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Steelers Post Game Quotes Following the Win In Cleveland

COACH MIKE TOMLIN

(Opening Statement)– “Boy! Mission accomplished for us. We came to Cleveland to claim the AFC North crown and we were able to get that done. We are excited about that. We’re proud to be AFC North champs and we are also excited, of course, to get the bye week, it is much needed. I guess anybody can use that and we’ll take advantage of it. We, of course, have some veteran guys that we would hope will come back to us from a health standpoint. The injuries in the game appear to be minimal. (CB) Bryant McFadden is probably the most significant injury. He had an abdominal injury of some kind and we’ll get it looked at. He wasn’t able to return. The rest of the injuries are the minor bumps and bruises that come along with playing. I love the spirit of the men in that locker room. These (championship) hats are hard fought for, of course. I am just proud of them. (This) is just hardware along the way, though, in terms of what we are trying to get done, of course, and we’ll get back to work on that next week.”

(On how much he emphasized the importance of this game to the team during the week)- “It was the elephant in the room. Not a lot needed to be said about the stakes. You guys (the media) made that obvious, so thank you.”

(On the decision to play S Troy Polamalu)– “The doctor said he was healthy enough to play, so we played him.”

(On the importance of divisional play)– “Until today, I wouldn’t have said that we played well (within the division) but that we did enough to win and that’s what this league is about. We’ve got a great deal of respect for the people in our division. We know them and they know us and our battles are always hard-fought. We did enough in most instances to come out on top. I think today was the first game where we felt like we played close to what we are capable of in division play.”

(On the two big plays at the start of the game)– “I liked them a lot. The one (the interception) was Troy (Polamalu) being in the right place at the right time. I think the ball came off (TE Ben) Watson’s hands. On the other play, we intended to go with that play regardless of field position to start the game. Ben (Roethlisberger) can put them out there and Mike (Wallace) can go get them.”

(On the emotional roller coaster of the season)– “It hasn’t been an emotional roller coaster. We knew what was in front of us, we knew the obstacles, we knew that some of the adversity was created by us, but we’ll meet it head-on. We’re still in the process of doing it.”

(On the importance of the bye week)– “I’ll take it under any circumstances because it’s one less game that we have to play to get where we want to get.”

(On the importance of the divisional championship)– “It’s just hardware along the way. We’re excited about it, of course. It’s a prerequisite to be where we want to be. We wanted to play in the playoffs and we wanted to do so at home and you have to be divisional champs in order to do that.”

(On the significance of the win)– “We needed to win the division and, in order to do that, we needed to win today. So from that standpoint it’s significant.”

(On the injury to C Maurkice Pouncey)– “Yes, he’s fine.” (Was it a stinger?) “No, I don’t know exactly what happened to him. He’s going to be fine.”


STEELERS PLAYERS

TE Heath Miller

(On getting the first round bye)– “It’s important. I don’t think there is a guy in this locker room that would say he wouldn’t need it at this point in the year. We are glad we got it.”

(On scoring on the first play)- “That doesn’t happen very often. That’s the definition of starting fast. To be able to go up 7-0 early, that’s a big hill for them to climb.”

(On the dominant performance)– “We knew we had a lot at stake. Our whole season came down to this game. All of our goals hinged on this game. We knew we had to take care of business.”

QB Ben Roethlisberger

(On the game)– “It helps when you score on the first offensive play. I’m really proud of how the guys played. We had a lot of guys step up. We talk about total team wins; I think this is what you talk about.”

(On the first touchdown)– “You see the single half safety and he is back in perfect position. Mike [Wallace] is so fast that I can just throw it out there and he can do the rest for me. We like to get on top and put a dagger in them early. Troy [Polamalu] got the pick, and then we score. Then we hold them and score again. That’s a pretty good start.”

(On getting confidence early)– “The only people that didn’t think we were confident were you guys and the fans. We knew that we were close and we scored almost every time we had the ball. We made some good strides and I think we are getting hot at the right time.”

(On the season)– “We love to win the division, especially this division. This is a hard division to win. We hope this is just the beginning.”

WR Hines Ward

(On the game)– “It was great. Our leaders on this team came together and carried the load on their shoulders and allowed the rest of us to take care of business; and we did that.”

(On returning to the playoffs)– “It’s about a lot of the guys coming together. We have a great team. Missing the playoffs (last year) after winning the Super Bowl was a disappointment. This year we came back. If you would’ve said at the start of the season we would have a 12-4 record, the only people that would believe you are the guys in this locker room.

LB Larry Foote

(On winning this game)– “I’m not surprised, we had more to play for. They talk about going out with a good game, but the truth is their cars are packed up; they’re on the last month of their lease. We had more at stake.”

(On playing football in December)– “All the clichés and all the little sayings are out the window. It’s all about winning now.”

(On the playoffs)– “In the playoffs, you get nothing but the best. We’re hoping for the competition and for the championship.”

S Ryan Clark

(On interceptions)– “Troy [Polamalu] has seven and we get them from everywhere. You look at the linebacking core and all those guys pitched in with interceptions. I believe last year we didn’t have a cornerback get an interception until the very last game. Everybody pitched in and getting Troy back was big.”

(On the defense)– “It’s what we focus on. We make fun of the d-line and the linebackers because they think it’s all them. Guys are tackling. Cornerbacks are stepping up and making great plays and getting guys on the ground. We’ve done that all year which keeps the big play in the running game from happening. That has to continue in the playoffs. It gets cold and people are going to try to run the ball; so we need to continue to be strong in that area.”

(On being underrated)– “We just like to play football. You’re never going to see us on ‘Hard Knocks’. We’re not going to be the team that’s seen. We’re just going to go out there and play football. We have a team full of football players. There’s no TV stars here. We have one guy in here with a commercial and that’s just because he has nice hair. We just want to win football games. This organization is about winning championships and that’s what we want to go out and do.”

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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