Steelers quotebook:

Post-game reactions from Mike Tomlin, Anthony Smith, Deshea Townsend, Brett Keisel, and Ben Roethlisberger.


Obviously the Patriots were the better team today. They deserve to be congratulated for their performance. We couldn't stop them consistently. We couldn't make critical plays when we had to. Offensively we couldn't make critical plays when we had to, particularly in the second half. Big plays defensively by their offensive people, who are good and we knew they were good, but that still doesn't mean they should go up and down the field on us like that. We've got some work to do. That's what we talked about in there. We've got a ways to go. If that was the measuring stick, we're not close. That being said we'll roll our sleeves back up and go back to work tomorrow.

What did Anthony Smith's comments mean?

Hey, those comments didn't mean anything. At 4:15, what was said during the week was irrelevant. It's about what you do and how you play. After a performance like that, when they beat us up, then, yeah, you can point back to that comment. But that's a good football team. I doubt that those comments were a motivating factor in terms of how they performed today. They were a better team today. They beat us.

What was the problem?

Sometimes we got to them; sometimes we didn't. They're very good. They executed at a high level and we didn't.

What did you find out about your team today that you didn't know?

That's still to be determined. We're still writing our story. This is not the final chapter in our story and it wasn't going to be whether we won or lost. We have another game to play, a big game coming up at home. We have to prepare to do that. Get back to me in a couple of months.

Was Anthony supposed to give help to Ike on the long pass early?

I'm not going to point fingers. We're a football team. The reality is they rang the scoreboard up on us, the Pittsburgh Steelers. We accept responsibility for that, starting with myself.

What weren't you able to do to Moss?

We weren't able to stop him from catching the ball, like a lot of people. We weren't able to keep him out of the end zone, like everybody else that he plays. He's good.

Did you have Ike shadow him?

We did. Ike of course is our biggest guy. He's our fastest guy. It didn't mean that we were going to match him up in man-to-man situations all day. That wasn't the case. We called our normal defenses, we just had what we thought was a physical match-up that leveled the playing field, so we did that.

What was wrong with the red-zone offense?

We can't find ways to finish. Minute details are the difference, and of course that's the reality of this business. We've got to get back in the lab on that because when you play good people like that, particularly on the road, field goals aren't going to get it done.

On Santonio:

We don't have anything major from an injury standpoint.

Is it difficult to get pressure against five wides?

Sometimes we got pressure; sometimes we didn't. When we got pressure he got the ball out of his hands. He's very good.


How surprising was it to see your face on the scoreboard with the fans chanting guarantee?

I wasn't worried about that. When we come back, we'll have our opportunity again.

What did you see on the lateral pass?

I came up for the bubble screen and they threw it across the middle.

You said you'll be back here. Is that a guarantee?

Are you trying to make me make another guarantee?

I'm asking if it is?

If we do what we're supposed to do, we're going to be back here.

How tough was Brady in no-huddle?

He didn't just march up and down the field. We played good solid defense. It came down to maybe one or two plays. They hit us with some gadgets we haven't seen before but that's part of the game. You've got to adjust on the fly.

What did Brady say to you?

He didn't say nothing to me. I don't know if he said anything. I really wasn't paying attention.

What's your role on play action? What goes through your mind?

It's kind of tough., You've got to play the pass but you've got to come up and support the run. It's one of those things. If you get the right key, you'll be in the right position.

What did you see on the 63-yarder?

I was trying to disguise and I was already up and then they hit the full float to me and I was already down there. I just kind of ran up in there.

On the fleaflicker?

I almost got there. If I'd have read it a second quicker, I could've made that play.


You take what you get and move on. Like I said, we came here to win. We come into every game to win. For us to come here and say we're going to try to win is really not our character. We've just got to get them next time.

What was the point of the guarantee?

If he'd have quoted me right, he would've understood what I said. I said if we come out and do what we're supposed to do, we'll win the game. We didn't do that. We gave up some big plays and that's what happens.


Could you feel the affect of that guarantee in that stadium?

No. We don't care nothing about the stadium, it's about plays. We gave up plays we normally don't give up. It's always our job to make teams go the hard route and we gave up some big plays today.

Was the reaction a bit much?

That's what's good about this game. We've got to keep people in the stands. That's how we get our paycheck.

Were you surprised Brady got in his face?

That's for TV. He don't really want to be a tough guy like that. He did it to fire his guys up.

What can you do better if you come back here?

Their offense is going to make plays but you can't give up big plays. We got off the field in certain situations, we just can't give up big plays.


Surprised their offensive focus was on the free safety?

When you make statements like that, you know teams are going to come after you. That's why you can't do too much talking. You've got to let your play do the talking for you. Still, we were in that game and we gave up two big ones. A team like that, you can't spot them 14 points. It's impossible to win the game when you spot them 14 points.

Might you guys have tried too hard to be physical with those WRs?

They never gave us a chance to be physical. They did a lot of trick plays. They didn't just come out and run routes. They get paid too. They've got a great coaching staff and they studied how aggressive we were and they used that aggressiveness against us. They kept running that bubble screen and when we came up to play that bubble screen they hit us deep. You've got to learn from that. You've got to stay on your keys. If we'd have stayed on our keys, we'd have been okay.

Has your opinion of their receiving corps changed?

No. They've got three good receivers. But my focus point is still on the quarterback. That quarterback makes that team ride. He gets them in the right plays, he changes to the right plays when he sees what we're doing. He did a great job of doing that. But we can't make mistakes on the back end like that.


Was there a feel out there from that comment?

I don't think so. That didn't have nothing to do with the game. People say the trick plays were designed to beat him. Well, if you coach like that then I don't think you're going to be a good coach. That's what they do, they throw deep balls. It just so happened that Anthony Smith, the guy who made the comment, was back there at free safety. It looked like they were targeting him but I don't think so.

What can you do next time against these guys?

We've got to do a better job of disguising and do better at getting to Brady. He's the key. If we get to him, it'd be a different ball game. Troy would make a difference. He's one of the best players on the defense. Not having him, that hurts them a little bit but we've still got confidence in the guys back there.


Did Anthony's comments motivate them?

Absolutely. I mean absolutely they were motivated. When someone guarantees a win, absolutely that's going to affect how a team looks at you , and they came ready to go.

We stand behind Anthony. Anthony's played well all year for us. They made a couple big plays today. And I think the reason they did those plays was because of what he said, trying to take a shot at him. Why not take a shot at him? And the shot went their way.

How can you get pressure on Brady?

You can't get pressure on him. You just have to rally to the ball and tackle him. They've got a bunch of little squirmy guys who know how to get loose. That was a great game plan by them.

On defending their spread?

It was something that caught us off-guard, them going spread and making checks and just throwing it. It was something we haven't seen before with a team that has a lead. Most teams try to run. Very frustrating. It takes you completely out of the game. All you can do is get your hands up.

Is that where this offense is headed?

It might. If you get in the spread and one guy misses you're going to get eight yards. That's what happened tonight.


We have to bounce back. We have no choice but to. There will be a lot of people wondering what happened, but we play next week. It's a tough game against a great team, a physical team, and it will be a big challenge for us.

Anthony fire those guys up?

Oh it definitely did. I had a couple of their guys, while I was coming on the field during a TV timeout, say ‘Why are your guys opening their mouth? We're so fired up out there.' And I told them we just have some young guys.

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