CB Denzel Ward (11.16.23)
How is your neck for starters?
“It’s good. Feeling a lot better that’s for sure. I’m good though. I’m ready to go.”
Those of us who watched the Ronnie Stanely hit numerous times. Can you just kind of give us your thoughts on did you think that was kind of a cheap shot or what are your thoughts on that?
“Yeah, I kind of felt it was a little cheap shot. He got me. I felt it was an unnecessary hit and probably could have been a penalty on the play, but it’s football, stuff happens, so it’s all good. I wish no bad on nobody, but yeah, I got, got, you know. So, it’s all good.”
You’re going to fight him next?
Are you going to fight him next time?
“No, man. Like I said, I don’t wish no bad on nobody, man. I’m just glad we got the win. That’s the main focus. Just hate that I couldn’t be out there, though, for my guys that game, but they did a great job by finding a way to get the win and did that.”
Have you guys heard back from the league office about that? I mean, I know you guys were going to send it in. Have you gotten any satisfaction that they also thought that it wasn’t a legal hit?
“No, I haven’t. But I mean, I got all the satisfaction I need. We got the win, so, like I said, that’s all that matters.”
You were checked for a concussion. At this stage in your career, are you concerned when you’re even checked?
“The concussion stuff, that’s just protocol. I mean, anytime there’s any sort of head or neck contact in a game, the league do their due diligence and checking for a concussion. So that’s pretty much just going through the protocol and the demands of what we’re supposed to do. I didn’t feel I had a concussion or anything, I mean, I was fine.”
Now that a day has passed since the news came out about Deshaun (Watson), just your thoughts on losing such a key part of this team and what you and your teammates on your side of the football are going know be able to do to help compensate for his loss.
“Yeah, it’s a tough loss, obviously. I mean, you guys are seeing what Deshaun was capable of out there leading us to that victory and just what he’s been doing, he’s been building every week. So, I just feel bad for Deshaun. I know he wants to be out here so bad with us and competing and playing and trying to achieve our goals, but we Just got to step up. We all got to step up. DTR (Dorian Thompson-Robinson), PJ (Walker), the defense, everybody. We just got to step up, continue to do our job, and, I mean, we don’t need to do anything out the ordinary or something different, just keep being us and everything else to take care of itself.”
Denzel, Coach said that he rallied you guys together after Deshaun’s (Watson) injury. What was the mood like after him talking to you guys?
“Yeah, like I said, it’s tough. I mean, Deshaun is a key piece, obviously, to our team. But like I said, we just got to refocus on the assignment at hand, and that’s find a way to go 1-0 each week.”
You mentioned guys don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary, especially on your side. How much do you guys, it’s one thing to say that, it’s another thing to be in those situations and naturally, muscle memory, whatever, thank it, or whatnot. But how big of a focus is that in your meeting rooms and on the practice field that, hey, we’re good doing what we’re doing now let’s not try and be a hero out there?
“Yeah, that’s the biggest thing. We don’t need to be heroes out there. We just all need to execute our job and assignment, and that happens every day, just going out there and practicing and doing what we’re supposed to do, handling our job, and I say everything else to take care of itself and just can’t do too much out there.”
Denzel, most people not associated with the team watch the Steelers look at their offense and wonder, how the heck are they 6-3? Do you understand why they’re 6-3?
“They’re a good team. I mean, Pittsburgh has always been. They are well-coached. They got great players over there. I mean, I don’t think it’s a surprise that they’re a good team. And like I said, the guys that they have over there, coaches they have over. I mean, they’re a tough team and they’re going to bring a challenge every week going against guys.”
Does it ever get frustrating? Every time you look at standings they’re somewhere in there.
“I mean, that’s our entire division. It’s a tough division. Everybody’s close, everybody’s fighting to win a playoff spot, and it’s a challenge each week. So, I think we’re up for the challenge. Like I said, every week I think we’re up for the challenge and enjoy the competition and see where you are come the end of the year.”
I know you guys are 1-0 every week is the focus, but there’s a chance with how it goes tonight. And if you guys win Sunday night, you could be at the top of the division by the end of the weekend. How do you feel about that this late in the season?
“Like I said, the focus is going 1-0 each week, whether or not we’re the best of the division after this week, we got to try to be the best of the division at the end of the year and that’s what matters most. So, playing our best ball towards the end of the year. And like I said, final way to go 1-0.”
And what were your thoughts on Greg’s (Newsome) first pick? Being a pick-six in that moment.
“Man, I was so excited for Greg. Man, he’s been working hard. We get on him in practice, talking about, man, you don’t have an interception yet. He had opportunities, but, man, Greg’s been working hard. That was a key play in a big game. So, we say big time players make big time plays in big-time gains, and he did that. So, he’s a big-time player for us. He was able to get his first interception, so hopefully they start rolling in for him and could take it away again. So, he’s been doing great, though.”
What is it about that, at least, what do you see in that Steeler offense? They don’t seem to put up a lot of numbers, but when they do, it’s always like at the most opportune time, especially in that fourth quarter. What do you see with that Steeler offense?
“Yeah, they’re a physical offense, I mean, established a run game. They got the players on the outside to make plays and (Kenny) Pickett, (Diontae) Johnson, Pickett’s going to throw it up for them to try to make a play on the ball. So, they have the capability of being a big-time offense and making those plays. So, they’re going to present a challenge for us this week and we just got to be up for it.”
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