What The Steelers Said

Throughout the week we will bring you a variety of quotes from the Steelers media sessions.

Super Bowl XLV Press Conference – Mike Tomlin

(Opening statement) "Good morning. Friday morning is preparation day for us. We're putting the finishing touches, of course, on our plan here in a couple hours. [We're] working on situational football, third down, red zone, short yardage, goal line and others. It's been a good week, but of course, like the Green Bay Packers I'm sure, we're all getting a little antsy and getting ready to play. At this point, I'd be happy to answer any questions."

(on whether the quick turf at Cowboys Stadium favors one team or another) "No, I don't. I think both teams have guys who are capable of running, of course, and capable of taking the top off of coverages and so forth. They have secondary men who can run. It is going to be a factor in the game but probably not a significant one."

(on the next 48 hours logistically and emotionally) "It's going to be a normal business day for us. This morning into this afternoon is a normal Friday schedule for us. The team doesn't have media responsibilities, so it is going to be normal. After that, I'm sure people are going to spend the majority of the evening dealing with family members that have arrived or are arriving in town, getting them squared away, having family celebrations, if you will, or dinner or so forth. We don't have anything scheduled into the evening or night tonight. Tomorrow we'll have a dress rehearsal in the morning over there at TCU, going through a final mock game, if you will. We'll invite some special people for the players that probably helped them get there and have been influential in their careers and we'll take a big group picture at the end of that and have some free time. We'll probably go to an undisclosed location at about seven o'clock tomorrow and start our night before the game normal meeting process. In the midst of all of that you asked about the feelings and emotions. It probably depends on who you ask. I would imagine that Hines [Ward's] perspective on all of this is probably a little different than Antonio Brown's. I'll keep an eye on all of the guys and try to provide them what it is they need so they can stay on an emotional even keel and be prepared to play."

(on his feelings) "I'm a robot. I'm just going to ride the wave."

(on if Maurkice Pouncey is practicing today) "I'll let you know when we practice. We practice at about 11, so we're a couple hours short. I'm sure he's over there working, trying to prepare himself. When I get over there, that's going to be one of the many things I check up on and see if he'll have an opportunity to participate today in some form or fashion."

(on if Pouncey has to practice today to play on Sunday) "Yes."

(on what it means to him to hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy) "It's the pinnacle. Thirty-two teams start this journey with the same intentions. So of course, you're overcome with emotions. Great feelings of satisfaction, but also humility because you realize that there are probably a lot of people that are deserving, to be quite honest with you. It's hard to put into words."

(on if the weather has inhibited the team at all this week) "No, it really hasn't. We're kind of used to inclement weather. At least from my perspective, it hasn't changed how we've worked at all. We've been inside for several weeks now back in Pittsburgh, so it's no big deal there. I'll tell you one thing, the people at TCU have been more than accommodating. We really appreciate your hospitality."

(on what it's like to have a chance to be among the coaches who have won two Super Bowls) "It's awesome, it really is. It's humbling, it's inspiring, it motivates you. It's all those things. I think fortunately for us, we have what you can't buy, which is legacy, which is unbelievable standard and expectation and all those great things."

Super Bowl XLV Thursday Media Session


(on how much of the game plan was put in before arriving in North Texas) "For us, we proceeded with the mentality that we were going to arrive here in Dallas ready to play. We approached last week as if we were going to play on this past Sunday, and we are simply re-tooling, evaluating and honing to a fine edge, if you will, our plan with our guys. That's our approach that we take. It's the approach we took last time. From that standpoint, we're comfortable with it."

(on how he can treat Super Bowl like a regular-season game) "Here's the thing. When we are doing what it is we do with ourselves, it is. When we are in meetings, when we are on the practice field, when we are preparing ourselves to play, we are not approaching this game any differently than any other game. We acknowledge that some of this is unique, but we embrace that. I'm sure there are 30 teams that would like to have these problems. It is a game from a professional standpoint, and we are going to approach it like we've approached the other games. I think that's why we're here. But we also acknowledge that it's different, and we don't fight against that."


(on being able to establish the run all season despite injuries to the offensive line) "It's a gritty bunch. I love them. Whoever comes in steps up. As Coach Tomlin says, 'the standard is the standard. If you put on a black and gold jersey and you're in the starting 11, you play like a starter. No matter if you haven't played at all or if you're a 13-year veteran.' We don't change anything that we do. We don't mix things up to protect a guy. You step up and you play that position. You block that guy. We're not going to cover you up."

(on if you can teach a quarterback to be clutch) "I think you can learn to get there. Most guys are born with it. They want the ball. From eighth grade on, they want the ball in the crunch time. They want, as a pitcher, the hitter. In basketball, football, the same way. Some guys learn to get there because they are so smart at what they do that the game slows down for them. There is no pressure. Other guys can know everything there is to know about the game but they can't handle that. It's not pressure because they know what to do. It's the nerves or whatever it is to really let it go, trust it and trust yourself. I think it's more inherent that is brought out than something you give in a classroom and teach. Talent has nothing to do with it.


(on other players wearing Michigan State jerseys in his honor this week) "That made me feel good. It makes me feel real good. I was happy about it; felt good that the players, the offensive line guys felt enough to be able to buy the jerseys and show appreciation as much as I appreciate them.

(on if he'll be nervous on the day of the game) "Yeah, I mean, I've never experienced a Super Bowl. There's always going to be some type of nervousness. I get nervous before mostly every game. It's not nervous as far as being scared of an opponent; it's more of what I'm going to do and how I'm going to do it in whatever particular situations that come and everything like that. Being in the Super Bowl, I'm sure it's going to be a little bit of nervousness, but once you just start cracking helmets out there, it's going to be like the same old thing. You've just got to go out there and do the best you can."


(on his pregame speeches) "Well the pregame speeches are something I feel, I never really rehearse it, I never really think about what I'm going to say. I just want it to come from the heart. I want it to be original. I just try to get a feel for how the guys are in the locker room and what I need to do to motivate them. I really don't know what I'm going to say this week. It all comes from the head and it's a spur of the moment thing. I don't know what I'm going to say this time."

(on the Steelers' tradition of linebackers and the ones here now) "Well definitely I understood the tradition that the Pittsburgh Steelers had at the linebacker spot. I know about all the great linebackers that have come through and you know, when you become a Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker you just want to uphold the standards that they held throughout the years. You just want to try not to let those guys down. You want to try to play at a level that they played at because they were ferocious on the field and those guys really made the defense go. As far as our group of linebackers, I think we have one of the best groups in the NFL right now. Everybody is playing at a high level. We have tremendous athletes. LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison on the outside, those guys do a great job of creating mismatches and wreaking havoc all over the field. And Lawrence Timmons is probably one of the best athletes I've ever been around so he's out there making plays. And I'm the old guy."


(on the family atmosphere amongst the Steelers players) "I would say, maybe, it starts at the top with the owners. The Rooneys do a good job of welcoming everyone and making everyone feel as though they kind of have a personal relationship with all the people in the organization. And I think that this is a good group of guys. The guys that are brought here aren't brought here by happenstance. They're brought here because they're good character guys. They're guys who will put the team before themselves and play for each other."

(on the impact that the Steelers organization has had on his career) "I think sometimes being around the tradition, the history, the guys that I've been able to play with to this point, I can't help but be a better player. Pittsburgh has been good for a long time. When I came here, there were a ton of veteran leaders that knew how to be professionals, that knew how to be good players. I tried to learn as much as I could from those guys and I try to still display that now. If young guys ask me, I try to help them out, and that's another reason that I feel fortunate to come here, outside of the organization and the tradition, but the guys that were on the team when I was young. I learned a lot from them."


(on what it means to get to the Super Bowl with this current Pittsburgh team) "You always look back on the experience after you win the game. We've been fortunate enough to be in this game and not walk away when the confetti is not in black and gold. But that has everything to do with the experience. I don't know how you look back at this season, but to this point, it's amazing. It's amazing that guys like James Farrior and Hines Ward, these cornerstones of our locker room, have led us to this point for a third time."

(on if he looks around the locker room and sees players who may be in their final year) "Our strength has never been in our talent. It's always been in our virtues, of our hard work and most importantly our camaraderie, our humility and how we respect the game and respect our opponents. That's something youth can never have. It takes a lot of experience. It takes a lot of chemistry, a lot of life experience to have that.


(On making plays the final two minutes) "Those are great moments, key moments and are clutch plays that seal victories and put the team in great position to finish ballgames. Those are the types of things you want to be ready for and take your mind through and be prepared for every phase of the game and every chance that it presents you."

(On what went through his mind when he knew number could be called on third down against the Jets) "We are six yards from the Super Bowl. That's what it was. We might not have gotten it and made a field goal maybe and they come back and now its overtime. I just wanted our team to finish on that drive. In the huddle, we're six yards away from the Super Bowl. Mike Wallace said we are six yards away from it and we converted it and it was a great feeling."


(on if he will be happy to get rid of his beard) "You know what, I was at one point. At one point through this year I was like, 'I'm tired of it. I'm tired of chewing on my mustache when I eat. I'm tired of all that.' But now that I'm here, and it's so close to the point where it's going to come off, I'm kind of getting sad because it's kind of overtaken me. I'm going to miss it when it's got to go."

(on the defensive front playing well without Aaron Smith) "I'm not surprised. When we lost Aaron (Smith) last year and Ziggy (Hood) got an opportunity to play, Nick Easton got an opportunity to play, Chris Hoke, those guys just gained experience with that. When we were put in that situation this year, they understood when they were put in there, they could make plays and hopefully there wouldn't be a drop-off. Obviously Aaron is a phenomenal player. We miss him. We love him. He's a great leader for us, but he's done all those things, as far as leadership, without being on the field with us. It's big why we're here."


(on the injuries along the offensive line) "Facing a lot of adversity, they've done a great job. I know it all starts with their Offensive Line Coach Sean Kugler. He does a great job with those guys and they're always on the same page. They mix and match and different linemen have to play different positions but no matter which five are out there, they all mesh because they all have an understanding. They've done a great job of being very productive in the face of adversity."

(on what Hines Ward means to the team) "When you say the name Hines Ward, everybody knows exactly who it is. All of that speaks for itself. He's a great player. He's a great character guy who means so much to this franchise. He's been a part of it since the 90s. He's part of the glue that keeps this whole thing running. He means so much to the young guys on this team, especially those receivers. He's a guy, even for how great he is and for as much as people know him, they don't really know as much as what he actually does."


(on his chances on practicing tomorrow) "There is a good chance. Rehab has been going good for me. If I am out there, I will play and if I'm not, I won't play. It's still a 75 percent chance. I am not doing any running yet. We aren't going to push it that far yet. The biggest issue is the swelling. It's not all out yet and I'm trying to get all the rotation back into my ankle. It's been going good."

(on his treatment) "I have been doing heavy treatment. I have been in the room doing my own thing. I have been here riding the bike and doing some NormaTec trying to get some of the swelling down. Walking around on it feels really good and hopefully it does tomorrow. It's been getting better each day."


(on how the young receivers were able to fit in with the veterans) "We really just try to live up to the standard of our team. It doesn't matter if we're young or not, Coach (Mike) Tomlin always says that the standard is the standard on our team no matter who's in there. I think Hines (Ward) and (Antwaan) Randle El and Arnaz Battle have really helped our development because they've seen a lot of things and all three of those guys were on different teams last year. So we take different things from what all three of those guys saw and they teach us, and we just use it in our game. We don't know everything so we just try to listen to the older guys."

(on what he's learned from Hines Ward) "I've learned so much from Hines. It would take me all day to say it. The main thing is how to be accountable to yourself and your teammates. Blocking-wise, we need to block because our running backs are blocking all day for us. They're trying to protect for us when we're trying to get open. So we have to try to return the favor for our teammates. You don't want to be selfish out there. Off the field, don't put yourself in bad situations. It's quite simple. You don't want a bad image, you don't want people looking down on you and he's done a really good job at it. Hines really leads by example. He does all the right things and if you look at it, he's not hard to follow."


(on whose responsibility it is to get pressure) "It's just making adjustments, going out there and changing up a few things because we know teams want to spread us out, try to get the receivers and linebackers matched up because they feel like they have an advantage over us, but I think that our outside linebackers, we do a good job covering."

(on what allows a franchise to have sustained success) "The type of players that we bring in.  It's all about the quality players that you bring in, respecting the history and tradition.  Guys that come in and they don't think about themselves.  They think about the team.  I think that's the type of player that the Steelers bring in.  Guys that come in and embrace everything."

Super Bowl XLV Wednesday Media Session

Coach Mike Tomlin
(on Rashard Mendenhall's development) "He was a 20-year-old, third-year junior when we drafted him. We like that. He's grown into a mature man and player. He continues to get better. One of the things that we like about Rashard is that he is an intelligent individual. He's got a desire to be great. He doesn't ride the emotional rollercoaster. He has a legitimate, sound perspective on all of this. He's mature beyond his years from that standpoint. But there is no question that he is a guy who is still in development as a player and a person. He's 23 years old now. It's been fun to watch, and I'm sure it will continue to be fun to watch him grow and develop."

(on the Cowboys as 'America's Team' and Steeler Nation) "That's irrelevant to us. Dallas is 'America's Team,' and we have Steeler Nation. We like Steeler Nation. So be it."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

(on his definition of an elite quarterback and if he has been recognized as one) "Well my definition I guess of an elite quarterback is one that wins football games. Obviously you put up numbers and I'm not saying you have to put up, throw for 350 yards a game or whatever, but putting up numbers, being consistent however you do it. If you're throwing the ball 15 times a game, what's your completion percentage? Are you completing most of them? Are they just five-yard passes or 10 to 15-yard passes, but at the end of the day to me, to be an elite quarterback is winning and losing."

(on the key factor to win Sunday's game) "I think for me, I mean obviously we have to try to score more points than they do. But for me it's going to be about identifying their defense, trying to pick up their blitzes, and when you identify you have a better chance of doing that. You still have to execute you know and do your job and do your role, but if we can find a way to identify their defense and their blitzes and where they're coming from I think that gives us a better opportunity, a better chance."

Defensive End ChrisHoke

(on being Pittsburgh's team) "We're Pittsburgh's team though, right? We don't want to take that away. I think that's the whole story. America's team, who isn't America's team? But, we're Pittsburgh's team. We represent Pittsburgh, not America."

(on looking forward to getting back to practice) "It's exciting to get back to work. We're down here to play a game. Media is a part of it, but we're ultimately here to play this game. It's nice to get back to work, prepare, watch film and get into game mode."

Linebacker James Farrior
(on how much last year's game against the Packers factors into their preparation) "I've looked at it. I think everybody's pretty much looked at that game. We looked bad out there, I'll tell you that. We didn't play as well as I thought we could have played. I think we made a lot of mistakes that game and those guys took advantage of it. It was a high-scoring game. I think we're a better team. A better team, a better defense. I think we're able to make some of the plays that we couldn't make the last time we played those guys."

(on what Tomlin does well) "I think one of the things that really goes unnoticed is he's a good motivator. I think he really gets guys to believe in his philosophies and the way he's doing things. He's a great talker. He's a great orator. I think he's one of the best coaches to get you fired up, get you in the right frame of mind to go out and play a good game."

Running Back Rashard Mendenhall

(on if not being able to play in the Steelers' last Super Bowl is a source of motivation for him) "A little bit. I learned a lot from that but now it's a whole different experience, going through this season and being the lead dog. So I'm just preparing for that and looking forward to it."

(on what he was trying to learn in his first year in the NFL) "A lot of things. Kind of like when you go from high school to college, getting settled, getting a place to live, getting used to the workday routine. Just knowing how to prepare and everything with your lifestyle change."

Cornerback William Gay

(on if having Troy Polamalu this game will make a difference) "We want all 53 guys out there, no matter the name. We just want a totally 'one effort' Steelers team ready to go for the Super Bowl. That's what we plan on doing. That's what we've been doing all season preparing to try to get to our goal. Now we're here and now we want to try to accomplish a win in the Super Bowl."

(on if Aaron Rodgers is a different quarterback this year) "No, he was coming along. He threw for a lot of yards last year. This year they're on the big stage and now we're facing them again. It's going to be a great challenge, a great offense, a great team over here. It's just going to be good on good and what a great matchup for the Super Bowl."

Super Bowl XLV Tuesday Media DayDefensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau

(on how he manages to disguise his defenses) "That's easy. You just get Troy Polamalu in your backfield and he'll move around and disguise anything you want to do. Usually it works when he's doing it. The players make it come to life. We give them parameters and let them create and we've got some pretty good creators. Troy and James Harrison are two fairly good players."

(on if he can still learn from his players) "I hope so. I hope that I still learn something every day. That's what I come to work for and I hope that I can impart a little bit of knowledge to them. It's give and take. The players are the ones that make it cook."

Wide Receiver Mike Wallace

(on the best piece of advice ever given to him) "Hines (Ward) – just Hines telling me to be accountable, don't be selfish when you're on a team. Hines does a lot of dirty work. He gets a lot credit for his catches and stuff, but his blocks are amazing. That's the thing he was telling me was to be accountable. You don't want to let your man get tackled because you aren't helping your team out. Our running backs block the defense when we get passes, so we have to return the favor. That's the way the team works."

Defensive End Ziggy Hood
(on going up against Aaron Rodgers) "Well, he's a fast moving guy. He can make plays on his feet. We've got to do what we can to slow him down. He's still going to make plays regardless, because he's that type of caliber player. Maybe a future Hall of Fame player if he keeps doing what he's doing. And we're going to do everything we can to prepare for him."

Cornerback Ike Taylor (on what he thinks about the cold weather in Texas) "That was like the first thing I thought. I was like, 'Man, I'm back in Pittsburgh.' But I guess they brought the weather with them, the cold weather that is. Just looking at the weather from last week, I'm looking on my iPhone and I see 70, 68 degrees, sunny. So, then as we get closer to coming down here I then see 50, 42, and 38 one day with possible snow. I said, 'Man, this is something else.'

Center/Guard Doug Legursky

(on how he balanced his time between center and guard as a backup) "We got a couple reps at each throughout the team periods, just subbing guys in and out. First to give guys a blow and second to keep me fresh on a few things. It is mostly just film work that I have to work on. That is when you have to put your extra work in. It is going to be nice, if I do play this game, going in there with a bunch of reps under my belt, practice reps."

Kicker Shaun Suisham

(on not being with a team a few months ago and now kicking in the Super Bowl) "You see how often changes are made due to performance or injury every year at the kicking spot. And you don't carry backups, so when it does happen, obviously people take notice. I don't know if it happens more at the kicking position or if it's just more obvious for the reasons I said. Three months ago, I was out of work. You get used to playing football, that's what you do, and you worked for it every week. When you're out of it, certainly it's uncomfortable when Sundays come around and you're at home."

Super Bowl XLV Monday Press Conferences

Coach Mike Tomlin

(On which 'under-the-radar' players need to step up in order to win) "All of them. We subscribe to every man in the helmet is capable of being the reason why we win. If you have a helmet on, you're a guy who is capable of making deciding plays. I think that we have had young men who show legitimate examples of that throughout the season for us, particularly recently in the playoffs with some rookie guys like Antonio Brown having an opportunity to make splash plays. We don't grade on a curve. If I give any of these guys a helmet on Sunday, I expect them to potentially put themselves in position to be the reason why they win. I think there is not a man in our locker room who doesn't embrace that."

(On what benefits the Steelers get in having several players who have been through a Super Bowl before) "The benefit has nothing to do with the game, in my opinion. This is the third game I've been involved with, in some form or fashion. There is always uneasiness and things that go with preparation and ultimately playing in the game. There is a certain level of comfort that comes with being experienced in terms of dealing with some of these things. The gauntlet, if you will, is the things that you have to do to once you get on site. You know the lay of the land; you know the direction of some of those things are going. It probably lessens the anxiety in terms of some of the non-football things. If that allows you to focus your energy more clearly on preparation, and ultimately play, then if there is a benefit, it's that."

Tackle Flozell Adams

(On how far in advance he thought about playing a Super Bowl in Dallas) "In the playoffs you just concentrate on the team you're playing. We played Baltimore, and then the Jets, and then when you make it you think 'Super Bowl Super Bowl' and now, I've got questions about how I feel about going to Dallas. But as long as the Super Bowl's the Super Bowl, you don't care where it's being played."

(On how it feels to know his teammates want to win one for him) "It feels good. You know, there's 20 something guys on this team that have already won a Super Bowl, but one is never enough."

Linebacker James Farrior

(On why Mike Tomlin has been a successful head coach)"I think with him being such a young coach, he's able to relate to the players better. He has a good grasp of how guys are feeling in the locker room. He walks around the locker room every day. I think he has a pretty good temperature of the team at all times."

(On how he has evolved into a team leader) "Being the old guy in the locker room, I think guys respect me and respect what I do out on the field. If I need to talk about something or I have to get a message across, all the guys pretty much listen and follow."

Defensive End Brett Keisel(O

n what DE Ziggy Hood has brought to the team) "He's done a great job. For a young kid to be able to come in and play as well as he's played says a lot about him. Our defense is very complicated. It took me about four years to grasp everything, so he's done it in two and not only do that, but fill in for a great, great Steeler in Aaron Smith. Those are tough shoes to fill, but he's done a great job and he's a big reason why we're sitting here today."

(On if they have told the younger guys what to expect) "We have. We've told the younger guys about what to expect and about how to manage their time. There are going to be a lot of people pulling at you and pulling you in different directions this week, and you have to remain with one thing and that's that we're here to win this ball game. If we can win it, a lot of great things will happen."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger(On

the fan base and how many people are already in Dallas for the game)"It's awesome. I don't want to say we're used to it because we don't want to take it for granted, but everywhere we go there are Steelers fans and they're awesome. That's why I will sit here and say until the day I die that I feel that Steelers fans are the best fans in all of sports, bar none. I know we've got a team whose fans are going to want to argue that because Packers fans are great, too, so that's why I think this is the awesome matchup. You've got two really good football teams, you've got two great fan bases and you've got two storied franchises. From top to bottom I think this is an awesome matchup for the League."

(On being back in the Super Bowl) "I'm just excited to be here, to be sitting up here. We've got a couple days until the game, obviously, so you can't get too excited, but to be here again and to be here in Fort Worth is a great thing."

Wide Receiver Hines Ward

(On how much motivation they get from being the underdog) "That's not our motivation. Our motivation is to win the Lombardi Trophy, regardless of if we're underdogs or not underdogs. We're not a flashy team. You still have to play the game regardless of if you're underdogs. That's just part of the story and something to talk about. We as players, we don't make the odds. We still have to go out there and play the game. We've been the underdogs kind of for the past two weeks it seems like. No one picked us. Coach (Bill) Cowher picked the Jets against us. It still doesn't matter to us. We still have to play the game."

(On how much he has thought about the possibility of retirement) "I haven't thought about that. To be honest, I haven't put any thought into it. I know Jerome (Bettis) went out on top. He won the game. The way Coach Tomlin has been taking care of me and stuff like that, I feel good. This is probably the first year in the last three or four years that I'm finally healthy at this point and being able to play in the postseason. I feel good. Whenever that time comes, trust me, I'll let you guys know. I don't foresee this being my last game."

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley

(On competition for sacks between himself and James Harrison) "We always have competition between us two, but at the end of the day it helps the team out. It's not nothing where we're kind of angry at each other. We just always talk and say, 'who's going to get to the quarterback first?' At the end of the day, we end up leading the league in sacks so it works out perfect for us."

(On Steelers tradition of great linebackers) "Those guys took me underneath their wing, but I definitely feel like I have to prove myself because I was a defensive end in college and moved to outside linebacker here in the league. I grew up a Pittsburgh fan, probably since the seventh grade. When you think about Pittsburgh, you know about the linebackers and the defense. Being drafted by them, you want to be a part of that great legacy. Every day when I'm in the hallway at the facility, I see the great linebackers on the wall, and when I'm done playing I want to be a part of it and have my picture up there and be remembered as one of the great linebackers in Pittsburgh."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content