The Steelers and Ravens will battle it out on Sunday Night Football at Heinz Field, and while nobody will go as far as saying these two teams like each other, one thing is certain.
The teams respect each other.
"I feel like we have respect, hard fought games over the years," said Coach John Harbaugh. "From our standpoint, and I believe from the standpoint of the Steelers, there is a lot of respect there. We're looking forward to a hard, tough, clean well-played game. That is what we have when we play the Steelers. I think it's been that way game-in and game-out for many years. We intend and expect for that to be the same on Sunday night."
Harbaugh, as well as some of the other Ravens, weighed in on other topics as well, including Ryan Shazier and Antonio Brown.
Harbaugh on the Ravens opening their team meeting on Wednesday by saying a prayer for Ryan Shazier:
"Our team chaplain led it. We said a prayer for his health and well-being. We have a lot of respect for Ryan, his family. His dad (Vernon) has done chapels for us when we have been in Florida for games. We are praying and we want all the best for his health."
Harbaugh on why this is bigger than the actual rivalry between the teams:
"This is life. This is real life. That is something that bears worth remembering."
Mike Wallace on Shazier:
"You never want to see that happen to anybody. We are all one NFL family at the end of the day. We said a prayer for him. He plays for the Steelers, so you know it's bigger than football.... it's about a person, himself, hoping he has health. First and foremost we just want him to be healthy."
Terrell Suggs on Shazier and Steelers week:
"We want to let everyone know that we all in this locker room are praying for Ryan Shazier. We are all brothers in this gridiron. I work out with the kid in Arizona. We are all praying for him. We definitely want to see him get up and walk again. We are staying encouraged for Ryan. But like you said, it is Steelers week, and it is Ravens-Steelers. We are all a little bit on the edge."
Brandon Carr on what makes Antonio Brown a tough matchup:
"He's crafty. He's a savvy receiver. He gets a lot of targets, and he has incredible chemistry. There are certain times when he cuts his routes off, or makes up a different route, and Ben (Roethlisberger) knows exactly where he's supposed to be. So, you have to play him from whistle to whistle."
Harbaugh on the physical nature of AFC North games:
"From a general perspective it's a physical division and these games are always very physical. Any one of these four teams, when we get together there is physicality to it. That is the reputation of the division and that is a true thing."
Carr on the Steelers-Ravens rivalry:
"It's an intense rivalry. I've been in enough rivalries to kind of know how it goes, but this one will be a hard-hitting affair. At this time of the season – December football – it's playoff football. So, it's going to be a war, 60-minute ballgame. Buckle your chinstrap, lace your shoes up, put your mouthpiece in … Let's rock and roll."
Joe Flacco on if there is any stadium he enjoys going to more than Heinz Field:
"No. I don't know if it was always like that, but like I said, as I have played up there over the years, it has definitely grown into a place that … Yeah, it is tough to beat, as far as places to play on the road."
Suggs on the Steelers-Ravens rivalry and if it's built on respect:* *"I definitely agree with it. You don't cross paths without a few things in common. You can take a look around the league, and there may be one or two teams that kind of play the way we play. We take a tremendous amount of pride in that, and this game is definitely built on respect, but at the same time, they are who they are and we are who we are."
Harbaugh on Antonio Brown scoring the game-winning touchdown on Christmas last year despite great coverage and what that says about his ability to make a play:
"I don't know if it needed to be said. We prefer that it wasn't said and stated at that time. He said it plenty of times in pretty much every game he plays. That is what he is all about. He has been doing it at the highest level since he has been in the league."
Suggs on if he will look back at his career and say Roethlisberger was his greatest foe:* *"That would be a really good argument. I think you have to look at all the things, but I have to say there has never been so much … Just everything surrounds this game, especially when both teams have something, both teams are in the hunt and are trying to accomplish things. That is why these games are so meaningful, so definitely."