POST-GAME QUOTESSUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2010AT RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM
HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
(On the game)
"That's a good road victory for us. We don't take these for granted. We came into a hostile environment versus an undefeated team and we did the job. Hats off to a lot of people, but you really got to tip a hat to Charlie Batch. What he was able to do for us today. He played like a veteran. This guy hasn't had a lot of opportunity, not only in recent years, but recent days, weeks, or months. He didn't blink. He has been a consummate professional and team player. Good things usually happen to those kind of people. That's a lesson a lot of young people in our locker room could learn from here today. Hopefully they will. A lot of congratulations to go around, just a total team effort and one I'm excited for the men in that locker room."
(Play of the offensive line not being 100% going into the game today)
"We are kind of getting used to that. Today, Ramon Foster played and he is the last active guy on our offensive line to play this year. They have all played and they have all played extensively. It's kind of a benefit when you look at it. We are learning a lesson that maybe some other teams are going to learn later in the year and we are finding ways to win while we do it. So when you win, it's a positive thing. I like the contribution of all the people participated. Doug Legursky, Ramon Foster played some, Jonathan Scott rotated at the tackle. It was a nasty muggy day out there, so we had to play some folks. They upheld the standard and so it was a good performance."
(On the standard and accountably of the team regardless of who is out there)
"Not extraordinarily. I mean what I say when I say I expect them to uphold a standard. The standard is winning. The eleven on the field represent us. They are capable and they embrace it."
(Take shots down the field with S Tanard Jackson out)
"I wasn't sure. We knew we potentially had to, because we knew they would pack the line of scrimmage early. Didn't feel great about it, but had to do it, because we knew how they were going to play. They didn't waste any time getting the 35 down there in the box early on."
(On going back and starting Charlie Batch against Atlanta or Tennessee)
"Man, I don't get do overs. I don't live in that world. I'll let you guys talk about that. Right now we are 3-0 and we are getting ready for Baltimore."
(Up 21-6 at half and turning loose)
"Our glass is half-full. We have a great deal of trust in all of our men but in, particularly Charlie [Batch]. He is a veteran guy. He's not careless with the ball, so you want to give guys the opportunity to play to win, and that's what we wanted to do. They did a nice job executing."
(On if there was miscommunication on the first interception)
"No, Aqib Talib, I think just did a nice job of going low on the shoulder on a shallow cross. He was running up field shoulder until he got to the point of the ball. He just made a play that young talented guys make. He is one of the young talented corners in the league, no doubt."
QB CHARLIE BATCH
(On if being 3-0 feels good)
"It does. I know this is where we expected to be at this point. I know a lot of people on the outside did not believe that, but for us we are just taking it one game at a time. Here we are down here in Tampa trying to figure out a way to win and we were able to do that today."
(On being able to contribute today)
"These opportunities don't come often. Everybody knows Ben [Roethlisberger] is the starter at this point. How everything else played out, I was just hoping to get an opportunity. For me, the one thing I didn't want to do was to come out here and be that weak link. I wanted to go out here and provide a spark and put this team in the end zone. For me, just going out there and trying to take it play by play was exciting."
(On if there was a chip on the offense's shoulder for poor play so far this season)
"Yeah, inside we did because offensively we felt we were letting this team down. We were winning in other phases; special teams and defense, but we weren't holding up our end. We felt like in the first two games, if we would have put points on the board it would've taken some pressure off our defense and we wouldn't have had to play to the end of the game. Today, you can see us putting it together, helping out and complimenting our defense and you can see we had a commanding lead going into halftime."
(On being able to throw the ball on the Buccaneer secondary)
"We knew coming in we were going to try and run the football and early on things weren't going well. At that point we had to loosen the defense up a bit, and we were able to do that and go out there and be able to take the passing game to the next level. We started connecting on them and we loosened them up deep early there with Mike Wallace in the first quarter. Everything else at that point was clicking."
(On Mike Wallace's play today)
"Mike felt bad about himself last week. He felt he should've been able to make some plays and he wanted to bounce back. You could see it all week in practice he had that fire in his eyes and felt that if we got that opportunity to give him a chance. You could see that he knew based off coverage he said, 'I'm running to get this ball.' I was able to put it up there, especially on that second one, he was able to concentrate there on that tipped pass and keep his feet in bounds and was able to catch that ball."
(On if you were going after Cody Grimm)
"On that first touchdown, in that situation we knew we were going to call that play. At that point I told Mike [Wallace], regardless of who the safety was, if I could get his back turned I'm going give you a shot. Sure enough Mike did a good job and got the safety's back turned and I was able to put it up there and Mike did a good job of adjusting to the ball."
FS RYAN CLARK
(On the Steelers offense)
"The offense is amazing. I think one thing we knew with Charlie Batch is he would open up the offense. He can call everything that's in the playbook. He's a veteran. We were missing Mike Wallace over the top, we haven't had him in a couple of weeks, and that's what he does."
(On if this defense is similar to the 2007 Super Bowl winning defense)
"It's a little early. Obviously, it's a little early for that. This is going to be a big week. Obviously, we will try to enjoy this win, but we're already looking forward to next week. But, the thing I'm proud of is that we didn't overlook this game, trying to get to next week."
LB JAMES FARRIOR
(On becoming a physical team)
"That's something that we talk about every week. We want to be the most physical team out there. We want to be the ones making all the hits. Somebody told me a long time ago, the most physical team usually wins."
(On holding the Buccaneers to a field goal after the early interception)
"No doubt about it, that was definitely a momentum shift. When they got the pick, to be able to hold a team to three points, is always big for us."
(On building a physical team)
"It just doesn't happen overnight, it's something that you have to build. It takes a while to do it; you have to have the right people."
LB JAMES HARRISON
(On defending Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman)
"We were really just trying to keep him contained. The few times that we thought we had him wrapped up, he would break contain. I know I had one where I thought he was wrapped up, so I went inside and he took off outside of me. Really we were just trying to keep him contained and not let him get those third downs, where he would break it off for 10 or 12 yards to get the first down."
(On the interception by Brett Keisel)
"I didn't know what happened till I heard the roar, and everybody starting running the other way, so I just hit somebody in a white jersey and looked up and Keisel was rumbling."
(On the team being 3-0 without Ben Roethlisberger)
"Just because Ben isn't there, he is not the whole team. He is a big part of this team, no question, but he is not the whole team. He is not going to determine if we win or lose the game. It may be something that is a contributing factor, but like I said, the next guy in line is just a starter in waiting and that's how we look at everybody."
DE BRETT KEISEL
(On his touchdown)
"I had great blocking. It was a fun play. I haven't scored since I was like 18 years old, so it felt great. Last time I scored was when I was back in high school, so it feels great. I had a great convoy with great blocking. They might need to use me as a tight end a little bit."
(On the Steelers offense)
"They were great man. Charlie [Batch] is a great quarterback, you know. Everyone in this locker room has confidence in Chuck, he did a great job managing the game. Even the first drive, when there was an interception, he did not let it rattle him. He kept focused and that's what great players do."
(More on his interception)
"I thought, you got to score, you got to score, you got to score, because I knew if I didn't score I would never hear the end of it. Everyone would say he is getting old, he can't run like he used to, so it was a great feeling. Coach [Dick] LeBeau tells us all to run to the ball and I was just running to the ball and it popped up into the air and took it to the house."
RB RASHARD MENDENHALL
(On what it means to score the amount of points the offense did today)
"It means a lot, and we've been right on the verge. Little things have slowed us down here and there; whether it was penalties, dropped balls, or misreads. We've been right on the verge, and today we were capitalizing opportunities they gave us."
(On if he thought he was going to score during his 34-yard run)
"I thought I was going to beat him out, but you learn from situations like that. If I could do it again I probably weak shoulder cut him, and take the rest of the field. Just use every opportunity to learn and grow and I plan on doing that."
(On quarterback Charlie Batch performance)
"You know, Charlie is a guy that has been around, and we have a lot of confidence in him. That showed today, he threw three touchdown passes in the first half. He's a great player and he sees it. He makes good reads, moves around in the pocket well, and we feel good with him."
SS TROY POLAMALU
(On Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman)
"Watching film, we felt that he was a really good quarterback. He has a great pocket presence. Kind of a tough day today to get a good feel for him, because they were playing from behind most of the game. I think he's got a great future, a strong arm and I think he's going to be a star in this league."
(On if it was a "home" game for the Steelers)
"We get so much support everywhere we go. Steelers fans travel so well, and, yeah, in some instances, yeah."
(On if it was nice to not have to bail out Pittsburgh's offense)
"Definitely. We gave up some big plays, some long drives and there is a lot we didn't learn from. We kind of fell into some plays. We'll take this win in stride, and learn from it."
(On Charlie Batch's impact on the Steelers' offense)
"It's nice to see the offense clicking the way it is. You know we need to get that confidence flowing, especially with this upcoming game."
(On DE Brett Keisel's interception return)
"That was great. You know, we've been making plays like that on defense, and hopefully we continue to do that and make it easy for the offense."
LB LAWRENCE TIMMONS
(On how the Steelers are playing)
"We just try to come together as a team. Nothing is impossible if we all do it together, and that's what we are doing. The team camaraderie is going pretty strong right now, and we believe in each other."
(On the quarterback play)
"Coach LeBeau, and all the coaches on the defensive staff do a great job to help our quarterback out. Our quarterback is more than capable, as you could see today. Our game plan just rolled together, and we came out of here with a win today."
WR MIKE WALLACE
(On the Steelers' performance)
"We have the total package. Our defense, we knew they would come to play. Offense came to play today. We had a whole team today. You know that's how it's going to happen anytime we all come to play."
(On if he thought his second touchdown might be intercepted)
"That's why he plays cornerback -- they can't catch. I always got to play the ball. He made a good play on it, but he dropped it and I caught it. "
(On using the passing game to open up the running game)
"It was very important, because they had been stacking the box all day. [Rashard Mendenhall] is a great running back, but it's hard when you have all those guys in the box. So we could go up top, and back them off, he could go up and get those big runs all day, like he did today."
(On Charlie Batch and how he played)
"We expect that from him. I've been saying the whole time, we have four good quarterbacks. I never doubted any one of those guys. I know what they're all capable of. They all know their plays, they all know their reads, they all have strong arms. So Charlie was playing like he was 25 years old again. I told him he looked rejuvenated. He rejuvenated his career, so maybe we could squeeze about five or six more years out of him."
WR HINES WARD
(On being 3-0)
"The league does not want us to be 4-0 with a mad Ben [Roethlisberger] coming back, I'll tell you that. We are playing with a lot of confidence as a team, offensively, defensively, special teams. I know Ben right now is itching to hurry up and get back to be here with us. Right now, we are just playing good solid football, and next week, I don't think we need a pep talk or anything to get up for Baltimore. We know what's at stake. I couldn't be more proud of this team, the way the leaders have led this team, to come together as a unit and to get out of here, to win two tough road games with victories, that's big. That's speaks a lot of credit for this team, the coaching staff and this organization."
(On the defense)
"Our defense always will be solid, and the one day, if they ever have a bad game, we got to be there, like we were today, to put up some big points. Charlie [Batch] gave Mike [Wallace] a chance once. I think it was Russ [Grimm], his son kind of over ran it and it fell right into Mike's hands. Mike had a hell of a catch down on the other end zone. Stuff like that, that is the potential Mike brings. Everybody helped contribute, [Antwaan] Randle El had a huge third down conversion, Heath [Miller] had a huge conversion, I had a huge conversion on third down, so everybody put their hands on the pile. Last week, we left some plays in Tennessee. That happens over the course of 16 games. This week, we came back, we responded as a unit. I don't think anybody dropped any balls, I think the opportunities that the guys did have took advantage of every opportunity. Collectively, as a group, we won together."
(On another milestone)
"I like having milestones. It's not bad. It means nothing if you don't win. You get a greater appreciation after a nice win on the road like this. To go 3-0, I am pretty sure, I checked my phone and I got a lot of text messages. I just want to go out and help contribute to this team and go out there and be productive. I had a couple blocks to spring [Rashard] Mendenhall open and stuff like that. So we have to continue to play like that. We don't care about stats. This team, we don't care about who's in, who's out, were just going to come together and play as a unit. And were 3-0 right now."
LB LAMARR WOODLEY
(On the Steelers' offense against Tampa Bay)
"It was definitely great to see our offense get in that endzone and put some points on the board. Mike Wallace's two touchdowns, I forgot who else scored, but that's big. Our offense continued to move the chains."
(On how it felt to have the offense score points and allow comfort for the defense)
"It just feels good. Whenever the offense puts points on the board, it gets our crowds in the game. Definitely gets us fired up. Because all we have to do is go out there and stop that opposing offense, and it's enough to win the game."
(On if it's nice to be less worried about making mistakes)
"You're not worried about field position. Usually when offense scores, Jeff Reed does a good job kicking the ball off, and they start out with their backs against the wall."
(On DE Brett Keisel's interception and following his blocks)
"That's one thing we practice. In practice each and every day, somebody get an interception, try to block somebody. Seen the quarterback right there, but he just went for it, so I had to stay on him. Keisel did a good job cutting back and forth, so that's a plus for the defense."
HEAD COACH RAHEEM MORRIS
"Obviously, a disappointing game. We'll have to build on this over the bye. We are 2-1, and looking at the big picture, going into the bye at 2-1, there are a lot of things to be positive about from this first part of the season, and a lot of things we'll have to look at, reflect on, and get better. We'll have the ability to do that this next week. We played a heavyweight today. They were more physical, more aggressive, and more opportunistic. We missed out on a lot of our opportunities in the first half, and we weren't able to capitalize. That's not the type of game we have to play as a team. We've got to go out and we got to establish the lead and make them play catch-up, so we can get to our best brand of football. And this game was a disastrous point, as far as how we wanted the game to be played out. But I was proud about of their fight, I was proud of how they stayed in it. It's my job to manage the football game and to keep our young team with their confidence high, and we did that today. Big picture: 2-1 at the bye. A chance to go home, evaluate, and come back and get ready for Cincinnati."
(On whether Pittsburgh's game plan involved taking advantage of the loss of Tanard Jackson)
"I don't know what their game plan was, but I know they have a big-time threat in [WR] Mike Wallace. I know they did hit us deep up top against a really good player. They hit us with Aqib [Talib] and they got him good. He missed an opportunity on two plays, we missed an opportunity early in the middle, and we have to make those plays in order to stay in those football games. But they did attack us up top, there's no doubt about that, and we didn't make the plays."
(On the comparison of this game to last year's matchups against the N.Y. Jets and Giants)
"It's a little bit different from the Jets and Giants game last year. We were able to move the ball on offense, we were able to run the football, we were able to do some good things. We were able to actually move down the field, we just weren't able to score. There was some really good defense. On defense, we were able to stop them at some points. We didn't feel helpless. They won. They were the more physical team and I told my football team going into this that the most physical team would win this game and [Pittsburgh] was today. They were able to play their brand of football the whole game. We were never able to get that lead that we needed. We were able to get the early interception and you'd like to get seven [points] there, but you're not blaming or pointing fingers at anyone. There's a lot of things that, when you go back and evaluate this tape, that you'll get better from and you'll get better at. It's not even close to what that Giants game or that Jets game felt like, and you'll see that if you go back and watch tape."
(On disappointment that the defense wasn't able to hold Pittsburgh to field goals)
"They did a great job of scrambling around. Charlie [Batch] scrambled around and made a couple big plays on third down, big plays that they were able to get. The one in the red zone where they were able to get down and score – we have to stop all those opportunities. We have to limit those. We didn't do that today. We weren't our best self today. But we have a chance to go back now, evaluate, get critical and come back out ready to fight."
(On the performance of QB Josh Freeman)
"You know, Josh played smart. He had that one unfortunately tipped ball that ended up in the interception, but, other than that, he didn't play terrible. He played good enough to win the game. We lost that game on defense and we lost that game on field position and we lost that game with the mentality of how the game was played. We'll go back and evaluate all those things and we'll get ready for Cincinnati."
(On whether RB LeGarrette Blount will play in upcoming games)
"I hope so. I have to go back and look at tape, but LeGarrette Blount went out there and ran hard, ran the ball physical, and did some things that I wanted him to be able to do. It could have been a different outcome if we had been able to get some early points there and had been able to use him and use that plan that I had formatted for today, but, again, when you play a good team, it doesn't always go like you plan. You wish you could go out and have it go the way you plan every time, but that wasn't the case today. We played a heavyweight and they won the football game. They earned it."
(On what he tells the team after a loss)
"It's a big picture. Of course everyone is going to try to tear it down right now and [act like] it's the end of the world, but it's a long football season. You're going to go through situations that you'll have to learn from. It's no different from 2002 when we went up to Philly, went to the Vet, and we got smashed that day, as well. That was a great learning experience for that team. And this is a great time for my captains to assume those captain roles and those leadership positions. It's a great time for a bunch of young players on this football team to decide if they're going to step up and be great. It's a great time for all of us to get together and bond and be one and not let anything tear us down for the next two weeks, as we get ready to go play Cincinnati at their place and their home turf and get a win to end out the first quarter of the season."
CB RONDE BARBER
(On the game)
"They're a good football team, they did a lot of things right, we will look at it on Monday and Tuesday and we will see all of our missed opportunities. Also, our missed opportunities for big plays that they converted and scored touchdowns. I don't want to call it an aberration or anything other than what is is. They played a good game and beat us."
(On the defensive performance)
"I will go back to missed opportunities, we could have had three or four interceptions in the first quarter. Instead he had one and two or three touchdowns. It is what it is, if you have the opportunities to make plays you have to make them, and we didn't. Give them a lot of credit, they are a veteran, experienced football team and they understand how to win games like this."
(On losing big)
"No one likes to lose games like this, but we did. We have a week to think about it, let it burn in our bellies, and figure out how to beat Cincinnati."
RB LeGARRETTE BLOUNT
(On first Buccaneer experience)
"It was awesome. It was wonderful. To see the field and go into game mode and see how fast the actual game goes when you're out there with the starters. I appreciate the coaches and everybody that had any part of me getting in the game for this opportunity. I'm just wishing that we came out with a victory."
(On competitive first half)
"We played hard, they had a couple of big plays that made them get up on us. Our offense was running pretty decent at the time, but we got behind and kind of failed to get back into the game. We had to keep our offense on the field to try and score and our defense off of the field so they can get some rest."
(On the margin of defeat)
"Yeah, it happened fast, but everything in this league happens fast. Everything doesn't go according to plan, we had the game plan to win, but we just didn't execute it at the pace we wanted to."
(On first career touchdown)
"It was a basic power play to the left, and I know in the National Football League its not easy to get one yard as it is in college. I got my number called and lowered my shoulders and got hit the first time. It was the second effort that got me into the end zone."
QB JOSH FREEMAN
(On the game)
"Today, for our offense, it was all about really not capitalizing on our opportunities and hurting ourselves. We started early, and the defense put us in a great position, it would've been awesome to come away with seven points, rather than three. We were unable to do that. The next drive, I think we went three-and-out. The following drive, we drove down to the red zone and once again, only came away with three points. On the flip side, I think their offense was playing really well. Field goals don't win games in this league. You've got to come away with seven when you get down in the red zone. We were unable to do so when we really needed it this week. Second half, we needed to come out and score right off the bat, and once again we weren't really able to get any offense going. It's a testament to the Steelers defense, they came out and played really well, put pressure on us and limited what we could do in the running game. That was a good team and I think we learned a lot from it. We've got to come in tomorrow and watch the film and continue to learn. At the same time, that loss does not feel like a loss we had last year against the Jets or Giants. It doesn't feel at all like that. They dominated us on the scoreboard, but at the same time I feel like our team's mentality walking away is that we could've played with those guys, we just didn't take advantage of the opportunities that were presented."
(On the Steelers taking away plays downfield)
"They do a great job of communicating. We were up at the line, making our protection calls, and you see Polamalu looking at our formations and saying, 'I'm taking this, you take that.' It's really kind of a [freelancing] secondary. They did a great job. I don't know if was recognition, but that's what a veteran defense does to you. It's a secondary that's played together for a long time and they are going to take away a lot of your shots down the field. At the same time, I feel like we left yardage on the field, and obviously, points."
(On where the team stands at this point)
"It's still hard to say where we are, because it is still early in the season. I know that we came out and everyone laid it on the line for 60 minutes. I know that even though score wasn't what we wanted it to be, we don't feel like we are that far off. We have a lot to learn, we feel like we have a lot of room to improve, but at the same time we can take away some good things from this game. Our protection, and turnovers; Tennessee turned it over seven times last week and we had two today, but I feel like we could've gotten out of the game without any. Obviously, we are going to have to go into this bye week and get prepared for Cincinnati, try to make it 3-1. We understand that's going to be a tough game, but we feel like this game is going to help us prepare for another AFC North opponent."
(On RB LeGarrette Blount)
"He's a big, physical running back. I don't think people realize quite how big he is, how physical he is. There is one play where I handed it off, went around on my boot, turned around and saw [James] Harrison on a crash course on Blount. I was like, 'This is going to be ugly,' but he ran into him and bounced off. You don't see that too often, but Blount definitely provided a spark for us. He came in, was hitting the holes hard, breaking tackles, it was good to see him. Honestly, that was only the second time I've ever handed off to Blount. I did it once in fundamental period and I did it today. It was great to see him come out, he knew what we were trying to do. He understood where he was supposed to go with the ball, he did a great job."
FB EARNEST GRAHAM
(On the Steelers offense)
"When they got ahead, they pounded the ball with that big offensive line, and strong running game. They got to play the game they wanted to play, not the way we forced them to play. It became very tough for us to get back in the game."
(On the Steelers defense)
"It's good, but we were able to do some very good things. We were able to do our things, but it was the big plays offensively for them that put the game out of hand. Then they got to play their type of football."
S CODY GRIMM
"It was not a win, I can play terrible and we could get the win and I would be happy. But the bottom line is we are 2-1, going into a bye week, we have to come back and work hard and get ready for Cincinnati."
(On the first touchdown pass)
"I had deep middle and he put up a good ball and I was trying to play the man rather then the ball. I just didn't make a good play on the ball. I should have turned my head around and made a better play."
S SEAN JONES
(On Steelers offense)
"Their offense ran the ball which set up the play-action pass, and they've been doing that for years. We didn't perform they way that we know we could have. Like I said, there's always next week. We're still a young team, we're going to go out there and fight. During this bye week, we're going to get ready for Cincinnati."
(On putting the loss behind you)
"It's over with. We're going to go back and look at the film and see what needs to be corrected. We have a bye week coming up and getting excited about the Bengals."
DE STYLEZ G. WHITE
(On the first half)
"We had a lot of missed opportunities, they came in and played well. We were in position and we didn't make the plays we needed to make to win this game."
WR MIKE WILLIAMS
(On the Steelers defense)
"They have a great defense, great defense all around. Its just that, everybody comes hard, all the guys on the field, not one is a weakness. That is how I look at their defense "
(On Steelers defense versus other defenses)
"Everybody is around the ball, all the defenders are around the ball, all striping to get the ball out. I guess you can call it a welcome to the NFL."