The Steelers face the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday in the AFC Wild Card playoff round. It will be the third time the two AFC North rivals have met this season, with each team winning on the road. Bengals players shared their take on Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, the defense, the matchup and more.
CB Dre Kirkpatrick on facing Ben Roethlisberger: **"It's hard to defend him because he's so good at extending plays. He's so good in the pocket. He has great communication with his receivers. It's all about the mental focus and great communication for us on the back end of the defense. Because when he's done, Ben's going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer."
- Safety George Iloka on Roethlisberger:
"You can say he's losing speed, but he isn't losing strength. He's still strong. He's still Big Ben. I'm preparing for him like I'm preparing for him each year. For us in the back end, we have to lock in. We might have to cover for five, six, seven seconds, if that's how long as it takes to give our D-line time to get back there and try to bring him down. He's done a good job this year of finding A.B. (Antonio Brown) and the other receivers that stepped up – No. 10 Martavis (Bryant) and Ben Roethlisberger. I think Heath is second on their team in catches. That's a stat where we have to try to do our best to limit him as well. But obviously it starts with A.B."
Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson on the Steelers defense:"They are a really good defensive football team with a lot of speed. They play hard, aggressive. They are well coached."
Coach Marvin Lewis on preparing without knowing Le'Veon Bell status:
"We are preparing for their running game. There is going to be a running back back there. We understand that. The offensive line is going to continue to do what they have done all season. They have done a great job. They have overcome the injuries they have had, guys have settled into spots. We know there is going to be a back in that position."
WR Marvin Jones on if it's easier or tougher to get fired up to play the Steelers for the third time this season:
"It doesn't make any difference because we're always fired up to play them. So it's naturally going to be fired up because the history between these two teams. They're a division team, so division games are always hyped, no matter who it is."
Kirkpatrick on how you stop Antonio Brown from having a big game:
"It isn't about the schemes. It's about going out there and playing with the bigger heart. You know he has a great heart. He's a great competitor. He competes throughout the game. We have to go out there and compete better than him."
Lewis on wide receiver Martavis Bryant:
"He is a good, talented player. He has outstanding speed. He has a good catch radius. He complements AB (Antonio Brown) on the other side, who in my opinion is one of the MVP candidates in the NFL as well as he has played this season. They have a great group of receivers."