STEELERS AT BROWNS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2008 AT CLEVELAND BROWNS STADIUM - KICKOFF 8:15 P.M. POST-GAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
(Opening Statement) – "It was a great night for the Steelers. We were far from perfect but we are 2-0. We aren't going to apologize for our blemishes, but we came into a hostile environment against a very good team. They are a team that was looking to bounce back against a division rival in some tough weather conditions. Our guys hung tough and played off of each other. I like the resiliency of the men tonight. We are very pleased with this win."
(On the weather) – "The weather was so much a factor that I deferred (the opening coin toss). We had a great deal of faith in our defense. Our touchdown drive was in the second quarter with the wind in our face. We are just trying to win football games."
(On the play of the defense) – "I think the most critical play was by Troy (Polomalu) right before the half. To get out of that position, giving up no points – that is what makes Troy who he is. He is healthy and playing like it."
(On the return game) – "We don't make excuses. We were bad. We had a rookie return man and a guy who's played in a dome. It was nasty out there. We need to get better."
(On RB Willie Parker) – "I think he ran hard. Not the 'player of the week' performance but we'll take it none-the-less. Those guys fought and they are to be congratulated for that."
QB Ben Roethlisberger
(On playing in tough weather conditions) – "I'm from Ohio, so I've played in windy conditions, I've played in rain before. That might be, at times, the gustiest I've ever played in. That's why I went with the glove tonight. I knew I could throw a tighter spiral with the glove on. It's going to cut through the wind the tighter the spiral, and that's the reason I went with it. I told the receivers before the game, 'I'm just going to put it close to you guys, and you guys have to make plays for me,' and they did just that."
(On game-winning drive) – "We talk a lot about running the clock out and running the ball, and before we went on the field, I told them (the offense), 'Listen, enough talk, let's just do it.' I'm proud of the way they did it."
(On development of Santonio Holmes) – "He's one of the best in this game, as is Hines [Ward] and the rest of the guys. 'Tone' did a good job. He's always told me he's not a guy to go up and get a ball. Well, he did it tonight."
RB Willie Parker
(On significance of divisional win) – "It means a lot. Any divisional game means a lot. It's Cleveland, and you know how much we love to beat them. We're going to build off this game going into Philly."
(On carrying the ball 28 times) – "That was some hard yards on the field, and I just had to get them."
(On grinding it out for the win) – "The last drive, that puts a dagger in a team. For them to know we're going to run the ball and they can't stop it, that just says a lot about our offense."
*DT Casey Hampton
(On the game) - "It does not matter if the game is close or a blow out, a win is a win. We know when we play Cleveland it is going to be tough and they are going to give it their best shot."
(On DE Brett Keisel's injury) - "We were not worried because we know we have capable guys behind him. With him going down, those guys need to come in and do their job. He is a good player, but everyone can get it done."
(On young players gaining confidence) – "Everyone on the bench should be considered starters. They need to be able to come out and there will be no drop-off in play."
DE Aaron Smith
(On a division win) – "To win on the road is big, especially in the division. You play each other twice a year. To come out with a win is a big factor for us."
(On the defensive performance) – "The interception in the red zone was a big play. They came away with no points. That sucks the momentum out of the stadium. That is hard to overcome when the offense gets the ball in the red zone and comes away without any points. In the weather like this, they aren't going to throw the ball as much. They are trying to get the run started. We try and shut down the run and force them to throw the ball knowing that is not what they want to do."
HEAD COACH ROMEO CRENNEL
(On what determined the outcome of the game) –"Turnovers. Penalties. We turned the ball over twice and then on their scoring drive, we had penalties that kept the drive alive and allowed them to score. Those were the key things to the game. I thought the guys played hard though. This was one of the better games that we played against those guys particularly. We had our chances and couldn't get it done."
(On what is going on with the offense) – "I can't put my finger on it yet."
(On the drive at the end of the first half) – "We had the ball down there and called the formation but didn't get lined up correctly. We ended up using a timeout. We just didn't execute."
(On the Browns defense stopping the run) – "We stopped the run at times. Overall, I think [RB Willie] Parker had over 100 yards. The defense came out and looked like they were ready to play. They were fired up and ready to get to [QB Ben] Roethlisberger some, but the penalties killed us and allowed them to score."
DL Shaun Rogers
(On the defense) – "We played better up front as a whole, but we didn't win. It should have been a 6-3 game, Browns win."
WR Josh Cribbs
(On the game) – "We will take one day to dwell on this loss and make adjustments so we can move forward. That was a good football team. It was a dogfight out there today. We played a good game, but made mistakes like teams do, so we need to learn from them. We will beat them."
(On returning kicks) – "I felt good. I just couldn't get it going. I couldn't make that big play for my team. I felt like I let my team down a little bit. A lot of people were looking for me to make that big run. The opportunities didn't present themselves."
OL Joe Thomas
(On lack of offense) – "It was a lack of execution. One or two guys on each play are not getting on the right guy and that's what happens when drives are stalling."
(On not scoring on the last drive in the first half) – "It's really frustrating because we brought ourselves down there and we were not able to get any points."
WR Syndric Steptoe
(On the last play of the first half) – "I should have come harder across instead of the angle I took. I felt D.A. [Derek Anderson] threw a good ball. I just have to help him out on the throw and get in front of the safety's face."
(On the offense's struggles) – "We are going to continue to work on things and try to find out groove. That is the thing about the league, you have to find your groove. Right now we are still trying to find it, but we know it's going to come eventually. We just haven't done the little things. Coach [Romeo Crennel] always says if we take care of the little things, then that will take care of the bigger things."
(On the loss) – "A loss is a loss. You take it hard especially with it being against Pittsburgh, your rival."
S Mike Adams
(On the game) – "We prepared very well for this game. We had a good week of practice. I really thought we had this game. They won the game and now we have to move on. We shut them down, but let them have some big plays."
(On defensive breakdowns) – "They make plays and they get paid to make plays just like we do. We didn't make the plays when we were supposed to."
(On being 0-2) – "We have Baltimore next week and we have to get ready for them. We have to approach every game like we are going to win. We just have to make the plays. If we made the plays we were supposed to make we would be fine."
*DB Brodney Pool
(On the game) – "I'm thankful for getting to play today. I felt good, but I would've felt a lot better if we would have won. I think everybody was ready to play and we played well as a whole, but we need to get better."
(On getting pressure on the quarterback) – "The guys up front did a great job. The coaches put together a good game plan. It's a long season."
QB Derek Anderson
(On the game) – "We didn't have a lot of frustration; we just didn't make enough plays. Especially simple things like throwing and catching. "
(On kicking the field goal late in the game) – "We have to get fired up to make plays. Coach (Romeo Crennel) made the decision to go for it and that's what we did."