Steeler Nation, the Steelers now have their first win and are 1-4 . Sunday they take on the Baltimore Raven(3-3) in Pittsburgh. Lets go behind enemy lines and see just what the enemy is saying about the Steelers and this up coming game… Proceed with caution!
Baltimore Head Coach John Harbaugh from conference call to Pittsburgh reporters.
Q: Can you speak about what you remember about some of Joe Flacco’s comeback wins at Heinz Field and how much those kind of propelled him to the next level of quarterbacking that we saw all the way through the postseason?
Coach John Harbaugh : “Wow, that’s a pretty deep one. I’d have to probably give that one some thought. I don’t really have that. I haven’t really thought about that in that sense, but it’s a tough place to play. I can tell you that. We’ve had some success there and we’ve had some failure there, as well, as you all know. It’s just a great stadium and, obviously, they’ve always had a great team so that even enhances it. It’s a tough place to play but a great place to play.”
Q: Maybe I’ll narrow the scope of the question. He seems like he was responsible for three wins here with late comeback victories. Can you speak to how you saw the evolution of his presence in the pocket and some of those two-minute situations over the years?
Coach John Harbaugh :“You’re right. That was probably a big part of – like any quarterback and he’s had other games, it hasn’t just been Pittsburgh, but those have been important. At the same time, I’d like to think that those are team wins also. The quarterback is the biggest driver of some of that stuff, obviously in two-minute, so you probably make a good point there.”
Q: When you lose so many veteran players, and the Steelers are in the same boat, in a short period of time or two years, what does it do for you to get the young guys to believe in what you’re doing?
Coach John Harbaugh: “I don’t think it’s very hard to get them to believe in what you’re doing if you believe in what you’re doing and your leaders, and like you say, your veterans believe in what you’re doing. And when you build on some success that helps as well. So, it’s not a challenging thing. The bigger challenge is to build the prowess of your football team so that you can continue forward and win some games in a very tough league. “
Q: Why haven’t you been able to run the ball?
Coach John Harbaugh: We haven’t blocked very well. That’s the main reason.
Linebacker Terrell Suggs…
Q: It’s boring. Excite us a little bit, will you? It doesn’t feel like Steelers-Ravens and Hines Ward isn’t here to stir it up, so you can stir it up.
Suggs: “Nah, there’s nothing really to stir up. Like you said, it’s Steelers-Ravens. This game speaks for itself.”
Q: Along those lines, is this the kind of game that gets both teams going? There’s going to be a winner and a loser, but is this something that gets the juices going for both teams here after the quarter pole?
Suggs: “I don’t think the records really matter for the simple fact that in the past we both have Played each other, and either one team was rolling and one team wasn’t, and it didn’t matter. It’s Ravens-Steelers. This game, the whole NFL will be watching because there is not a rivalry in football like this game.”
Q: Do you still feel that the whole league is watching and that this is the marquee rivalry? Is it, for you, bigger than say even the Bengals in your own division right now?
Suggs: “No, I wouldn’t say that, but I would say it is the biggest rivalry in football. I have a feeling the whole NFL, if they’re not playing, even if they are playing in the Sunday night game, they will catch a glimpse of this game just because of the history of these two teams, the rivalry and style of play that these two teams play. This game is good for not only sports and the NFL, but it’s a good sporting event.”
Q: How come you have played well here? You’ve won three of the last four here at Heinz Field.?
Suggs: “I don’t know. Luck, I guess. They’ve also had some success on our home field as well. It’s just one of those games. It can go either way. I particularly don’t know why. I just love playing at Heinz Field.”
Q: Are you going to miss Max Starks?
Suggs: “No. I have a feeling I’m still going to have my hands tied with their tackles this year, the ones they’ve got. Like you always keep saying, it is Ravens-Steelers, and the cast is not the same on both teams. There’s no Ray Lewis, no Ed Reed, no Hines Ward and no James Harrison. It’s going to be a little different. But at the end of the day it’s a football game. It’s a rivalry football game and both teams are going to go out there and play.”
Q: Do the rookies or the first-year players in your locker room understand what Steelers-Ravens is all about? Do you talk to any of them to emphasize that this is different?
Suggs: “If they don’t, they’re going to learn pretty fast. [Laughs] I think they’ve got a good grasp on it, though.”
Q: How will they learn? What will happen that will enlighten them?
Suggs: “Like I said, they’re going to learn pretty fast. As soon as that ball is kicked off, if there’s one guy who is sleeping on just exactly what this game means to both teams and both cities, then they’re going to learn really fast.”
Q: You’ve played against all the best quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers. Where do you put Ben Roethlisberger within that group?
Suggs: “This guy won two Super Bowl championships, he played in three. The guy is a winner. I think I like that he has his own style. He’s not like those other guys that you named. He’s Big Ben. You can’t do anything but respect a guy like that and his physical play. “
Q: It seems like the respect there is mutual. Do you get that vibe from Ben, too?
Suggs: “Definitely. We’ve had some conversations that haven’t been on TV and have been in the field of play. There’s a tremendous amount of mutual respect there, but I think we both know that we are each other’s opponent, but even opponents can show respect.”