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Steelers Post Game Quotes after falling to 9-5

Here's your post game quotes after a disapointing Steelers loss.


Coach Mike Tomlin: I will be straight to the point this afternoon. We are not playing well enough to win right now. That is the reality of it. We can't look to anyone else to solve our problems. The answers to our problems are right in that room. That is what I just told that football team. It is about fundamental football in all phases. It really is.... There is no mystical answer in this thing. When you play well, you do the basic elements of football well. When you don't, you do them poorly. We did them poorly today; at least we didn't do them well enough to win and that is the reality of it. We have a short week. We don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves. We are still searching for our tenth win. We have to go to St. Louis and we intend to do that.

Why did you pull Marvel Smith late in the game?

He was in a great deal of pain. We decided to go with the healthy man, which was Max Starks.

What was the injury to Marvel Smith?

I don't know if it was the same issue or a new issue, but it is back related. We will find more out tomorrow.

Do you get anything out of getting back into the game?

I know this team is capable of dealing with adversity and fighting. I don't question that, but that doesn't win football games alone. Execution along with that wins football games. Never count this team out. We have to stop putting ourselves in the hole with poor execution, so we don't have to call on that week in and week out. That is our issue. The way they fought back does not surprise me.

Is there any information on Ike Taylor's injury?

I don't have any detailed information regarding his injury.

How did Ben Roethlisberger feel going into the game?

He was feeling well enough to play. Once we make the decision to play, not only him but anybody, we don't second guess it. We don't look back. We are not looking for any built-in excuses. We made the decision that he was well enough to play, so his play speaks for itself. That is the way we operate. We didn't play well enough to win.

Does the fact that this is the second week in a row you didn't register a sack bother you?

We missed him a few times. It concerns me that we lost for the second week in a row. All the other stuff is irrelevant. We didn't play to win. We win today; we don't worry about whether or not we got a sack. We focus on what matters and that is winning football games.

How tough is it to have a short week coming up?

It's a tough turnaround for them as well. We have no control over the schedule. We went through this in the preseason. We simulated this process in the preseason in preparation for this week, where we had to finish in Carolina on Thursday in the preseason. We're not going to blink at that. The issue is getting our level of execution back up to a winnable level. That's the task.

What about Fred Taylor's performance today?

It's always the case when you don't live up to your standard of expectation, chances are somebody had a chance and did some good things. I don't want to take anything away from Fred Taylor's performance or the Jacksonville Jaguars performance for that matter. He was spectacular. But we know what kind of runner he is. We talked about it all week. We have a great deal of respect for that man but we focus on the things that we can control and that's how we play. We didn't play well enough. We didn't tackle him well enough. We didn't control our gaps well enough. Players and coaches. We're all in this thing together. I'm not pointing the finger anywhere but at us. So that's how we move forward.

QB Ben Roethlisberger

How did you feel today out there? Was your shoulder bothering you?

OK. Obviously, we had some elements we had to deal with and they're a great defense, a great team. We didn't play well enough today.

You have a short week going into St. Louis. Will your shoulder recover in time for Thursday's game?

Hard to tell. We have to wait until the adrenaline comes down but I'm sure we'll be ready. It's a short week and we're pretty worn down but I'm sure we'll find a way to bounce back.

Your receivers dropped a lot of balls today. What was the cause of that?

It's very unusual to see. Obviously, the elements had a big part in that because those aren't drops that usually happen. I have to put [the ball] on them but there were a couple of times where I could see the ball going on to them and at the last minute the wind would take it and shift it off of them a little bit. It's hard to ask those receivers to catch those balls when they're moving like a knuckleball coming at you. We'll move on.

You set the franchise record for TD passes in a season today. Is that something you take pride in?

It's a great honor. Unfortunately, it came in a loss and that's probably what will weigh on my mind more than anything.

TE Heath Miller

Re: Steelers' last offensive play
"I tried to get as much forward progress as I could. It wasn't enough though."

In the third quarter and fourth quarter is when the offense started to click. When did you guys start to feel like you could move the ball against them?

"I don't know if we felt that way all day. Their defense took it to us. We didn't execute as good as we would have liked. And it showed today."

Why were they able to take it to you? Were they more physical?

"It's hard to say right now. We'll have to take a look at it. I know that we didn't play as well fundamentally as we would like to on offense."

As you would expect, no one is blaming anyone else or the conditions just acknowledging an overall lack of execution and complete fundamental breakdown.

Before anyone goes jumping off this ship though, just remember, they lost by seven in the final minutes to a playoff team that will probably end up with 12 wins on the season. The running game seems to be getting some momentum going and Ben had a good game despite the conditions and drops with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. And let's not forget that last week several people were saying "It's ok to lose to NE because we'll probably see them again in the playoffs and it's hard to beat a team twice in the same season." Guess what, the Jags will probably be the first round opponent in the playoffs.

Prediction of the Week: Ben and Marvel Smith won't play this week in St. Louis. I'm 100% on Smith and about 70% sure on Ben.

LB James Farrior

General comment

"It hurts. We're a prideful bunch on defense and we feel like, if we play good, we always have a chance to win. We know if we don't play good, it's just not going to happen."

How were they able to gash you, particularly on that last drive?

"Poor tackling. Just down to the basics. It wasn't really anything fancy that they tried to do. We knew what they were going to do. They just ran it down our throat."

You had a hard time stopping the run. How concerned are you about that this late in the season?

"It's bad. We can't win games like that. You've got to be able to stop the run. We didn't do our job today on defense. We've got to look at it and correct it. We've got two games left. We've got to get better."

Does this loss and the win by Cleveland put the division title in doubt?

"It's been close all year. We haven't really gotten away from them - they've been on our tails the whole season. Now, we're right even with each other. So it's going to come down to who wants it these last two games."

Is this week a good week to have a short week?

"Yeah. We're ready to go right back out there. When you play so disappointingly like we did today, you're ready to get back out there and try to prove yourself. We realize that we've got a good defense [and] we've got a good team. We've just got to come together at the right time."

LB Larry Foote

Is this the worst game you've seen as far as the defense is concerned?

"Since I've been here, six years. They ran all over us. Forget about the execution. They're running the ball. I don't care if we're out the gap or [in] this gap, we're supposed to get the guy on the ground. We didn't do that."

Was there any element as far as the weather at all?

"No. They whupped our butt. They won the fight today."

WR Hines Ward
How tough is it to lose at home? You guys hadn't lost all year at home.

"It's tough, but Jacksonville's a great team. They'll be in the playoffs. For us, it's all about us finding our tenth win and trying to get into the tournament. We've got to learn from it. We've got a short week. We have to go on the road, which is something that we haven't been good at - win on the road. We have to go up to St. Louis and try to get our tenth win."

When you look at Cleveland catching up with you in the standings, how much concern is that for you?

"We're not looking at Cleveland. I worry about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Until we rectify what we've got to do, it doesn't matter who's chasing us, or who's ahead of us, or whatnot. We've got to find a way to win ballgames. They just made more plays than us."

Do you think Ben [Roethlisberger]'s shoulder was a factor at all?

"I don't know. You have to ask Ben. They guy didn't practice really all week. He went out there and fought hard and did a tremendous job. Like I said, they just made more plays than us out there. I've never been one for excuses with the snow and the wind. Those are conditions [and] both teams have to deal with it. They made more plays than we did."

DE Brett Kiesel

You guys always talk about stopping the run. You couldn't today.

"We couldn't. They were better than we were today. They stuck on their blocks longer and ran the ball very well. Both of those backs are very good backs. They were the better team today."

They kind of took your blueprint and shoved it at you.

"Yeah. They were the better team today. We pride ourselves on stopping the run and we did not do that today. Jacksonville is a good team. You can't do that with those types of backs that they have and expect to win the game. I'm proud of the way our offense fought back even with our poor play. But, we've got to do better, absolutely, if we want to get in the playoffs."