you have to account for, coming downhill, a very disruptive player. The kid from Western Michigan (Robert Spillane), who I take a little bit of interest in, because my dad coached there, and I met my wife there. Spillane is really a good player. They didn't drop off really much at all. To lose a player like Devin Bush is a big deal. Love him – coming out of Michigan and everything. I've followed him his whole career. That Western Michigan linebacker looked really good as well. Their secondary is playing like they always do, very aggressive. Mike Hilton; man, this guy, he's in the opponent's backfield pretty much every play. So, it's a Pittsburgh defense. They run the same schemes they've been running. They run it very effectively. A very aggressive defense. We have a lot of respect for them."