Opponents on Steelers

Ravens are talking about 'That Dude Defense' & more

On paper, Sunday's game against the Ravens means everything to the Steelers, who are fighting for a playoff spot, and nothing to the Ravens, who have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

But football isn't played on paper. It's played on the field and when it comes to Steelers-Ravens, it always means something to both teams.

Yes, the Ravens will rest some players. But when you are the No. 1 seed, you have a team loaded with talent so resting players isn't going to change the intensity on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

"It's a big deal to always play the Steelers," said Ravens Coach John Harbaugh. "It's a rivalry. It's physical. We know what kind of game it's going to be always when we play against them. So, I think it's a big part of it. I know they will be ready to play no matter what.

"We have so much respect for them. We always understand what kind of game it's going to be, and it's always been. That is what we are looking forward to."

The Ravens weighed in on a variety of Steelers players, on the defense and offense overall, and much more.

Coach John Harbaugh on what he sees from the Steelers offense:
"I see the Steelers personality. I see all of the stuff they have been doing over the years with Ben (Roethlisberger) at quarterback and the different quarterbacks. They never really strayed too far from their beliefs. I think that goes back to Coach (Mike) Tomlin, a very strong leader. He has a strong vision for what they want to be offensively. They're running their offense. They are working new guys in. You look at guys and say this is this role, this is the other role that we are familiar with.

"The next thing they are doing a really creative job with is trying to add some wrinkles. They're adding wrinkles with the extra offensive lineman, getting big, using the offensive line to their advantage with the run game, play action pass off of those things. They have always been a good play action team. The wildcat stuff they have done has been good. Then the RPOs have been a big part that maybe weren't as much in there with Ben, much more with the guys they are playing with now, with Duck (Devlin Hodges), you can see that is the direction they are working with, to work around the players they have out there now."

Quarterback Robert Griffin III on going against the Steelers defense:
"It's a very, very, very good defense, great defense, not only statistically, but they're what you call a 'That Dude Defense.' They have that dude and that dude and that dude and that dude, so I know they're not going to come into 'The Bank' and lay down. They have everything to play for, and they have great players.

"It's going to be a physical game. It always is between the Ravens and the Steelers. That's kind of what we're focusing on."

Harbaugh on the year Bud Dupree is having and the defense:
"He has always been talented. He has always played super hard, physical, talented. Explosive player. He has gotten the sacks this year. He has come free a few times. He has played the run so well. Those two edge guys, you are talking about two of the best edge players in football right there. I think him and (T.J) Watt have done a great job on the edge. The front led by (Cam) Heyward, (Javon) Hargrave is playing at his highest level, the two inside backers, you've got a young, fast guy flying around (Devin Bush), he is really learning how to play, then you have Vince (Williams) playing downhill like he always does, blitzing. (Mark) Barron coming in there in the packages. Minkah (Fitzpatrick) was a big addition for them. Gosh he has tied things together in the backend. (Terrell) Edmunds continues to be a physical force and presence, covering but also rushing and playing the run. Joe Haden is the same kind of guy. He hasn't changed one bit. He is the same guy he was in Cleveland. He is a guy you have to know where he is at all times. I think Steven Nelson was a great addition. He is a really aggressive player, tight cover guy, good run player, excellent tackler.

"All of those guys together. Look at No. 28, Mike Hilton. This guy attacks offensive tackles. He gets after those guys when he is rushing the passer. You never know where he is going to show up against the run. He does a great job of all the zone stuff, reading the routes.

"I think it is one of the best defenses in the league."

Defensive tackle Michael Pierce on going against the Steelers with the playoffs looming for the Ravens.
"It's the Pittsburgh Steelers. They're fighting for a shot in the playoffs, so never. We have history with those guys."

Harbaugh on Paxton Lynch and if their game plan will change if he plays:
"It can't change our game plan too much because we don't really know how it will impact what they do. If Paxton Lynch plays, it will be within the structure of what they do offensively. We'll prepare for their offense. We'll assume it will be Hodges and we will just work from there."