What they said after the game

**

STEELERS HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN*
*Opening Statement:

"First I would like to thank Steeler nation. How about the support that we had in the building tonight? We get that type of support just about all of the time when we're on the road, but it doesn't get old. We really appreciate it. I'd be remiss if I didn't tip the cap to Steeler nation first and foremost. Just from a team standpoint, a lot of effort or a lot of parties involved. We did what was required to win. Obviously we weren't perfect, a big swinging game for both teams, hostile environment, Monday night ball at their place. The guys just didn't let go of the rope and I congratulate them for that, but at the same token we don't have a lot of time to dwell on that. We have a short week. We have Arizona coming to our place and they're a formidable group so we will sleep fast and start the business of improvement, because obviously we have room for improvement. But, love the effort. Love the togetherness. That's what God decided in this stadium tonight."

On enough time to call timeout:
"I'm going to have time to call time out. I feel that way. I'm hoping that I do. We have to run the football. We have Le'Veon Bell. We have the opportunity to win the game, we're on the road in a hostile environment, we have to play to win and we did."

On Mike Vick struggling throughout the game:
"Because he is Mike. He has a 15-year resume. This guy has seen about all of this game has to offer. He has unique abilities that you can't coach. That scramble play, that's indicative of what he is capable of. He has a career of highlights like that delivering those types of plays at critical moments. That's why for the time being he is our quarterback."

On Mike being more comfortable late in the game:
"You know Philip Rivers looked more comfortable late in the game. Those two defenses were battling, the offenses kind of got accustomed to what they were looking at and we traded scores there at the later part of the game. You get veteran quarterbacks' looks at stuff, they're going to get comfortable, [and] they're going to solve the riddle if you will. I thought Philip solved us a little bit. I thought Mike did what was necessary for us to win."

On it being easier to make a call when the team is in a rhythm:
"We're just trying to win. We're trying to win the game. I'm not going to overanalyze the call. I'll leave that to you guys."

On the last five seconds:
"We're just trying to score and win."

On Le'Veon Bell:
"I don't over coach L-Bell. The qualities that make him what he is are unique and they're not coached things."

On tonight's win:
"It was time to go to the mattresses if you will. We had to do what was required to win. That's an element of our attack. Le'Veon is good at it. It was an opportunity to infuse. D-Will (DeAngelo Williams) in the game as well, we just try to do anything we can to move the football."

On any confusion in the defense on covering Antonio Gates:
"No. He is just extremely difficult to cover. We tried to use a variety of people, we tried to use some men, some zones, and for the larger part of the game, pockets in the game, we were successful. After that first drive, we minimized his impact until the end and then they figured it out again. That's why he and Philip Rivers are the tandem that they are. I mean what do they have, 80-something touchdowns together? So the things that were going on with us tonight are not unlike any other defense that's faced those guys I imagine over the last 12-13 years or so."

On discussion of play call at the end of the game:
"No. We were going to run the football."

On tonight's win:
"We got out of the stadium tonight. We're going to get on the plane and get ready for our next one."

On Will Allen's injury:
"He turned his ankle. I don't have a lot of information. We will of course provide that out. I will see you guys in a couple of hours at the press conference to those of you who can make it."

**

STEELERS QUARTERBACK MICHAEL VICK*
*On how he felt the team as a whole played:

"Everyone continued to encourage me throughout the entire game and the play call at the end was able to score a touchdown for us, which was remarkable. The defense played well, my offensive line hung in there with me while I'm still learning and making progress. We fought hard and never gave up and were able to pull it out."

What are you feeling right now?
"I'm elated right now and happy I was able to get a win for this team. We worked extremely hard throughout the weekend, everyone believed in one another and the team all believed in me. It was very gratifying to be able to reward them with a win especially in this type of fashion. And we just have to keep going until the captain of this ship comes back."

On if his confidence waivered after consecutive three-and-outs:
"My confidence never wavered but at times I was second guessing myself when guys would become open and I was looking in a different direction and trying to do too much at times. In the fourth quarter I just played within the system and I know the bases of everything and I know what Todd (Haley) wanted so I just tried to deliver. I have to give a lot of credit to the sidelines that made it happen for me."

Were you reluctant to throw the ball down the field during the game?
"We had plans to throw the ball down the field but there was a time and a place for that. Our game plan was to run the ball to tire those guys out and take advantage when we had the opportunities but the time never really presented itself until the end. It's not how you start, it's how you finish and we pulled it out. I take my hat off to the San Diego Chargers who played a great game defensively and I tip my hat to my teammates and offensive line that hung in there with me."

How does it feel to know you have a running back like Le'Veon Bell to hand the ball off to?
"When you can turn around and hand the ball to a guy who is at least going to get three or four yards it's hard for the coaches to no feature him throughout the game and I totally understand, especially while Ben (Roethlisberger) is out. We just have to find ways to win and our coaches did a great job to put a great game plan together to find a way to get out of this stadium with a win. I'm thankful and I know my teammates are as well."

What does it mean to you personally to win a game like this for the team?
"It's very satisfying personally. Mainly because I wanted to get a win for this team and show them that I'm able to win games. It's not easy in the NFL, it's extremely hard but you have to be able to put it together. You can't do it without your teammates and I can't do it by myself. Especially coming here after last year where games weren't going that well for me in New York, having a chance to redeem myself felt extremely good."

Did you think it was risky to run the Wildcat formation at the end of the game?
"I thought it was an excellent play call and I knew it was going to get in. He (Le'Veon Bell) was averaging two or three yards a play and they were able to substitute in a couple of big guys which made it tougher but credit goes to offensive line."

**

STEELERS RUNNING BACK LE'VEON BELL*
*Take us through the winning play:

"When it was called, I obviously knew it was the end of the game and I just wanted to get the ball in the end zone to end the game right there. I'm glad the offensive coordinator had the faith in me to call the play. Coach (Mike Tomlin) had the faith in me to call the play. The guys up front did their job. They made it so I could get to the line of scrimmage and get the ball in the end zone. That was a great play call and a great execution. I'm glad we went out there and won the game."

Was that the best touchdown of your career so far?
"It was the most meaningful for sure. A game winner, last play of the game, that's something you always dream about. I'm glad I was able to go in there and deliver for the team."

On the game winning play:
"We knew coming into the week if it ever came down to a play where we have to have it, we were going to go to that wildcat play. When it actually came, it was the last play of the game. We called the wildcat play. They hadn't seen it all game and then we went in there and executed it and got the ball in the end zone."

Do you like running out of there?
"I do. It gives the defense a different look. We have more left blockers than they do defenders in that section because the quarterback position is not using up all the blockers in the front. It's a good tool to use and I like it a lot."

Did you realize that was going to be the final play?
"I did once we were going for it. When the penalty happened with Heath (Miller) I didn't know we got to save our time out. I didn't think we had any timeouts left. I was thinking we were going to have to kick the field goal. Once I knew we had a timeout left, I knew we were going for it. I knew the play was going to get called. We were talking about it all week."

STEELERS TIGHT END HEATH MILLER
On his thoughts about the game:
"That was a wild one but you have to credit our defense because they kept us in the game. We were a little stagnant throughout the game but it was all about those plays at the end."

What are your thoughts on how Michael Vick responded tonight?
"He was awesome and he hit the bomb to tie the game and put us ahead and win the game. He was the leader of our team, was in total control and got us the win."

Did you know Le'Veon Bell got in the end zone or did you have to look at the big screen?
"I thought he got in but anytime it goes to replay you get a little nervous but I was pretty confident once I saw the replay."

STEELERS DEFENSIVE END CAMERON HEYWARD
With the game on the line and the ball at the one yard line, would you rather be out there trying to make the stop or is it harder watching, hoping the offense can score?
"I have full confidence in our offense. We do some much work on the seven shots and the two point conversion plays, that if we get the ball at the one, I expect us to score every single time."

On the heat:
"That's part of the game sometimes. You never know how it's going to unfold. We were out there for a long time, but sometimes we were able to just get the three and out. It's part of the game. We play in any condition."

STEELERS WIDE RECIEVER MARKUS WHEATON
On swing of emotions the last three games:
"It's just part of football. We embrace it. Obviously there are going to be tight games and obviously we want to come out on top. We embrace it and take them as they come."

On back and forth game:
"That's football. You have to stay ready on the sidelines and keep your mind and head in the game and wait for a play to come. Not wait for a play to come but go make a play, as Mike (Vick) did and as DHB (Darrius Heyward-Bey) did."

On fourth-quarter touchdown:
"That was huge obviously. I think that tied it up for us. After, like you said, we couldn't move the ball and we were struggling, it was a great call by Todd (Haley). We got the coverage that we wanted, the exact look we wanted. It was a great call."

*

On QB Mike Vick:*
"Mike, on the field, never gets high or never gets low. I think that's huge for a quarterback. He's always pretty confident."

STEELERS CORNERBACK ANTWON BLAKE
On interception for touchdown:
"It was a perfect technique I have been working on for that route. I was fortunate to get up under the ball and make the play."


CHARGERS HEAD COACH MIKE MCCOY
Opening statement:
"Obviously I'm very disappointed with that finish, not being able to win that football game. But we knew going into this game that it was going to be a heavyweight fight against a very good football team. They were going to play for 60 minutes and the type of football they play; we knew what we were dealing with. Unfortunately, they made one more play than we did at the end. It's tough to finish that way, but that's part of the game. And our players fought their tails off for 60 minutes. Obviously it was nice to have Antonio (Gates) back. I know everyone wants to know about him. You saw the production he had, what he did, what he brings to this football team. It was outstanding to have him back. We'll have to watch the film, but I think we gave a very good football team too many opportunities and we hurt ourselves on offense in the first half with penalties. There were too many third and longs in the game and putting ourselves in a bad situation. A couple of turnovers, obviously not converting on third down at times and giving up some big plays on the defensive side of the football. They got the momentum and got the big touchdown there. So it was just not enough plays on our end against a good football team. And give the players credit. Give them credit. That's a good football team, also. But we just didn't make enough plays and had too many little mistakes that ended up costing us in the end against a good team."

On the Steelers' winning touchdown:
"They made one more play. There was a little penetration, a little push there. And he's (Le'Veon Bell) a special back. He's a great player, and we knew what we were dealing with playing against a player like that."

CHARGERS QUARTERBACK PHILIP RIVERS
Talk about how tough this loss is:
"Every loss is tough. This one came down to the last play…talk about being a game of inches, it was just that. If we made a few plays here or there, it may have been different. But it isn't, and shoot, we've got no time to mope around and feel sorry for ourselves because the place we're going next week, it's going to be an even tougher challenge."

What did you see on the interception?
"We'll have to see it. I'll have to see, but I always take the blame for interceptions. It leaves my hand. I'm the only one that threw it. Obviously, there are a few plays you want back in the game; but really, other than that one, there aren't not many. It's hard to beat the Steelers in general. Each and every year they're a good team. It's especially hard to beat them if you turn it over for a touchdown. It was a tough environment tonight. It was tough. It was like being on the road."

On the stadium being an odd dynamic:
"Odd is one word we could use. We're checking in and out of plays. I'm usually hoarse after those road games. I'm going to be today was well. I don't know who to give credit to that, whether to give it to Pittsburgh for just how many fans there are, whether they traveled or whether [their fans] are just all over the place. Our fans that were here did their best. Obviously we had the Steelers' fans quieted for some time. It was loud on some third downs for our defense. That did not affect the outcome. It's way down the list, but it was unique to say the least."

*

Is that one of the louder visiting team crowds you've heard for a home game here?*
"Yes, it's right up there for sure."

CHARGERS LINEBACKER MANTI TE'O
Thoughts on the game:
"It was a good game. It doesn't get any better than that but a lot of missed opportunities out there like they (the coaches) said. We got a short week. There is no time to mope around and we have to get ready for Green Bay."

On defending Michael Vick:
"Everybody knows what Michael Vick can do, extending the play and making plays under pressure. We understood that he was going to make his plays so we just had to try and limit them. Like every game, we showed for the most part some great defense but we let a few get past us. You just have to eliminate those."

CHARGERS CORNERBACK JASON VERRETT
On Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell:
"He is probably one of the most patient running backs in the game. He is a top running back in the league. He is really patient and he comes out of his cuts really quick. He is a good (running) back."

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