Steelers-Broncos Post-Game QuotesAugust 29, 2010STEELERS QUOTES
HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
On the loss
"It's a good thing it's preseason football. We got of myriad of things to learn from this game. A lot of errors were upon us. We will have to go back and have a look at the tapes. That's the story of preseason football. We'll look at the tapes and make adjustments."
On QB Dennis Dixon
"He didn't play well and a lot of guys didn't play well. I'll go back and look at the tapes. There's a lot of ownership to go around."
On all the penalties in tonight's game
"It's not skilled football. That's not going to be us, and that's not the kind of football we will play. Guys who commit these penalties have to suffer the consequences. We have to suffer the consequences."
On QB Ben Roethlisberger
"I thought he was sharp. We moved the ball. He did some nice things. I thought he did well playing on the road…(playing in a) hostile environment. We thought he did well."
On any change in Roethlisberger's status
"Not at this time. Not that I know of."
On CB Keenan Lewis' performance
"He stunk it up."
On Lewis slamming his helmet after the game
"I didn't see him do it."
On Denver second interception return for a touchdown
"A lot of that is guys trying to make a splash. That's what happens with young guys, but we'll go back and look at it."
PITTSBURGH STEELERS PLAYERS
QUARTERBACK BEN ROETHLISBERGER
On tonight's performance
"I think we made a lot of mistakes. They were things that were pretty simple, and they will be easy to fix. We can learn from a lot of things."
On the opening pass to WR Mike Wallace
"I just thought that I would get it to him and let him do the rest. He made a great catch, and I am just mad at him that he didn't score. It was one of those things where the guy jumped offsides last minute, and I just had to try and put it on him. It wasn't a zero look; we had the look we wanted. I was going to work the front side with (WR) Hines (Ward), but I was able to sneak one in there to (WR) Mike (Wallace), and that worked pretty well."
On pending suspension
"Those are things I am sure I will find out during the meeting (with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell). I am still focused on football, and I am just waiting to hear from everybody; from the commissioner, from my representatives to me, to the Rooneys. I'm sure it will be soon."
On expectations for the last preseason game
"I'd like to work on the no-huddle (offense); it's a lot easier at home. You can use the cadence, and I think it would have been hard to do it tonight. I'd like to get a couple of series doing that, even though I don't want to keep those o-linemen in there too long."
On Dennis Dixon's performance
"I thought he did a good job, he just had a couple of bad breaks. I said, 'Don't get down on yourself.' He made a good play escaping to get out of the pocket. I think it was a ball he threw up where only one guy could get. In the back of the end zone, I think if he puts another inch on it, then I think it is perfect. It's a learning (experience) for him. He's got all the reason in the world to keep his head up, because he is a great player and a great quarterback, and I think he will be just fine."
On helping his team during his suspension
"I'm sure I will be (a motivator). I'm not sure what the rules are, but I will be in contact with my teammates, giving them my two cents along the way."
On staying in football shape during the suspension
"I'm going to keep working out and bring my quarterback coach in from California and try as often as I can to just keep the cleats on and throwing the ball."
QUARTERBACK DENNIS DIXON
On his performance tonight
"I made progress tonight, but the Red Zone wasn't my best effort, and I can take full blame, as far as that. There are certain things as communication when it comes to the whole offense, but then again, it's up to the quarterback."
On the interception in the end zone
"That's just something where I was trying to make a play. That's just me being the competitor that I am. It's something that I won't do again; it's a learning point. As a quarterback, there are certain things as far as being on the same page as far as receivers; then again it takes focus on stuff like that."
On moving forward after an interception
"I'm still a competitor, and I want to convert third downs, and those were certainly some positives that came out of this game. I'm going to go look at the film and make the corrections to come back Thursday."
On securing depth chart position
"Any job is open for grabs. That's totally out of my hands. All I can do is try to put my best foot forward. Obviously today was a little step back, but then again, there were some positives that came out of this game."
QUARTERBACK BYRON LEFTWICH
On tonight's game
"It's a situation where they did a great job; they played better than us tonight. That's the bottom line."
On when he will be notified of depth chart position
"I don't know. I'm quite sure they will let us know sometime soon. September is really right around the corner. They'll let us know sometime soon. I'm glad we're getting closer to that day, and we'll see."
On what he said to Dennis Dixon
"I told him there was a lot of good in that. Like I told him, we've all been through it. I've been through it, (QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) has been through it, (QB) Charlie (Batch) has been through it. So has every quarterback in this league. The main thing you want to let him know is that when you watch the film to look for the positive, learn from the negatives, and that's all you really need to do at this point in time. I think he did a good job. I'm quite sure he had a few plays that he wishes he could have had back, but that's learning the quarterback position in this league. It is so important to go through these types of things. I know it seems crazy, but it's so important to go through those types of things that we went through today in the preseason. You have something to humble yourself, and you have something to work on the following week. Tonight he did a good job, but as a quarterback we've all been through it and we need to make sure he keeps working like he has been."
RUNNING BACK ISAAC REDMAN
On his performance
"I think we're doing good; I think we did well on special teams this evening. I got a couple carries early, and after that they told me I was done for the offense. I was on kick-off until the fourth quarter. Not playing in the game, I was kind of stiff, but I got through it."
On being pulled at the end of the second half
"It's really tough, but the offensive coordinator told me today, 'you know you've done enough on offense as running back,' so in the second quarter he told me that I wasn't going to be playing in the second half. So that's kind of a confidence booster that they say that."
NOSE TACKLE CHRIS HOKE
On defensive performance tonight
"It wasn't a pretty game. We made a lot of mistakes, a lot of penalties; there were a lot of things I thought we could have done better. It's preseason still, we're getting close to the season, so we have to eliminate those things and get ready to play come September 12th. Especially in the second half, we gave up a lot of runs on the outside; a lot of yardage and that's unacceptable. We need to get back to the drawing board, see what happened in this film and go ahead and shut this thing down Thursday night against the Panthers."
HEAD COACH JOSH MCDANIELS
"We talked about a few things this week coming into this game – one was trying to match their physicality. We knew that Pittsburgh would certainly play that way and we really thought the test would come in the running game – on both sides – and then the kicking game and how we'd handle ourselves there. In that regard, we gave up a few too many big runs, but we continued to try to continue to establish the running game offensively and got a few there that popped out. I thought we really kind of controlled the field position all night with what we did in special teams so that was good to see. Defensively we continued to stop them in the red area early, which is kind of been a good trend that we've started here in the preseason, and we're going to have to continue to build on that. Offensively, we did some good things, but kind of inconsistent we think is the best way to describe it. We converted on some third downs early in the game, but kind of ran out of gas there in terms of what we could do on third down. All in all, I think that's a good football team over there in that locker room. They're physical, they play kind of the same style that we're trying to play and I thought our guys kind of stood up there to the challenge and fought them toe-to-toe and it's something to build on."
On putting QB Kyle Orton back into the game in the second half
"At that point we kind of gave him the halftime to kind of get his bearings a little bit and it was just a smarter decision to probably wait and hold him and that's all it came down to."
On the offensive line
"I thought we pass protected pretty well. I thought again, the line of scrimmage wasn't always pretty but we didn't go backwards a lot and negative runs are something that Pittsburgh creates a lot of. We focused on winning first down this week and trying to get four or five yards a pop on first down. I thought we had some runs that did that. (RB) LenDale (White) hammered it in, in the red zone too behind some decent blocking, but that was something we planned on doing – (OL) Stanley (Daniels) going left guard, (OL Zane) Beadles at left tackle. I thought they handled themselves admirably the first half of the game. We'll kind of take a look at it and then make our decisions on what we think is best going forward."
On the outside linebackers opposite of Robert Ayers
"I thought there were some good things – (Jarvis) Moss did some good things – got into the pocket a little bit. We lost the edge a couple times in the running game – I think that was more than one different player that happened with. (Jason) Hunter and (Baraka) Atkins both played in there too, plenty, so it's hard to tell at this point. You spend four quarters either yelling or praising all three of them at times so I think they did some good things. I think ultimately it'll probably be something similar next week on Thursday and see kind of how that goes and how that plays out, but (there is) probably still a lot of football for us to play with those three to see exactly how we want to go in the regular season."
On whether he'd prefer RB Knowshon Moreno played prior to Week 1
"I think that's always best for a running back – same thing with (RB Correll Buckhalter) – to get hit before they actually go on to a regular-season game. But, if that's not the best thing for us to do, the smartest decision to make, then we'll probably hold off on that. We're going to practice this week – we'll be in pads on Tuesday and we'll see if we can bang one or both of them around if they're ready to go by then. We don't have a timetable yet but both of them are getting close."
On the run game
"Like I said, the line – I thought we did a decent job at times. Again, this is one of the best run defenses in all of football in the last decade. You're not always going to have a bunch of pretty runs against this team and I thought we tried to continue to stick them in there and our guys made some plays and we kept them out of the backfield. I think the negative runs – something we talked about avoiding – and I think we did a decent job of that early."
On whether the quarterback rotation was planned
"Yes, it was going to go in that order because Brady (Quinn) got all of (the repetitions) last week. We weren't even sure we were going to play Brady in this one, depending on how much time Tim (Tebow) had. And, with Kyle (Orton) not coming back out after halftime, we just felt like we had enough time to go ahead and get both of them in there and it worked out that way."
On QB Tim Tebow's performance
"Up and down, you know. We talked about third down – he had two opportunities on third down to make good throws or good decisions and one ended up in an interception and the other one ended up in an incompletion to (WR) Eddie (Royal). We've just got to make more of those opportunities on third down. Quarterbacks in this league – if you want to stay out on the field and continue to drive the ball, you've got to make good throws and good decisions, good reads on third down and those two plays kind of stood out. I thought he battled though, ran the huddle well and made some good throws. (Tebow) moved the ball and then made a good check down there in the red area on the touchdown throw to (WR Eric) Decker. Some good, some bad – plenty to coach off of."
On DL Ben Garland's status with the Air Force
"He's still here, we're still here. We've kind of got it set up – without going into it a whole bunch – he's kind of going back and forth and then we'll make our decision here after Thursday."
On QB Brady Quinn's performance
"We're going to watch the tape. Again, there are a lot of things that happen out there and sometimes the quarterback ends up being the beneficiary of some good play or on the negative end. We'll evaluate the tape and have a better idea here as we go forward tomorrow."
On CB Syd'Quan Thompson
"A positive one (laughing). Every time he gets an opportunity, he makes the most of it and I think that's what you want a rookie to do. This guy started 52 straight games at (University of California) and I don't think you do that unless you have instincts and have a knack for getting to the ball and doing some good things out there. He's shown ability to be a decent punt returner and he seems to find whatever is there and hits it. (He's) hard to tackle – made a big interception tonight. (The) biggest thing to me is that he keeps standing out in the kicking game – on the kickoff team, punt team – he's made some big tackles down there and our kickers have kicked the ball well so (it's given) him an opportunity to go down there and cover it and he's done a good job so (I'm) very pleased with his performance and he continues to standout for us."
On not getting players action in the preseason due to injury
"I mean, we can only control what we can control. That's the hard part about it, but the fact that we can't put them out there – or at least we haven't been able to put them out there – is something that we didn't have any say on. Again, we're getting ready for the fourth preseason game this week and if they can play, they're going to play – there's no question about that. We've played them last year in the fourth preseason game and that would be our plan going forward right now as we go into Minnesota. We mentioned earlier – (RB Correll) Buckhalter, (RB) Knowshon (Moreno) – if they can get hit, get banged around a little bit there, I think that's big for them before we go into the first game of the regular season. I thought it was good for (RB) LenDale (White) tonight."
On whether CBs Syd'Quan Thompson and Perrish Cox have outplayed CB Alphonso Smith so far
"I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. I think they played more (cornerback) because (CB) Alphonso (Smith) has been inside playing in the nickel spot. I think all three of them – I think (CB) Cassius Vaughn has done some very good things too. Cassius has made a bunch of plays in the kicking game and done some good things at corner too. I think that's a group that we're real excited about. It's a young group of corners behind two veteran players who set a great example for them and I think what that tells me is that they're learning, they're paying attending to (CBs André Goodman and Champ Bailey) and they're getting better every day. I think it's a competitive situation, which is what we wanted, and I think they're all trying to make their case to be on this team."
On QB Tim Tebow not running the ball at all
"Like I said, we're not calling plays for him to run the ball – that's just the bottom line. I don't know what his statistics were, what his numbers were. When he went in there, we wanted him to throw the ball from the pocket, we wanted to do some things and test him, see how he did, see how he handled it and none of the things that we were doing were designed scrambles or designed runs and I told him too – if he scrambles again, get down, you know – that would be better for all of us (laughing). I thought it didn't look like he was trying to (scramble) either – (Pittsburgh) isn't a team that really gives you a great opportunity to (scramble) anyhow. They rush a lot down the middle, they try to keep you in the pocket and force you to throw the ball from a pocket that's closing in around you so the opportunities were probably pretty limited too."
DENVER BRONCOS PLAYERS
LINEBACKER ROBERT AYERS
On where the team stands after three preseason games
"There are still a lot of things we need to improve on. I'm happy that we came out and gave a good performance and I was in the right situation to make plays. I'm happy, but we have a lot of things we still need to improve on."
On pressuring the quarterback
"That's the key to defense. You have to get pressure on the quarterback, that's the big play guy. Especially against a guy like [Steelers QB] Big Ben [Roethlisberger] and the top notch quarterbacks in the game; you have to get pressure on them. You can't let your coverage do everything. That's what we all try to do, me and [ILB] Mario [Haggan] and everyone."
On this year compared to last year
"I feel like I've been working a lot harder and I'm in better shape. There were a lot of things I've improved on and a lot of things I'm still trying to improve on from last year. Last year is a big motivation for me because I didn't play like I wanted to. I want to come out and do good things this year."
On the importance of pressuring the quarterback
"It all goes together; you have good coverage and you get pressure. You get pressure on the quarterback and you're going to make them make bad throws. That's the goal of any great defense; you want to do those two things and if you can then you'll have success."
On what else was working for the defense
"It wasn't just the pressure, it was the play calling. Our coaches made some good calls so we could get pressure and the secondary had tight coverage. It all goes hand in hand, again."
On Head Coach Josh McDaniels running along the sideline on CB André Goodman's interception return
"I thought he was going to keep up with him, but he took off on him a little bit."
"For a coach he'd probably finish in the top five in the league if they got him in a foot race, but that's not his job and he's a great coach and did a good job tonight."
CORNERBACK PERRISH COX
On OLB Robert Ayers pressuring the quarterback
"He's been doing that at practice every day. When he doesn't do it, the coaches get kind of mad at him and scream at him a little bit to get him to pick it up. That's a great feeling whenever he or the whole D-line puts pressure on the quarterback."
On his ability as a playmaker
"Anytime, where ever they need me, receiver, quarterback, I'll do all of them. That's what I came here to do, help the team out the best way I can. Coach [Josh] McDaniels gave me the chance I wanted and that's one of my goals, to go out and do my best whenever I get my chance."
"You kind of get tired of losing. It's preseason and people probably look at it as that, but to the players and coaches, we need that victory. It feels great to finally get one, especially at home."
On his interception
"Once I saw it coming, my eyes got big and I took it for what it is."
LINEBACKER MARIO HAGGAN
On where the team stands after preseason games
"There's still a long way to go. In this league, you can't be satisfied because every week is a battle. I think some guys stepped up tonight and we have to continue to do so for the rest of the year."
On pressuring the quarterback
"It's always good. A lot of people doubted that our guys could step up and fill that role. Once again, we have a lot of guys that were working hard in camp and trying to do their best and they were getting it done out there. Hopefully we can continue to move forward and get more and more pass rush and get the quarterback on the ground."
On playing against different styles of quarterbacks
"They [Ben Roethlisberger and Dennis Dixon] are kind of the same quarterback, but a little different. Ben can get out of the pocket, and he has a good game once he gets out of the pocket. Dixon, once he gets out of the pocket, it's going to take a lot of rallying to get to him. Both guys did a good job tonight. We challenged them and we made some plays, obviously they made some plays, but we were able to convert when needed on some third downs and in the Red Zone."
On the short week before playing Minnesota
"It's a very short week. I'll go back, and I don't know the schedule exactly but I know we'll get to work and come out firing against Minnesota. Hopefully we can get some things done and get ready for Jacksonville through Minnesota."
QUARTERBACK KYLE ORTON
On what happened when he made a play after his interception
"I just got the wind knocked out of me, you know, and felt pretty good afterwards."
On the importance of tonight's win
"I think it was important just with the type of team that we played to kind of go out and play the way that we thought we did and play to win, which was keep ourselves out of third-and-long situations. There's a specific way that you beat every team. I don't think we did a great job of gathering the information. We played that way against Detroit, but this week a total different team, a totally different scheme. I thought we kind of came out and at least played the way that we talked about all week."
On the Pittsburgh defensive front
"I thought we matched their physical play. We ran the ball well. I thought the line of scrimmage for the most part was pretty clean, and we made some plays when they were there."
On if tonight was more like a regular season game
"Yeah, a little bit. You know, I mean you play a team like Pittsburgh it's never going to be pretty. I've never watched a game on film that's looked pretty. I've never seen anybody play these guys pretty, and they have been a good team for a long time; so for us to go out there and start fast – get a score on the opening drive and kind of do some things in the first half - was good to see."
On the success of the Denver ground game tonight
"Yeah, that was just our game plan. You know, we needed positive starts on first down. I think that's one thing that we haven't done a great job of early on this year. We have been in a lot of second-and-long – putting us in passing situations. So, it was good to win first down and put us in second-and-medium and keep the whole playbook open and be able to do what we wanted."
On his assessment of his performance tonight
"Obviously, didn't see the guy on the pick. The defense bailed me out. Certainly, in a two-minute situation we want to have the last shot at scoring and I gave the ball back to them in a bad situation, so the defense really bailed me out. Minus that one play, I saw the field well and threw the ball accurately and had good time in the pocket."
On the team's composure tonight
"I thought all the way throughout. I thought the young guys came in at the end of the game and played well, extended the lead and all in all it was a pretty good effort. I'm not going to get – I treat it just like we treated our two losses. We had some good things happen. We had some bad things happen. We'll try to eliminate the bad ones."
On how the running game put the team in good situations on second and third down
"Like I said, between the line of scrimmage the offensive line was on the right people and I thought the backs did a nice job of really not stretching anything too much. When they found the first crease, (RB) LenDale (White) early on did a nice job of just hitting it up in there getting four yards and moving on."
On this week's quick turnaround
"You know, I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary. I think we actually did this last year. We played a Sunday night game and turned around and played on Thursday night, so it's not just the preseason. Sometimes your schedules put you in that situation, so we are going to get healthy and try to learn as much as we can before Thursday and go and play a good game."
QUARTERBACK TIM TEBOW
On how he feels about tonight's performance
"I feel pretty good. You know, just up and down out there – some good things, some bad things and a lot of things I've got to go work on and get a lot better at."
On how it felt to get hit for the first time tonight
"It felt good. It felt into the game, and you know just felt like you are playing football again, which is nice."
On playing as a pocket passer
"I'm trying to be, so just trying to do what I'm asked."
On recovering from the interception to throw a touchdown
"Well, (I) still made a bad mistake and I've got to learn from that and get a lot better, and those things just can't happen, you know."
On how his ribs feel
"They're feeling good, you know. It's good to just get back out there on the field and just play football again."
On when he knew he was going to play
"Maybe a day or two ago."
On being a part of the team's first win
"Yeah, it was great you know to be part of the win. (QB) Kyle (Orton) and all the veterans did a great job; so when we got in there it was the easy part."
On his comfort level with WR Matthew Willis
"No, I definitely do. I feel very comfortable with (WR Matthew) Matt (Willis). He does a great job at practice. He just goes out there and makes plays and is very accountable."
On the quick turnaround to Thursday's game at Minnesota
"It's fun. It's exciting. That's what we like – go out there and get a chance to play again; so it will be fun."
On how he feels tonight as opposed to his last game against Cincinnati
"Well, we were facing a lot different style of defense and so you've got to play that a little bit differently. I think there were some things that I improved on and I think there's other things I've just got to continue to try and work on to get right."
CORNERBACK SYD'QUAN THOMPSON
On if the team improved any tonight
"I think we get better every week and, you know, it's totally a team effort. We work hard in practice to correct the little things."
On if he is trying to prove something to the coaches
"You know, I'm just trying to get the respect of the 'vets' (veterans) and respect of the coaches, you know. Like you said, try to make this roster and help this team win games."
On if his play tonight helped his cause any
"Hopefully, you know, hopefully. I just came out and played my game and played to the best of my ability and let God control the rest."
On how he felt as a he returned the interception
"It felt good. I got a good read on the quarterback, and I just made a play and I was able to score and put points on the board for the team."
On when the last time he returned an interception for a touchdown
"I don't know, probably since high school. I got close in college and fell down at the two yard line."
On his thought on the Minnesota game
"I'm just going to go out and play my hardest and try to do whatever it takes to help this team win and try to make the ball club."