Was it a point of emphasis after last week?
No, I don't think so. We were hitting them good with a couple different plays and Mike (Mularkey) just kept changing it up and bouncing it back and forth between a couple of them.
Was this Keydrick's best game?
I don't know. He's gotten better every game and he keeps improving. He's getting better and he's gotten a lot of experience under his belt, which is the best thing for him.
Was Bettis a coach out there?
Yeah, he does. He likes to at least know what you're thinking. 'What did you see on that play?' He's behind us and he sees different things and wants to know. It's good to be on the same page, particularly since on every running play some one guy has a key block depending on the defense. It can spring him open so he likes to know what's going on and keep on the same page with us.
Were you aware of his climb up the all-time rushing list?
Oh, yeah, definitely. That's huge, and the professional that he is he just keeps on running the ball and doesn't even think about it.
Is this how it should've been all year?
Yeah. You know a lot of things have happened over the year. It's tough to say right now, but the offense went out and we put together some drives today, which is nice. It's a good feeling because we haven't done that on a steady basis this year.
There were no playoff implication or anything like that and guys just went out there and played and coaches just, you know, maybe didn't think about the consequences of the calls as much.
Obviously we got the running game going. It just happens sometimes. It's not the first time this year it's happened but it hasn't happened often.
Do you like when coaches don't think so much?
Honestly I think it helps. You know, the experience I went through moving from guard to center, sometimes when I didn't think about the techniques and stuff so much and I just went out there and played, that's when I played my best games. I think that's how coaching, I think that's how life is. You don't analyze it so much; just go out there and play.
Sense a big running game today?
They were definitely a good defense. I sensed Jerome running the ball real hard and we had a good game plan and we basically only ran two or three different plays and that way we were able to execute it better and better each time we called it.
We ran the Boss on the outside and then we just ran a zone scheme on the inside and then a sucker play. That's basically all we did.
A sucker play?
Go one way and then come back the other way. You just zone right and have the running back come back left and hope they overplay it. But those linebackers are probably the fastest linebackers we've played against this year.
Have the last four or five games been better for you?
It's been better for myself but it's been better for the offense. Earlier in the season we had a lot of difficulties running the football and to be able to get back to running the football has been big for our offensive line more importantly. You know, they've been banged up and beat up and just for those guys to get something out of it has been big, but for me personally it's definitely been fulfilling.
You must be happy that you won:
Yeah that was important. You want to go off on a good note going into next season and you want to give the fans something to look forward to and more importantly you want to build off of these last couple of games. A couple years ago we had the same situation. We ended up 9-7. Ironically we were in San Diego finishing up and I think the way we finished up led us that next year to a really good season. Hopefully we can do the same and really build off of this game and go into Baltimore and win a tough one there.
Are you hoping the title's at stake when you play the Ravens?
That's what you look forward to. Unfortunately we're not in the playoffs. This is going to have a playoff atmosphere so it will be good for us and good for the younger players to understand what the intensity is like, so it'll be fun that's for sure.
Will it be more fun because it's the Ravens?
It's fun because it's the Ravens. They don't like us; we don't like them. It's a big rivalry. This is why you play football. Unfortunately it doesn't have the significance for us that we hoped it would at the beginning of the season. But it's still a national audience and we get an opportunity to go off into next season with a bang.
You're a few yards away from Jim Brown. How do those words sound to you?
That's amazing to think about that. Growing up as a kid, you don't imagine that type of thing. I was a fullback my whole career until I came to the NFL and these kinds of numbers weren't even on my mind. To be up there with the legendary Jim Brown is amazing. I got an opportunity my rookie year to meet him. We played Cleveland in Los Angeles and he was on the sideline. After the game he came up to me and gave me a few words of encouragement and that meant a lot to me. I look at it now, 11 years later, to be able to reach that milestone is an honor. And to do it in a Pittsburgh uniform is impressive because he's a Cleveland Brown, and to come up on a Cleveland guy is always good.
Did you think this might be your last appearance in this stadium?
I didn't really worry about it. Unfortunately the business is the business but I didn't let it affect me. I wanted to go out and play hard, play strong and just give myself every opportunity. If it is, it is, and I didn't want to dwell on that and have some long, elaborate goodbyes or anything like that. I'm not worried about it. I still have football left in me. The feet are still quick, still making moves I need to make, so I'm not going to worry about it and wait until the off-season to look at it.
How did it feel to carry 30 times again?
It felt good. It's been awhile. It has been awhile. I just think it shows I can do it. I think there've been a lot of questions about my skills diminishing and this, that and the other, losing a step. You ask those linebackers out there was I losing a step and I think they won't say that. But there's some thought that because of these milestones, it signals the end of a career. What people don't understand is I'm about the sixth or seventh oldest guy on the team. I have the most seniority but it doesn't mean the end of a career just because of the numbers. I think you have to look at the skill level, and if I'm not able to do the things that I've been able to do then you say 'OK it's over.' But just because I'm at a certain level in terms of yardage, you can't make that assumption. It's hard to judge a person based on other people. It frustrates me when people say 'Earl Campbell could only take this many hits,' or 'Jim Brown could take this many hits.' You know what they say about big backs but I think I'm a lot different in the sense that I try to avoid a lot of that stuff so I've been relatively out of danger for the most part. I feel good and that's the most important part.
Where's this offense been all year?
It's frustrating to see us in terms of this record and to have the quality of football team we have is just frustrating because we should be a lot better than our record indicates and that's the hardest part to deal with, to know you're a better football team but you underachieved and didn't get it done earlier in the season and this is what you're left with. We have to deal with that disappointment and hopefully that fuels everybody going into next season.
Think you might get Jim Brown today?
I would've loved to have done it at home. I think it was big. But to get an opportunity to do it in front of a national audience against the Ravens, that would be sweet.
Quotebook: Running game
Steel City Insider Top Stories
Sutton To Help Steelers Man UpThe Steelers added another leader-type and hope third-round pick Cam Sutton can help with their coverage changes.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 11:26 PM
Conner No Sideshow To SteelersThe Steelers' top story on Day 2 of the draft became James Conner, the hammer of a Pitt running back.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 10:19 PM
Steelers Add JuJuThe Pittsburgh Steelers added a wide receiver to what seems to be a three-ring circus at the position.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 7:37 PM
Steelers Wish List, Part IIWith a pass-rusher in hand, here's how the Steelers will address other needs.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 7:41 AM