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Inside the Steelers locker room: Quotes from Steelers 30-27 win over Cleveland

What was Brown's comment about his jump-kick? Who called for the fake punt? Was Wheaton's catch at the end of the game the play call? Dale Grdnic has the inside scoop straight from Heinz Field.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

BTSC's Dale Grdnic covered the Steelers' 30-27 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday. He gathered these quotes from various players and coaches after the game.

Mike Tomlin

"Well, that was exciting, wasn't it? It's great to get a win. We did what was necessary. The game was a tale of two halves, but I like the team's ability to smile in the face of adversity, but to go beyond that and make significant plays at significant moments on defense, really to get the ball back and obviously on offense to put ourselves in position to kick the game-winner. And then the field goal unit executed there at the end."

"A lot of positives to pull from a circumstance like that. Obviously, negatives to get in those circumstances, but it's great to make the necessary corrections with a 'W.' We'll do that and we'll do that in a quick fashion. We have a short week, as we push on to Baltimore. It's great to start this thing off 1-0 and particularly 1-0 in the AFC North."

"A couple of injuries. Shamarko Thomas wasn't able to come back into the game. He has an Achilles injury of some kind. He'll be evaluated. Dri Archer had an ankle injury. He'll likely be evaluated as well. He was unable to continue. Other bumps and bruises associated with playing. Obviously, we have a short week, so those could be significant. We'll keep an eye on that and push forward."

Did the no-huddle give you problems in the second half?

"It did, and we gave ourselves some problems. I have to compliment them for their execution. They did a great job, but I also would like to compliment our guys for doing what was necessary amidst a lot of negativity there in the second half."

Did running game set up play-action?

"I thought the significant element of it was the play-action. They were getting chunks and flipping the field. We were working on the long field, and they were working on the short field. They found rhythm with the running game, but it was the chunks and the misdirection game that was creating real issues for us."

How did you pull your team out of a tailspin?

"It's fundamental. Every time the ball is snapped, it's an opportunity. It's a clean slate. We can't tote baggage. We can't do it when things are positive. We can't do it when things are negative. It's about playing good, fundamental football and guys delivering timely plays. And you have to take some calculated risk. I wasn't interested in giving up possession of the ball. We faked a punt. It didn't produce anything, but it did produce field position. It didn't produce anything in terms of a score. Sometimes, you take the calculated risk associated with those things, but it ultimately comes down to guys making plays and hopefully significant ones."

Did Browns defend AB different in the second half?

"They possessed the ball offensively, and that's a great way to take Antonio out of the game. They moved the chains. They got first downs, and they possessed the ball. I don't know what the time of possession was in the second half, but I'd imagine that was an element of it."

Were guys getting caught out of position or were they more physical?

"Again, I'll let the tape tell the story, but obviously when they do some of the things that they've been able to do in the second half it's probably a little bit of all of the above."

On Will Gay?

"Will is one of those solid veteran guys. He's steady eddy and not only in terms of the splash plays, the pass breakups and stuff that you see. But he's a hub of communication in that sub-package defense. Those slot corners, a lot of things are going around them and he's a savvy veteran one. One that's very consistent and durable. He's always available to us, and we appreciate his contributions today."

Tomlin said he called the fake punt.

"They had been 10-up, challenging us and trying to make us reduce our gunners. We weren't interesting in reducing. They came down, and we took what was given."

On Markus Wheaton?

"I'm not surprised by what he's capable of. I think you won't find anyone in that locker room who's surprised by what he's capable of, but he's still got to do it. Due to injuries and other things, he didn't get a chance to do a lot of it a year ago. But we have a great deal of confidence in him. He does in himself. We expect that type of performance. When they're doing things to work to minimize 84 (Antonio Brown), guys like 11 (Wheaton) and 15 (Justin Brown) have to rise up. We've got some quality plays out of them today."

On Le'Veon Bell?

"He's a guy for all situations. I think we've been pretty clear about that. We're not surprised by anything that he does. He's a quality young player, and we expect that type of performance from him."

Ben Roethlisberger

Probably have been happier in other wins?

"Yeah, that would be accurate. That being said, a win is a win. We can't apologize for the way we win. We just have to win games."

Adjustment on pass to set up game-winning FG?

"It was an adjustment with about five seconds left on the play clock. We changed the play. to me, that's why we put the work in and why credit goes out to those guys. I know we laughed about the pizza and wings quiz and all that. That's where it comes from. We make an adjustment at the last minute, and no one blinks, no one flinches. They run the proper play, and we get into field-goal range. My hat goes off to Markus Wheaton for making the adjustment. I threw it before he came out of his break. He turned his head and found the ball and made a great catch. Kudos to him."

Why change play?

"They showed a coverage that the initial play we called wasn't going to be a good with. I just changed him from running one route to running another".

What happened in the second half?

"They came out in the opening drive and went down and scored. They went to an up-tempo, no-huddle offense. We couldn't hold onto the ball long enough. We didn't convert third downs. We had a couple little mistakes here here and there that ended up being bigger plays on third down. We didn't capitalize when we had to, and we have to give them credit for that."

On the fake punt?

"We want to be able to score on that, obviously. I wasn't ready for that and heard people cheer. I looked up and had to get ready to go back on the field. You have to have a good feeling about yourself, because you get a second chance to go try to score. We didn't get it done for whatever reason."

Second-half emotions?

"They stayed positive. It was frustrating, at times, because we felt that we couldn't get on the field. And when we were we couldn't sustain drives. It's frustrating, but there was never panic there or never any worry on my behalf. I looked at the guys when we got in the huddle, especially on that last drive, and everyone was amped up and excited, and that's the way it needs to be."

What happened to AB in the second half?

"AB is so dynamic and makes so many plays. They had one of the best corners in Joe Haden on him all day. He basically followed AB. He just turned his back to me and was his shadow, and he had some help over the top. They were doing a great job of doubling him and doing some things. We found ways to get him the ball in the first half. It wasn't like they did things to stop him in the second half, but we just weren't able to get him the ball."

On Shaun Suisham?

"To me, when we get the ball in those situations, I just ask what yard line he wants us to get to. Where is your limit? That's my goal line. Obviously, you want to score (a touchdown), but if you don't have the time you just want to get to that spot. When he lines up to kick it, I was on the sideline thinking that this is why we have him. It was never a doubt that he was going to nail it."

On Wheaton?

"He played well. They gave us a lot of different looks on defense. Different rotations, different blitzes. We found a way, especially at the end. Markus ran some good routes and is building some confidence in himself. (And), obviously, if I'm going to him in that situation with the game on the line, I have all the confidence in the world that he's going to make the play."

On Le'Veon Bell?

"I thought he did a great job. I don't know his numbers, but I thought he ran the ball hard, caught the ball, got open and blocked well. I thought this was a game that everyone could see what he can do. He did a little bit of everything out there. In the no-huddle, I told him instead of running off when he's tired, to tell me so I can call a play where he can either line up wide or not do much. That happened maybe once in this game."

Antonio Brown

Not a typical Steelers vs. Browns?

"We got a little lackadaisical in the second half with Cleveland scoring points. They got things going, and put 14 points up quick on us. That allowed them to tie the game."

What about you?

"It was a great start to the season. We'll continue to get better. That's what I've committed to."

On foot in face of punter?

"I had my mind made up that he was going under me. I tried to get over him. I had no intent to hurt him. It was just a bad outcome of the play. I thought he was going low, and I tried to leap over him."

Think you'll be fined?

"We'll see. I had no intent of hurting anybody."

Look forward to Joe Haden?

"Anytime I get a chance to come to a stadium and, no matter who it is or where it is, I'm excited about the opportunity."

On your TD catch?

"It was a great throw by Ben. I'm glad we connected."

On offense?

"We did what was necessary to help the team today. We finished that last drive that allowed Suisham to bank it through to help us get out of the game."

On Wheaton?

"I think he made some great plays, especially down the stretch in the last minute. That's just showing that he's going to be helping us out."

Cam Heyward

The last 3 and out?

"We got pressure early. That put them behind the ball. Then, William Gay made some big plays for us, defending that slot, knowing they have some good receivers. They're going to try to get it out quick. We got off the field, then we drove down and got a field goal."

Otherwise in second half?

"We got on our heels a little bit. We just have to learn from our mistakes. We got a little complacent in the second half, but we got the 'W.' Now, we can move on to Baltimore."

Markus Wheaton

Last big catch?

"We got the coverage that we didn't want, actually. Ben checked to something else. It ended up being a big one for us. The middle was wide open. He anticipated it real well and threw a great ball .It made it easy for me, and it worked out."

Miss this from last year?

"Yeah, that was tough. I ended up missing so much last year. Coming back, I wasn't really in the groove. I wasn't in the mix with everybody else. I didn't get a lot of time, and it's tough. I think that motivated me to work harder this year, and I wanted to get to producing. I wanted to contribute to a win. So, it feels good being able to do that."

Le'Veon Bell

"Offensively, they were getting us off the field on third down. On first down, we'd get a four-yard run. On second down, we'd get a four-yard run. On third-and-short, they would up stopping us. We'd have to get off the field. You have to give those guys credit, because when they needed to step up, they did. We have to get back and look at the film and try to see what we did wrong, but you have to give credit to those guys for getting off the field."

Your confidence level?

"This definitely is the most confident that I've been. Coming into the year, I've been feeling a lot more confident each and every week. I feel I'm mnore and more confident, even going back to last year. So, I'm going to continue to try to get better."