That's kind of what I've learned: nine years in this NFL and sometimes you don't want to take a breath and enjoy what you've accomplished and we have accomplished. That's every week. Every week in this NFL you'd better be able to enjoy it. Otherwise you're gonna get ground down mentally. I think the thing about this team is that we're mature enough to understand, you know, let's go out there and enjoy this game, then come back on Wednesday and it's a new week. Do you think Cleveland cares about what we did the last two weeks, or Cincinnati, or whoever else we play? That's number one. Number two, we really haven't accomplished anything. Nobody remembers 2001 except for the fact that we lost when we were ten-point favorites, and we haven't forgotten that, either.
GVB: A lot of people thought that maybe the ground game would slow down a little bit without Duce in the lineup but you guys didn't miss a beat.
Hartings: Hey, Jerome is healthy. Actually, Duce playing the first seven games has given him time to heal out. I don't think there's any doubt that he's healthier, he's got a bounce to his step this year and he's definitely shut up the doubters.
GVB: You were asked a question earlier about what the difference is with this offensive line. You answered it pretty succinctly: you answered that having Marvel back is a big key.
Hartings: Yeah. He gets paid a lot of money and that's because he's good. When a guy like that is out you don't just go out and find someone else to replace him. If that was true you wouldn't pay him that much money. That's nothing against the other guys on our o-line. It's obvious we're pretty deep on our o-line. Russ does a great job of coaching. That's not to take away any compliment to Keydrick and Oliver other there, because they are playing very good. I can't say enough about how hard they worked in the off-season and worked basically their whole careers. They never stopped working to get better and that's why they're in the position they're in now.
GVB: You jumped on them early and that was a huge key again today.
Hartings: Yeah, obviously. You can just look at New England's winning streak and they scored first how many times, and only trailed, I think, fifty minutes in all those guys, and it's real easy to play when you're ahead, especially when you're ahead 14-0, then 21-0. That definitely gets into the head of the other team's offense. They start getting impatient, and what is the offensive coordinator supposed to call? When you're down 21-3 you want to be patient, but it's hard to call a game that way.
GVB: So much was made of Terrell Owens and their receivers coming into this game. Your receivers put on a pretty good show.
Hartings: I think a lot is made of our receivers. I don't think there's any doubt how good our receivers are. I think they've always been there. It's just a matter of us giving Ben time to throw the ball, and they're gonna get open and make plays.
GVB: Thanks a lot, Jeff.
Steelers OC Jeff Hartings
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