Coach Mike Tomlin: It was a good AFC North victory for us. Obviously we rode the wave that our defense provided today with the turnovers and touchdowns, it was a good team win. We are not perfect by any stretch but we are 10-3 and pleased to be that. We will evaluate this one like we have all the other ones and kind of learn from it and continue to move forward. It was a good win for us today. From an injury standpoint there doesn’t appear to be much. Anthony Madison I think hit his kneecap. That might limit him a little bit. I think there was one other. They are all the bumps and bruises that come along with playing. I don’t think there is anything significant at this juncture. We will accept this AFC North victory and move on.
Re: Troy Polamalu’s two interceptions:
Well I am glad Troy is on my team. The first one was Troy being Troy. This guy, no one is playing as good as Troy Polamalu in football right now in my opinion. When we need a play he provides it, and he did today.
Re: Interception sparking the offense:
We don’t panic. These games are 60 minutes. I think that happened early in the second quarter. We don’t panic. We did convert a third down or two there initially. We got a stop on the first possession of the game, but we were offsides and gave them a new set of downs and they eventually scored. They were self-inflicted wounds, but they were nothing to panic about. I didn’t sense that from the group. We just continued to play and let it sort out over the course of a 60-minute game.
Re: Penalties stopping your offense:
Penalties, when you are looking at first-and-30 it’s tough, somehow we overcame that. For the most part we have all year when we get behind the chains with the penalties. We find ways to overcome them. That’s because of our leadership, starting with number seven. There’s no doubt you like to stay on schedule. That will make the job a lot easier.
Re: Ben changing his helmet:
The rain I think was an issue, or sleet was an issue. But nothing to get out of sorts about. We’ll just continue to move forward.
Re: LaMarr Woodley’s performance:
He provided plays, but he owed us.
Re: Playing the Jets:
Man I hadn’t thought about the Jets until you just mentioned it. We’ll see them on Sunday I guess.
Re: Troy pitching the ball on the second interception:
Ask Troy. He will be available after he washes his hair.
LB LaMarr Woodley
Troy Polamalu’s first interception really got the team going. Could you feel the energy out there?
Yeah, it definitely got me going. I was feeling a little down after allowing them to score a touchdown on that third down situation that I jumped offsides. I was down, but when Troy got in I got excited.
Did you feel like you owed the team after jumping offsides on their first drive, allowing them to score a touchdown?
Yeah definitely, jumping offsides and letting a team like Cincinnati drive down the field and put seven on the board. That was definitely on me, but my teammates were very supportive telling me that it was no big deal just keep your head in the game and go out there and make plays. I was able to go out there and make plays, Coach LeBeau put me in position and we did a great job as a team.
Re: On their touchdown with the tackle eligible:
I really couldn’t tell you I was rushing on that play. I have outside contain, and the tackle just went out, he was eligible on that and they just tossed it into him.
Did you think touchdown the whole way on your interception?
Definitely, last week I couldn’t get in. I was moving a little slow, but the opportunity presented itself and I was able to get an interception and this time I wanted to take it to the house and I was able to get it in there.
With the fumble recovery last week and the interception this week, a couple of sacks, are you playing your best football of the season?
We still got a lot of games to go. I have to continue to do it. I came out here and had a great game today, but I have to show up again next week and for the rest of the season so we can get to that Super Bowl.
Re: Jumping the out routes:
On the play that I got my interception, it was just my play to drop back into coverage. Throughout the year I’ve been knocking them down. I remember the Tampa Bay game where I just swatted the ball down, this time I just took advantage of it and was able to get both hands on the ball and put some points on the board for our team.
Have you had many pick six’s?
That was my first one ever.
How big was this win, knowing the New York Jets are coming in next week?
It means a lot, but we still have the Jets. We still have Carolina and the Browns. When you start looking ahead that’s when teams beat you. We just have to focus on what’s in front of us.
How did it feel to get you first interception for a touchdown?
It felt great. Good thing I didn’t have to run a long distance because it takes me a while to get to the end zone. I just made sure I got the ball and didn’t run out of bounds and just ran in. it was a great feeling and it put more points on the board for us. It forced them on the next drive to throw the ball a little more.
Is it the defense’s mindset to score?
That is always our objective, usually when teams score on defense you win football games.
WR Mike Wallace
You have a reputation for making the big play on offense. Can you talk about that?
“I’m just trying to help my team. That’s all I want to do is just win ball games. And anything I can do to help, I’m all for it. That’s just something God gave me – big play making ability. I try to do it to the best of my ability all the time.”
Was it a case of being patient on offense and taking what they gave you?
“Sometimes. It was a nasty day outside. We started out pretty slow, but we were getting some big plays. We just weren’t scoring touchdowns. We were getting down there. We just have to finish drives. That’s our biggest problem. We don’t really ever have a problem moving the ball. It’s just finishing drives. We have to score when we get to the red zone.”
Is that a concern going forward?
“Not at all. We’re a team; we’ll get it right. Some games, we do really good in the red zone. Some games we don’t. I feel like this just wasn’t a game where we did well in the red zone. The next game we’ll be looking to capitalize when we get down there.”
DE Brett Keisel
“I’m proud of the guys and the way we played today. We scored two touchdowns. Most of the time when that happens, you’re going to win the game.”
They had a little something going on their first few drives, then it kind of shut off. What changed?
“I don’t know. I think they had a scripted set of plays coming into the first. They obviously fooled us on the offensive lineman catching the first touchdown. We knew we were going to get some tricks and things like that in this game. I think once everyone just settled down and calmed down, stuck to their keys and what their job was in the defense. It was tough for them to move the ball against us.”
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