Steelers players (10.18.20)

RB James Conner

 Re: Best stretch of career

As for the career I’m not sure, it’s been a short career so far. I just try to run hard. This was a must win game for us AFC North football, so I just try to execute trust what I see; run hard; and it worked out for us today.


Was delayed handoff routine or part of the game plan?

A little bit of both, it was on the game plan so we thought it could work and it’s also routine for us, so we just try to execute. Coach had me well prepared this week, Coach Faulk [Faulkner], we had a great week of preparation and it always shows. That’s how we get evaluated at the end of the week. So yeah Coach Faulk [Faulkner] had me ready to go for today and it was just a good day.


How would you grade your offensive line especially between the tackles?

Yeah, the Browns had a good defense, but everything starts up front with the line. Our offensive line, our Tight ends, they get things going so any type of success that we have in the run game, it’s all up to them. We got some movement up front against a very good defensive line and a very good defense, just played hard.


G Matt Feiler

Why are you having so much more success running the ball this year compared to last?

I think it starts with the offensive line, the running backs, and the tight ends. Everyone’s been working on the run game, working hard, in the offseason, and preparing to run the ball. It also helps having a better quarterback like Ben [Roethlisberger] being able to get us in the right check and stuff like that.


What was the motivation playing Myles Garrett given he’s one of the best players in the NFL?

Yeah, you’ve got to show him respect. You’ve got to know when he’s on the field, but we knew what kind of guy he is and what kind of player, so we just had to keep an eye on him and do what we had to do.


DT Cameron Heyward

Do you guys think you were able to make Baker Mayfield feel uncomfortable and capitalize on that early in the game?

Yeah. Baker’s a heck of a guy, but we had to go out there and fight for this team. As a defense, we want to affect the quarterback, punish the quarterback. Good punishment, I didn’t mean any illegal football, but it’s my job to get after the quarterback and I’m going to leave it at that.


How impressive has what this team has been able to do in all phases been?

It was a good one, but I’m going to leave it at that. I think there are a lot of things we can still improve. I think we had 48 yards rushing given up, but then we kind of gave away some yards at the end. I didn’t finish a sack. That’s going to make me go crazy tonight. There are things we can still improve at. The good thing is we’re 5-0, but this is something we have to continue to improve on. We’re not going to rest just being 5-0. We’ve got to continue to get better and keep working.


How big are those fourth-down stops?

They’re always huge. We look at those as turnovers, especially when we can get them going into our red zone. So to get those and then put our offense on a short field is huge and we have to continue to do that. This is good tape that we can look back. This is something we can continue to improve on and get better because of it.


LB Bud Dupree

Was it a point of emphasis defensively to get on them?

Yeah. Any game we play, we go out there and try to be as tough as we can. Be the most physical team on the field.


How important was it to make Baker Mayfield uncomfortable knowing he was dealing with sore ribs coming into the game?

Baker [Mayfield] is a good quarterback. At the end of the day, he’s one of those top-notch guys. We don’t really think about hurting a player. We just got out and we hit him a couple of times, and we know he’s hurting, but we don’t intentionally go in and hurt somebody.


How big of a loss of Devin Bush for the defense and how did Robert Spillane do communicating?

Devin [Bush] is a great player, high effort guy. He’s one of the most underrated guys on the team, one of the fastest guys on the team, so anytime you lose somebody like that, it’s a big blow. But [Robert] Spillane came in and did well. He communicated well. Prayers up for Devin as he goes through recovery.


G Kevin Dotson

How are you able to look so comfortable out there?

My routine coming into every game is to make it as much like practice as possible so I’m not in my head as much trying to just revert back to that practice stage. I’m with 100 percent at practice and going 100 percent in a game is just the nature of it. So, I just try to make it as normal as possible, so I don’t get in my head.


How much was the offense designed to run away from Miles Garrett?

I think our coaches had supreme confidence in our tackles, but they knew that this guy is a special breed of person. We were not just crazy about all the stuff we did to help on the tackles, but we knew that he was there. We always made sure that we had it if we needed to call something like that.


S Minkah Fitzpatrick

Re: New plan for third downs

We just changed up some of the schematics. Decided to play a little tighter. A little bit more man to man. Make him throw out of the pocket, and I think we just executed better. I don’t believe we changed a whole lot. We just executed better. We practiced third and medium, third and long this week in practice because we were playing poorly last week on third down. So we really wanted to emphasize that throughout the week and we did, and we executed well this week on third down.


How much did your pick energize everybody?

We needed to set the tone on defense whether it was a sack or three and out, or whatever it may be. We needed to set the tone and I think the pick six on the first drive of the game was definitely the way to do it.