STEELERS at RAVENS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2008 KICKOFF -- 4:15 P.M. POST-GAME QUOTES
POOL REPORT REFEREE WALT COLEMAN
(On why it was ruled a touchdown)
"You have to have two feet down to complete the catch. He had two feet down and completed the catch with control of the ball breaking the plane of the goal line."
(On if the ball broke the plane)
"Yeah, the ball was breaking the plane. He had two feet down. When he gained control of the ball, the ball was breaking the plane and then he fell into the field of play. But to have a touchdown, all you have to have is a catch, which is the two feet down, possession and control of the ball breaking the plane."
(On why was the original call was not ruled a touchdown)
"[Head linesman Paul Weidner] felt like when the receiver gained possession of the ball, the ball was not breaking the plane of the goal line."
*HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN
"Well, we got an excited football team in that room next door. Rightfully so. Ridiculously tough football game. The Ravens are a quality, quality team. This was a tough place to play today. We found a way. We hung together and hopefully that's the signature of Steeler football for '08. I know we've been in a bunch of these [games] and we've found a way to see our way out of some of them. Today was big for us. I'm just excited and happy for these guys and I'm excited about the challenges that lie ahead for us."
(On if the fourth quarter touchdown should be overturned)
"I thought he had a chance to be in the end zone. Of course, my perspective wasn't as good as maybe others. More than anything, we were prepared to make a decision had he [Antonio Holmes] not been in the end zone."
(On the fourth quarter touchdown)
"It's being resilient. Antonio [Holmes] hadn't had the greatest day. All we needed was a play and he provided it for us. It speaks to his football character. I think it speaks to the football character of our team. I'm proud of these guys. There were several reasons and instances where the faint of heart would let go of the rope in that football game. They didn't. Hopefully it's the window to what we are capable of. We'll see as we go forward."
(On future games this season)
"We're playing them one at a time. Tennessee is next, so we'll prepare for that. We'll go play that one. Not thinking too deeply about things, truth be known. We're just going to line up and play football week-to-week. When you're running the gauntlet that we've had to run from a schedule standpoint, looking at it any other way is not helpful."
(On the offense struggling early in the game)
"I wouldn't necessarily say that we struggled. They [Baltimore Ravens] are a good team defensively. When our backs were against the wall they [Steelers' offense] delivered. Seven [Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger] delivered, as he's done time and time again. I think a lot has been said about our offensive struggles, particularly in the last several weeks. One thing that is consistent, is that when we need plays, when we have to move the ball, we have. San Diego, last week, today."
(On the last drive)
"The guys felt the urgency of the moment. They didn't' want to let their teammates down. They played to win."
(On what today's game means for playoffs)
"It doesn't mean anything right now. I'm sure it will when I get a chance to digest it all. Of course, getting a home playoff game in front of our fans is very big. Winning our division is a prerequisite to being the kind of team that we want to be. We're excited about those things. Hopefully, there's hardware that we picked up along the way to the ultimate prize that we pursue."
(On what he took away from today's game)
"Again, I'm not evaluating too deeply. That was an emotional football game we played today versus a rival in their place. We found a way to win, and I think that's really what the overwhelming thoughts are right now."
(On the Steelers' defense)
"We like our defense. We step up to challenges. We've faced a bunch of hot offenses and hot quarterbacks, and they take it personal. They respond to challenges. We have a unique group."
(On being in a lot of 'ridiculously tough' football games)
"We've had a few. This one was unique; securing the division title in the home of our rival. We haven't won here, I think, since 2002. It was a big-time regular season football game. It was about as big as a regular season football game can get."
(On battling through close games)
"We're all a product of our experiences, and we've got a lot to call on. The guys believe. They believe in themselves and they believe in each other. They believe that games are 60-plus minutes, and they are prepared to play to the end."
(On Ed Reed's recovered fumble)
"It happened pretty quickly. They were all on a pretty quick route, I didn't have time to contemplate. More than anything, I was just trying to determine whether or not Santonio [Holmes] actually had possession of the football and was it indeed a fumble."
(On the Steelers' offensive confidence)
"I don't know that we had confidence that we could do this. I think that there was an overwhelming sense that, 'We have to do this.' That's how we play. When rubber meets the road, we have to deliver plays. Our quarterback wants to be the man to deliver them. We have a bunch of guys in that huddle with him that want to be the guy to deliver them. That was the prevailing mentality that we had. Not that we were capable to doing it, but that we had to do it."
(On the Steelers' health)
"I have no idea. I haven't talked to the doctors yet. I think we are pretty clean. We were clean at the half. I don't think there was anything significant in the second half. I'm sure there are going to be some bumps and bruises along the way, but we're fine."
*QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER
(On the win)
"Gosh, they're a good defense. They're a good team. I got to talk to Ed Reed real quick afterwards, and I told him, 'You are an animal.' He's that good, he's all over the field, and I'm trying to find him. He's just one of a number of guys they have. A lot of credit goes to our guys who fought hard."
(On having a sense of urgency on the final drive)
"You know what, I told Travis [Kirschke], 'I'd rather go 50 yards, than 92 yards, if you would've covered that fumble. He wanted to add to my legacy, he said. I appreciate that, but you know what, we got it started early. wE wanted to take a shot deep, scramble a little bit right, Hines [Ward] came across the field, I heard it was a great catch. I was kind of on the ground a couple of times, but that's the good thing. Our [offensive] line felt that urgency, getting me just enough time a couple of times to get it off. Hines [Ward] made a couple of huge catches during that drive. Nate [Washington] came back from a couple early drops, and that's what it's been about for us, especially on offense. Persevering and pushing through, whether it's a great defense, the weather, struggles, whatever it is, we found a way to get it done."
(On Santonio Holmes' performance today)
"For me, it's never a thought, I never think twice about it. I always tell him, 'Listen, I know it's frustrating at times. I want to get you the ball as well.' But the ultimate compliment, and he may not see it right now or during the game, but the ultimate compliment, and if you go back and look at the tapes, Ed Reed was over top of the cornerback on his side all game. How do you get a bigger compliment than that? So, I scrambled left on that last play and was going to try to run it in, and all of a sudden, a bunch of purple jerseys showed, and I scrambled back to the right, cause you know I hold onto the ball too long. And, the line came and cleaned everybody up, and I saw [Santonio Holmes] and just got it to him, and he made a heck of a play."
(On the intensity of the rivalry)
"This was your typical Ravens-Steelers football game. I've got cuts and bruises as do other guys in that locker room, as I'm sure they do. It was hard-fought, it was physical, low-scoring, just like everyone thought it was going to be."
(On how it feels to win the AFC North Division)
"To get it, right now, to get the home field, to get the North, especially as good as Baltimore has been playing this year and the fight that the whole AFC has been it, it does, it feels really good. To put this [Division championship] hat on and know what you've got. But, I tell you what, you won't see any of us wearing this hat come tomorrow or Tuesday, because it's time to bear down and finish this thing off."
*RB WILLIE PARKER
(On the Steelers' touchdown)
"We believed the whole time. I went to the offensive line and said, 'Believe, and we have to keep believing in ourselves.' We had to make one play, and that was the play. That's what we have been concentrating on – making that one big play. We know we have a great defense, and we're playing good football now. We knew if we scored one touchdown, we had a chance to win."
(On the officials' ruling of the touchdown)
"I'm going to stay away from that. I told [Santonio Holmes] earlier he needed to make a play, and it was going to be something big. He definitely did that. He came on and made a big play."
(On where this win compares to others)
"This is like the biggest win. I know we won the Super Bowl, but you just can't understand the feeling of the players in this locker room right now. It feels so good right now. The atmosphere is like a real championship team. We have a lot more to go. But this is a start."
(On getting a first-round bye)
"It's a long season, and a lot of us are banged up. I think that would be great for us – all of our hurt and injured players."
(On expressing his frustration in previous weeks)
"We just came out, and we just won. Coach appointed a captain right before the game, and I just rolled. We definitely rolled. They knew my frustration, and they know that I'm a team player. Everyone on the team knows that. Some of the guys came to me all throughout the week and told me to just hang in there and everything's going to work. But right now, this just feels great."
*WR HINES WARD
(On the win)
"The way we won it shows a lot of character on this team, and [our] resiliency. We didn't point fingers or blame anybody. We just stayed together as a team, and we fought through it in the end. It feels great to win in Baltimore. It's our first time winning [here] in a long time.
"We've been through so many situations this year, having to come from behind or playing with a lead. [The media] already said we had the hardest schedule, and it's just great for us to battle and win our division. We clinched a first-round bye. We have another big game. We would love to have that number one spot, and try to get the easiest path there. But in the AFC, I don't think there is any easy way. Baltimore has a great team, and we might even see them again. But all in all, it's all about the Steelers right now, and we're AFC North champions."
(On if he thought Santonio Holmes scored the touchdown)
"I thought so. That last play, they must have had ten guys in the end zone, so we as wideouts, we were scrambling. Once me and Santonio popped open, [Ben Roethlisberger] threw it. He did a great job. When they reviewed it, it was too close to overturn it. So, lucky for us, we won in Baltimore."
(On his personal statistics)
"I don't worry about it. It's all about when you get your opportunity. On that last drive, Ben had some trust in me to make plays and I came through in the end. I think we all, as wideouts, had some great catches, and Holmes finished it off in the end zone. That's what it's all about, and that's my job as a leader – to make sure all the guys are focused and that when opportunities do come, they are successful."
*LB LARRY FOOTE
(On who has the better defense)
"We wanted to outplay their defense. That was in our mind. But we had a better offense, and we knew that."
(On the Steelers' red zone defense)
"Once they get down there, we have to give them three. We can't give them seven, and at the end of the game, those points start adding up."
(On Lawrence Timmons' play)
"That strip-fumble was unbelievable. That was the play of the game. I don't take anything away from our offense, but I have to give it to my defensive comrade. All he does is play well."
*LB JAMES HARRISON
(On using any special defense against the Ravens)
"We wanted to come in here and shut down their running game. That was really important for us. We wanted to put their quarterback in some tough situations and make him beat us. That's how we were able to hold them to three field goals."
(On the Steelers' last drive)
"Even though we were in a situation we didn't like, we had confidence that they could go down and score. Our offense has been doing that all season – making big plays when we need them. We felt Ben [Roethlisberger] would come through for us again."
(On winning in Baltimore to clinch the AFC North title)
"We're just happy to keep winning. We really didn't think about the fact that it had been a while since we won here. We just wanted to win today and clinch the division title. It feels great to have the division won because that is one of our goals. Now, we just want to keep winning."
(On how physically tough the game was)
"When we play the Ravens, it's always a physical, hard-hitting game that comes down to the end. These are two teams that don't like each other – but we do respect them and I know that they respect us."
*WR SANTONIO HOLMES
(On game-winning touchdown drive)
"We had a lot of confidence going into that last drive, and we felt we could drive down there and win the game. We all have a lot of faith in our quarterback, and we felt good going into the last drive. Our defense played great, and they kept telling us 'only one TD drive would win the game.' So, we were very aware of what we needed."
(On his game-winning TD catch)
"It was a big play for us. When I saw Ben running around, I just tried to stay active, and I came back to him. I tried to sneak away from their coverage and drifted to the other side, and he saw me. When he threw me the ball, I knew I was close to being out of the end zone. But, I caught it and tucked it in and made sure I had both feet in the end zone."
(On being concerned when the play was being reviewed)
"I didn't know how that was going to turn out. I was really happy when they gave me the touchdown, but I think we would have scored on the next play anyway."
(On redeeming himself for his 3rd quarter fumble)
"I was just trying to make a play and make something happen. Things weren't going well for us at the point, so I was probably trying too hard."
(On winning the AFC North)
"It feels great to win the division. Considering where we came from, it makes us all very appreciative. Getting a bye week for the playoffs also helps."
*LB JAMES FARRIOR
(On how big a win it was for the Steelers)
"It's a huge win for us because now we are the division champions. But, we've still got some things that we want to do. Everyone stuck together, and we pulled this one out. We are a team that sticks together and that really helped us win the game."
(On the final drive by the offense)
"I am so proud of them. They really came together and played so well on that last drive. They fought really hard and made some big plays. I was kind of nervous watching them, and I just kept praying nothing bad would happen before we scored."
(On how tough the game was)
"When we came in here to play Baltimore, we knew it was going to be a tough game. We just hung in there for 60 minutes and gave our offense a chance to win at the end. On defense, we knew we had to limit their opportunities and we did. I think we held them to 3 field goals."
(On winning the division)
"It means a lot, but we've got some other things we want to do. We're the number 2 seed now, and we'd like to get that number 1 seed. We just want to keep winning because we have some other things we'd like to do this season. Getting the bye is very important. It's always great to have that week off and get some guys to heal."
OT MAX STARKS
(On the game-winning drive)
"We were all very confident. Ben is a very special quarterback and he can make things happen. He does a great job moving around and making plays when nothing is there. Our offense is a very close unit and we have so much confidence that our quarterback will make a play if we give him a chance. We felt sure we could go down and score at the end."
(On winning in Baltimore)
"This is a huge win. I don't think we had won here in 5 years or something like that. I know this is the first time we've won here since I've been on the Steelers. It's really great to rid our selves of this demon."
*S RYAN CLARK
(On his performance)
"I think you rate it on the win. They had an opportunity to come up big and stop us, and our offense did an awesome job. Then we go out there with some time left on the clock and [William] Gay comes up with a great play so you rate in on that. You rate it that we did what we had to do to get a 'W.'"
(On the play of QB Ben Roethlisberger)
* *"I wasn't here for the Super Bowl, so right now this is number one with me. A defense like the [Ravens], a situation like this, for the whole division, and the way he came up and made big plays and the way he made that last play, bought time, makes a great throw. It's awesome, man. That is why he is a Pro Bowler. It's no coincidence that the guy gets $102 million. You can't make a $100 million mistake. That doesn't happen. He did a great job."
(On the Steelers defense)
"We held them to 9 points, and I think in the end that ends up being the difference. They get three opportunities in the red zone and don't score. Our offense goes out and scores at the end. I think it was a big debate on whose defense was better. Even though we had the numbers and number one [defense], I think a lot of people were expecting us to lose this game. So it feels good."
*NT CASEY HAMPTON
(On the game)
"Everybody knows its going to be a tough game – two good defenses battle it out. It is what it is. We just came out here and did what we do. We just played tough 'D" both teams played tough 'D' today. That's how the game ends, its tough when a team loses. We just went out there and did our thing."
(On the character of the Steelers)
"That's what we've been doing all year. That's the type of game we play. I don't think there's a team in the league that is more battle tested than us, playing closer games than us throughout the season. So, I think that will definitely help us toward the end of the year and into the playoffs."
(On the possibility of home field advantage during the playoffs)
"That's big, big to have that home field advantage, we got another tough game next week. We're trying go out there against Tennessee, so we'll see what happens."
*S TROY POLAMALU
(On the comparison between this team and the Steelers Super Bowl winning team)
"I think we are a totally different team. The personality of our defense is a lot different than it was before. The personality of our team is a lot different actually."
(On QB Ben Roethlisberger's play)
"He did a good job today of managing the game…We played a good red zone defense today; our goal is always to not give up 6 points. When you do that, as you can see in the end, when they gave up the touchdown, that's the team that is going to win the game."
(On playing Tennessee next week)
"When you take it one week at a time, you really don't look at it like that."
(On Ravens' offense and QB Joe Flacco)
"It's tough to say, they didn't put a lot of pressure on him to go out and be Tom Brady and pass the ball 30 times. Their goal was to beat us up around the ball, as it was our goal."
HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
"Obviously, it was a disappointing loss, in some ways heartbreaking. You have to give the Steelers credit. They got a big sack when they had to at the end of the game to bump us out of field goal position, and then they took the ball down the field and scored. So, that's the way they've won games, and you have to give them credit for it. They got the job done when they had to, and we take our hats off to them."
(On the ball breaking the plane)
"It didn't look to me like the ball broke the plane. That's what I saw."
(On if he asked the officials for an explanation)
"He didn't give me an explanation."
(On if it's his belief that the ball has to break the plane)
"It's my understanding that the ball has to cross the plane. We'll be looking forward to hearing if that's a fact."
(On if he was told how the review went)
"I asked for an explanation, but no one was explaining too much at that point in time. So, we were moving on."
(On if it's tough to lose a game with a questionable call at the end)
"It's tough to lose a game any way you lose a game."
(On allowing the Steelers' touchdown drive)
"It's just disappointing. We wanted to get them stopped. We wanted them to kick a field goal. Hold the lead up a little bit and hope we score a touchdown. We wanted to do a lot of things that we didn't get done. That's what football games are – they're tough. It's competitive. It's easy to say you should do this, you should do that. Our guys are out there fighting their hearts out to get it done. We came up short. They got it done, and that's where it stands right now. They're the division champs – let's give them credit. Now it's our task to make the playoffs."
(On what you will tell your team if it comes to light that the officials got it wrong)
"Then, we'll just have to say that they just got it wrong. What more could you say? We have a game this Saturday. We have to play the Cowboys – that's our focus. That'll be our focus tomorrow morning, starting at 8 o'clock."
(On not scoring touchdowns in the red zone)
"We always want to score touchdowns in the red zone. That's a good defense we were playing, and they did a nice job in the red zone."
(On if the Steelers did something different today)
"I'll have to see the tape, but there's nothing they haven't done [before]. They were just playing their coverages and running their pressure packages. For the most part, we did a pretty good job of picking it up. It was a good defensive battle, that's what it was. It was two good defenses squaring off."
(On using the unbalanced Ravens' offensive line)
"We got a lot out of the unbalanced line. I think we got some yards out of it. We tried to protect the football for the most part. I thought we did a pretty good job of that."
(On the Ravens defense against Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger)
"Most of his scrambles… it wasn't like he was running out of the grasps of guys. It was on three-man rushes where he was able to move around and make some plays. Really, there wasn't much of that. I thought we did a nice job of getting him down."
(On what explanation was given when the Ravens lost their challenge)
"The explanation was that they didn't have an angle good enough to overturn it."
(On the injury to CB Fabian Washington)
"He pulled his hamstring."
(On which play Washington was injured)
"I don't really remember exactly which play it was."
* LB RAY LEWIS
(On what to tell the team after this loss)
"Keep going. Win, lose or draw. The season still has two games. You've got two of the top division teams in here. It doesn't matter if you give up a drive in the first quarter or the fourth quarter, the game was close. You can't ask for anything more, bottom line. They made the play at the end of the game, and we didn't. You have to give all the credit to them. Right now, our focus is Dallas. It's the same thing I've always told these guys, 'Buckle it up for 60 minutes, offense, defense and special teams. And at the end of the season we'll see where it is. Don't try to get yourself down because things didn't go your way, just keep going.' I'm just excited that we came out and played. I'm definitely not excited that we lost at home."
(On the Steelers' last drive)
"They made plays, bottom line. Either you make the plays or you don't make the plays. All game long, they didn't make any plays, and on one drive they did. Whether you give up the drive in the first or the fourth quarter, you gave up one drive. It's the same thing against them with our offense. We made drives in the first quarter and got three points out of it; they made a drive in the fourth quarter. It was a great game, man. That's the way football comes down, and you've got to take it like that. If you don't take it like that, you are abusing why you step out there and play the game."
(On Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's ability to make plays)
"That's a special skill that most great quarterbacks have. They can get out of the pocket and do things like that. He's one of those guys that can get out and make plays. He made a couple of plays tonight. We made a couple of plays tonight. But, the bottom line is they made more plays to win the game."
(On WR Santonio Holmes' game-winning touchdown)
"If you get caught up in all of that, then you worry about fines and all of that. We lost the game. That's the bottom line. There aren't any freakin' excuses. A million times if you play it, of course, he didn't get in, but they called it the way they called it. You've got to move on. That didn't win or lose the game for us."
(On how quickly he gets ready for Dallas)
"Right now, right now. One of the things I'm going to tell my young guys is, is that we have to keep going. There's two more games left, we can go in 11-5. You deal with what you deal with. The bottom line is your motivation cannot change. You take a loss just like you take a win – strap it up, short week, let's go to Dallas."
*FB Le'RON McCLAIN
(On the loss to the Steelers)
"We let them hang around too long. We left our defense out there too long. We should have made a couple more plays. It was a great game. We just need to get better. We have a couple of games left. We've got to go down and take care of the Cowboys, and then we'll get a chance to see them again."
(On running the football against the Steelers)
"That's our mentality. We've just got to go out there and do what we do. I was just doing my thing, running North and South. It was wearing those guys. The defense played great, they were just out there too long. I put that on my back and our offenses' back. We have to get better as a whole."
(On his injury in the fourth quarter)
"I injured my neck a little bit. I had to come off for a few plays, but I was able to come back in. It was frustrating, because I felt like we could end the game there."
(On if the offense getting better)
"Oh yeah, we just have to keep getting better. Like Ray [Lewis] said, it's just the beginning. It's a tough loss, but we have to put that behind us and go beat Dallas and Jacksonville. And then we'll make it to the playoffs."
(On the Steelers' WR Santonio Holmes' touchdown)
"It was tough, but that's the call, and we can't complain about it. As an offense, we could have made a few more plays."
(On the Ravens' red-zone offense)
"It's all about execution when you're inside the red zone. It's just little stuff. They weren't stopping us, we were stopping ourselves. It's like I said before, we've got to get better. We're stopping ourselves. Tomorrow we'll go in and watch film."
(On playing the Steelers)
"We knew they were going to be a tough team. Defense played great, special teams played great, I just feel like the offense left some plays out there. There were a couple of things that we killed ourselves on. Again, we need to get better, and we will see them again."
(On getting over the loss)
"I'm going to go in and watch film tomorrow. We've got a short week, we've got to go to Dallas and win a football game, and that's what we plan on doing. We've got to keep doing what we've been doing this season. We've got a great leader in coach Harbaugh. We've got to go win these last two games and go to the playoffs."
*WR MARK CLAYTON
(On having a short week to turn things around)
"Our team is resilient, and we have a great passion about what we do. Losing hurts. Whenever you get a chance, you have to go in and get back at it."
(On if the Steelers' defense was frustrating)
"It was tough. We knew we had some plays out there, but we weren't able to make enough to win the game. We're going to go back this week and do what we do – work hard and get better."
(On the Steelers' game-winning touchdown)
"At the end of the day, they got the win. We fought hard, but we didn't make enough plays. That touchdown won the game for them. All we can do this week is work hard, get better, and go down to Dallas and put our best product on the field."
(On having one last opportunity to win the game)
"You never know how a game's going to end. They were able to make a play at then end and go ahead, and it was our turn to try to get back at them. Unfortunately, time ran out on us, and we weren't able to put the ball in the end zone and score."
(On the Ravens' red zone difficulties)
"We just didn't get it in. We didn't execute like we know how to. We'll go in this weekend and work hard, practice hard and get better, and take advantage of those red zone opportunities."
*T WILLIE ANDERSON
(On the loss)
"The Steelers made the plays that they had to make, and we didn't. Give them credit. Pittsburgh has a great team, and I thought we did a fairly decent job. [We'll] get back to work, and we'll put the game behind us and go play Dallas."
(On moving forward)
"You have to be mature about it. You have to be a man about it."
*S JIM LEONHARD
(On the loss)
"It's tough. You knew the type of game it was going to be. It played out exactly how everyone expected it really. We just came out on the wrong side. They made some plays on the last drive, and we didn't. That's why we're sitting here trying to figure out what happened."
(On the last Pittsburgh drive)
"Roethlisberger did a great job. He did what he always does. He creates extra time, and he made guys miss, and he's so good with his legs that it's hard to cover that long sometimes. You might initially have the route taken care of, and he extends the play. You've got to give them credit. They made plays when they needed."
*CB FABIAN WASHINGTON
(On if this is a tough loss to swallow)
"It's definitely tough to swallow. I feel like we played good enough to win, but they came out victorious today."
(On how he feels he played)
"I'm just trying to improve week to week. That's all. You know, we lost this one, and it was very tough."
(On what kind of setback this is)
"It's not a setback. We're going to move forward and get better."
(On whether it was frustrating to watch the final drive from the sideline)
"Very frustrating. I always want to help as much as I can. Just looking from the sideline, that definitely [stinks]."
DT TREVOR PRYCE
(On the call and replay review that on the Steelers' touchdown)
"It was disappointing, but you all saw the replay. I can't comment one way or another, but it's disappointing anytime you lose a game like that at home. All credit goes to the Steelers. That's a good football team."
(On where they go from here with Dallas in six days)
"You go to Dallas in six days. Where else can you go? We'd like to go to Pittsburgh and play again, but we can't because of the schedule."
(On if he was seeing double teams or if the Steelers did anything different than what he's seen lately)
"It was the same. I'm not so sure if it was a double team of me or Bart [Scott]. I think that's what it is. I just happened to line up where Bart is. After a while, you say, 'I'm going the other way.' They had a good game plan. They weren't going to let [Ben Roethlisberger] get hit much. If you've got to slide one way or the other or take one certain guy and double this guy or double that guy to make that happen, that's what they did."
*QB JOE FLACCO
(On the Steelers defense)
"They're the No. 1 defense in the league statistically, and I think they feel confident in what they're doing. So they came after us just the way we planned on them. They did a good job, and we would like to do a better job."
(On getting sacked outside of field goal range late in the game)
"I knew somebody was coming up that way. I was sliding to my left, sliding to my left and wanted to get rid of the ball. That's what you've got to do in that situation – get rid of the ball so you give yourself at least a chance to get the field goal."
(On getting it back together for a playoff push heading into Dallas on Saturday)
"We'll be fine. We're ready to go. We'll come in tomorrow, just look at the tape and move on. Dallas is a good team. It's the last game in [Texas] Stadium. We're going to go there ready to play. We've got two games left to get some wins and prove that we're a playoff team, and that's exactly what we're going to do."
(On if he came away with any learning experience from this game)
"It was a tough game. That's what games are going to be in December in the NFL. Believe me, we learn something from every game. We're going to go back and look at the film and take something from this game, also."
(On whether it was tough being on the sideline with Pittsburgh's offense driving)
"We have confidence in our defense. I have confidence in those guys out there. They've done a great job all year. We're just on the sideline watching, and, if necessary, we'll go out there and try it again. That's what ended up happening today. We had to go back out there and try to put a score on the board and came up a little short."
(On if Pittsburgh did anything different defensively in the red zone)
"We were trying to get a couple on them earlier, and they were playing so soft that we couldn't get any of the plays that we thought might get them. They did a good job of that. They did a good job of making us hit the short ball and running up and making their tackles. They've been good all year in the red zone. They've been good all year out in the field, so you've got to give those guys credit. But, at the same time, we wish we would've come out with more than field goals."
*CB SAMARI ROLLE
(On a single drive at the end of the game resulting in the deciding points)
"That's how it's been in some of our losses – the first Pittsburgh game, the Tennessee game, today – but we can grow from this as a team. We're not out of it or anything. [We'll] just try to get better."
(On if he felt anything different on the last drive as a defense that the rest of the game)
"I wouldn't say that. They got it going. Ben [Roethlisberger] was moving around like he does, and that's their best play – him moving around."
NT HALOTI NGATA
(On the battle at the line of scrimmage)
"It was pretty tough. They did a good job of trying to grind that ball, and we did a good job of stopping it and making them a one-dimensional team. They just did a good job at getting the pass to the receivers, so we've got to work on that and pressure that quarterback more."
(On if he faced a double team most of the day)
"I don't know. I don't really notice until I watch film."
(On the feeling of having the lead much of the game but losing at the end)
"It [stinks]. It's happened a couple times this year, and we've just got to do a better job at closing games out. We didn't do that against Pittsburgh, and now we've got to just move on and get these two wins."
(On what they need to do to rebound and be ready for Dallas)
"Just focus, learn from this game and take it on the field against Dallas."
*DT JUSTIN BANNAN
* *(On moving forward after the loss)
"I don't think we have a choice. The next game is on Saturday night, the last game at Texas Stadium. It's tough. Obviously it's tough. We've got to go back to work, and keep going. One thing I love about our guys is we're so resilient. We have had some tough times – one thing I love about us is we bounce back. We're going to go back to work, and that's what we do, we work. We'll study what happened, and we'll go from there."
K MATT STOVER
(On how to bounce back from the loss)
"These are character builders, you have to look at these games that way. If you look at them any other way, you find yourself looking back, and you can't. You've got to look forward. I know, being a kicker, I have to do that when I miss a field goal – as fast as I possibly can. What you have to do as a player, which I've been one for a while, [is] move on quickly."
(On how the defense will react)
"It's going to upset our defense. Knowing the character of these guys, they're going to respond with greatness. I just know they are. That's the type of competitors that they are. I'm proud of these guys. I'm proud of this team. We're going to stick together. There's nobody in here that is happy about the loss, but we're going to make this a positive and move on for the next two games and win them. That's one thing coach Harbaugh does a great job of doing is making sure our vision is always ahead, not [on] what's behind."
*CB FRANK WALKER
(On the loss)
"It's frustrating. Anytime there is a loss, there is frustration among the players, because we always want to win and it's a rivalry."
(On the controversial play, Steelers' touchdown)
"They made the plays when they needed to make the plays on us. They are a good ball club. I can't even remember if there were any penalties on that drive. They just made the plays when they had to make them."
(On the similarity between the last drive today and the last drive in the Tennessee game)
"That game had a very controversial call on [Terell] Suggs. This game is nothing like that."
(On the Steelers last drive)
"That's what happened. They drove 92 yards. What else can I say?"
*T ADAM TERRY
(On containing the Steelers' defense)
"Our line did a really good job on pass protection, even when I was in there. We've just got to move forward"
(On Ravens chances to make the playoffs)
"We'll look at the tape and evaluate things and get ready for the Dallas game. That's all we can do. We can't look ahead to Jacksonville. This is a one-game season from here on out, just like it's been here all season. I think that's been a pretty effective attitude so far this year."