Game Quotes: Steelers Defense Gets Quoted

<b>KIMO VON OELHOFFEN</b><br> <b>Q: What was the key defensively?</b><br><br> <b>A: </b> I think we did the same we did last week. We brought a lot of pressure. Like I said, we're close. I believe it's the kind of football we'll be playing from here on out.

It helps when you go up a touchdown or two, it definitely does. Then we dictate the game. Their options are limited. That's what football's all about, as far as defense goes. When you're up two or three touchdowns, you control the game. Thirty percent of their playbook's out the window and that's kind of what happened. It needs to happen a lot more.

Q: Blake rarely got his feet set. Was that the plan?

A: Yeah. You know he got out sometimes. That boy can run though. Blake, he's tricky. With his linemen being so big, they give him big lanes. They've got some monsters over there, so I think that's just perfect for him.

Q: What does the win mean?

A: It's just a start. We've got seven more games. We're in a win-win situation. We have to win or we gone. Nine and seven's not going to make it anymore. Just watch. I know somebody's going to go 10 and six. This is a tough division now. We may lose some games but over the course of the long haul this is a very physical division. We're not going to make the wild card. We've got to win 10 games to win this division.

Q: Did their line's size cause problems?

A: They were pretty good. They're big. You kind of notice in the fourth quarter they slowed down. They wore down, but they're good. When they're fresh, whoa, they're a load.

Q: On Gildon's sack record?

A: Jason's been playing well all year. Like I said, when you go up a couple touchdowns that gives Jason and Joey and Kendrell room to roam. Anytime we go up one or two touchdowns, they're going to get their sacks. That's just what we haven't been doing. That's why they haven't been getting their sacks. Now they're going to start getting their sacks. When it rains it pours with those guys.

Q: How does it feel?

A: Feels gooood. Feels real good, man. Can't beat it.

Q: Did you kind of set the tone early?

A: Yeah. Got to seal the deal though. I'm getting there. I'm just not getting them down.

Q: Didn't you serve up Jason's record sack?

A: Yeah. He might owe me a little money for that one.

Q: What's it like to win again?

A: Nice. You can't beat the feeling of winning. Even if you play bad and you win, it's that much better than playing good and lose. You can't explain it. It's just a nice feeling to win. Winning overrides everything.

Q: What did limiting them to a field goal early do?

A: When you can hold a team to a field goal, or even when they score keep them from getting an extra point, you can walk off the field feeling better and you can take some momentum away from them.

Q: How did you feel in coverage?

A: I felt good. I never felt coverage was my problem, so I felt pretty good.

Q: Can you describe the play you made to hold them to a field goal?

A: That was a big series for us. That's been something we've been talking about since we started this, trying to keep people out of the end zone and keep them to field goals.

Q: What happened on that play?

A: They had run a couple slants earlier and I think they tried to set me up with a slant and back out. When he broke in I kind of stepped and tried to come back out. The quarterback threw it and I had a chance to stick my hand out and knock it down.

Q: What about the corner blitz?

A: That was just a certain formation where the corner gets to blitz. I saw him pump one time when I was rushing. When he pulled it back down I just stuck my hand out there and knocked it out.

Q: Not too many people noticed you. Isn't that a good thing?

A: If that's what you think.

Q: I mean, at your position, not being noticed means you did good, right?

A: Exactly. Hopefully I can continue to do my job, try to make plays, whatever the team wants me to do.

Q: Did you feel comfortable out there?

A: Very comfortable.

Q: Did you sleep much last night?

A: I've been sleeping for the last three, four days eight to 12 hours.

Q: Not nervous at all, are you?

A: No. I wasn't nervous at all.

Q: Is it going to get better from here?

A: Hopefully.

Q: What about Jason's three sacks?

A: It was big for him. I was telling him all day he's going to have a chance because as the game was going on it seemed the quarterback kept rolling to his side. I was like, 'Man I can't get to him. He keeps running to your side, so you've got to get him.' And he did that. He got him three times. That guy's working hard over there. He's been working hard for 10 years. He's not going to stop now.

Q: Why were you better on third down today?

A: Just putting pressure on the quarterback. Whether it was a blitz or a four-man rush, if we put pressure on the quarterback we're going to make it tough on him. It's not even about sacking him, it's about making him throw bad balls when he doesn't have to. A couple times on third and six, he threw some balls across the middle into the dirt.

Q: New guys in the secondary work out OK?

A: Yeah. Sometimes some of the toughest decisions they make are the best decisions they make. I know coach's been faced with some tough decisions sitting some guys down, but he has to do what he has to do to get this thing turned around and it worked today.

Q: How does it feel to win?

A: Good, man. This is what I'm accustomed to. Losing's tough. The locker room's quiet. Everyone has a chip on their shoulder. Don't want to give a good interview. I'll talk to y'all all day now. I mean, we won. I'm not in a rush to go nowhere.

Q: OK, well how many sacks are you behind Jason Gildon now on the career list?

A: Some day I'll have my turn, but I don't know. The old man's ready to keep piling it on now. He had three today. He looked real good out there today. If he keeps adding it on he might get 100.

Q: Were there more blitzes today?

A: He's putting the pressure on us now. For so many weeks we put the pressure on the DBs to cover a long time. Just as veterans, we asked to put the pressure on us a little bit and blame us if we don't get to through the quarterback's protection. The last couple weeks we've been putting pressure on the quarterback. It's not really about getting sacks, it's about making him throw bad balls and it showed what the pressure can do. All day Blake was running for his life. When you're playing like that you know good things are going to happen for our defense.

Q: You asked? Who did you ask?

A: I just heard about it. I was reading the paper one day and it said somebody told the coaches to blitz.

Q: In the paper? That must've been us. Was it?

A: Yeah, they listen to you guys. You'all got some say so. You'all got more say so than I do. Keep doing what you're doing.

Q: Which veterans asked to put more pressure on the QB?

A: They came to me.

Q: Who are they?

A: The veteran players. When you see them out on the field kind of winding their clock, going like that, that means they're asking for blitzes. I obliged.

Q: You did a lot more of that the last few weeks?

A: I wouldn't say a lot more today. A lot of it was zone. They did a better job rushing.

Q: When a zone's behind it you don't consider it a blitz?

A: A lot of it was four-man rush in dime. We did blitz quite a bit but not as much as we did last week.

Q: Will you keep bringing it in the second half?

A: We're going to call what it takes to win. That's the most important thing. If we feel the blitzes are working, then we'll do it.

Q: Do you sense your guys are getting better at it?

A: They're doing a good job. They're playing hard. So long as they understand the coverage's that go along with it, we call it.

Q: Does improved coverage have anything to do with it?

A: Yeah, there you go.

Q: Don't you have to tell us that?

A: No, I don't. You know what you're going to write before you ask the question. I mean, goodness gracious. The fact of the matter is it's the big picture you have to take into account. If the coverage is there and you feel like your match-ups are good, it's the big picture. You've got to see all of that. When it allows you to blitz, you can do some things, and they allowed us to do some things.

Q: Did Townsend play well today?

A: Off the top of my head without looking at tape, I would think he and Ike did a nice job.

Q: What are your thoughts on Jason getting the record?

A: I'm just glad to be a part of it. I'm proud to be here and being the coordinator and getting the chance to call those defenses. I'm thrilled for him. I'm thrilled for his family and what it means to him. I'm thrilled that he got a chance to catch somebody that he looks up to in L.C., and L.C. was a great player and I think that Jason's very deserving of where he is and what he's accomplished. I'm just happy to be a part of it.

Q: What happened on their late touchdown?

A: I just lost track of the ball and I should've been playing 60 minutes. Even in the win, when you evaluate yourself, I'm going to look at that play and want to kick myself in the butt.

Q: How does it feel to win?

A: It feels great. It's been a long time coming for us. I take my hat off to my teammates. Everyone's been staying focused. No quit; no give up. Today we were able to go out and get a win. It feels great. Hopefully we can keep this going.

Q: You probably don't remember L.C. Greenwood, but could you talk about breaking his record?

A: I was close and I wish I could've done it earlier, but it happened today and it's one of those things. I think right now I have to wait until the end of the season, let it sink in and reflect because right now we're in a position where we have some football games in front of us.

Q: Were you beginning to think you wouldn't get this sack?

A: Well, I didn't want to dwell on it. I felt if it was going to happen, it was going to happen. My main thing was just going out there and helping my team win games. I'm happy it did happen and right now everyone's going to have to continue to step up.

Q: Do you remember L.C.?

A: No. I don't. I've had the opportunity of meeting him on a few occasions. He's a great guy. Anytime you have an opportunity to put your name beside the likes of L.C. Greenwood and Mean Joe Greene, it's a great accomplishment.

Q: Could you talk about the win today?

A: We felt coming in at halftime that we played a decent first half but in order to win this game we had to come out in the second half and turn it up. Everyone responded and we were able to hit some big plays and turn this thing around.

Q: Did Joe Greene talk to you after the game?

A: I was looking for him but there were a lot of people out there. Maybe down the road I'll have a chance to talk to him.

Q: Is Bruce Smith next?

A: I'm not really putting a lot into personal accomplishments right now because we really haven't done anything as a team and I just have to continue to play well.

Steel City Insider Top Stories