Steelers players (12.1.19)
CB Joe Haden
Re: Joe Haden joining the Steelers being what made the defense come into its own
I am very happy that they think that highly of me. At the same time, we just have a group of guys with Terrell [Edmunds], Steve Nelson and then the addition of Minkah [Fitzpatrick]. This is one of the best secondaries I have ever been a part of because we have communication, we have guys that are very football smart and are very capable of making plays. I feel like I am holding my side down, but everybody else is doing their thing in the backend.
Can you think of a better script than to intercept a pass against your former team to end the game?
No, I honestly couldn’t. I am very excited about it. Any time you can get an interception in a close game—last week I dropped two of them to close the game, so who knows. So working on the jugs and making sure if they ball came to me, I was going to be able to catch it, so it feels good.
Can you walk us through your interception?
We were in a cover three. Jarvis Landry was running a seam route and Baker [Mayfield] kind of threw it high and behind him, so I just went down and tried to get it before it touched the ground.
When you were 0-3, were you thinking come December you would be 7-5?
Yeah. It was a little tough. We knew we were in a tough position just losing Ben [Roethlisberger] and having a lot of injuries. At the same time, the defense, we knew what we were capable of. Of trying to keep offenses down, trying to play complimentary football. We had a really good special teams [day]. Just everybody working together, it has come to fruition.
Is it sweeter knowing that game about ended their playoff hopes?
I am just excited. I was there [in Cleveland] for a while, so you want to get back at them. But for the bigger picture, I am just excited for my team, for my guys. We went down to Cleveland and they got us out of the way and when you are playing against division opponents, you always want to get those wins. I am just very, very excited I was able to catch the ball.
How were you so successful against Odell Beckham Jr. today?
They were doing a lot of things. Sometimes they weren’t really targeting them as much. With [Nick] Chubb, they were doing a good job of running the ball, staying ahead of the sticks so they didn’t really have to throw it as much. But we always make sure we understood exactly where Odell was, and Jarvis. Those dudes are going to get theirs, but you just have to make sure you keep them in front of you, nothing over the top. So that is what we made sure we did. But those dudes, they are going to get theirs regardless.
How much can you talk about the communication difference in this game versus the last game against them?
Last time we played them, we were on our Ps and Qs, but like I said, they are going to make some plays. This time, we just made sure we kept everything in front of us. That is what we did.
What did you guys do after those first couple drives to slow down Baker Mayfield?
He is so good at extending the plays, and we just have to make sure with our defensive line, they knew if they let him outside the pocket, that is when he hurt us the most in the first game and that is when he started hurting us again in this game, too. He is very good at alluding pressure but keeping his eyes down field. So we just had to do a good job of not running past the quarterback and keeping him contained and being able to get that front push. Bud [Dupree], T.J. [Watt], Cam [Heyward], Javon [Hargrave], they all did their thing.
Do you think you did a better job of continuing to cover when Baker Mayfield scrambled outside the pocket?
Oh, for sure I think we did. I think that one when Jarvis had that great catch on the sideline, that was another extension play. But just us just doing a good job plastering them, I think they only completed two on the scramble drill instead of last game when they had a touchdown in the back of the endzone and a couple longer plays.
Did you hear what Sheldon Richardson was saying throughout the week?
Honestly, I haven’t. I like Sheldon, too, but I didn’t hear what he said.
How was it watching Devlin Hodges?
We have been practicing with Duck [Devlin Hodges], he has been our scout team quarterback for a while, so we have been watching him. He has been making some great passes on our first-team defense. We knew when he got in the position of being able to get a good week of preparation going through the offense with Coach [Mike Tomlin]. I knew he had a capable arm and can make all the throws. He is not afraid to wing it. He did his thing and I am very proud of him.
What is it about Coach Mike Tomlin that fires you up and gets you guys to produce?
He definitely always has the next man up mentality, but he practices what he preaches. He always says he doesn’t have backup players, he has starters in waiting and I really feel like he feels that way. When he bumps guys up, he expects them to produce the same way the other guys did, and they are just held to a high standard on this team. Coach T gives us great nuggets, gives us great film study. He meets with the DBs and linebackers twice a week. that is something I have never done with any other coach. Your head coach just telling you what the game plan is, what you have going on. He is very hands on with everything with the team. I appreciate him.
Often players tune out coaches, why is it that this team listens so much to everything Coach Tomlin says?
You wouldn’t tune out Coach T because he is giving you great knowledge, he is giving you great information and the one thing you want from your coach is he is bluntly honest with you. He will let you know where you stand, if you are making plays, if you are not. If he is going to go shopping for another guy. Just his transparency. And then he really believes in us and really feels like we can do it until we show him otherwise. I love him.
The Browns haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 2003. Now that you have been here for a few years, do you just get a sense that the Steelers will always find a way to beat them in this stadium?
I just feel like we never give up hope, we never feel like we are out of it. We always feel like someone is going to make the play instead of someone messing it up. We just have so many guys out here, we just feel like, “Man, lets get back up here, lets make a play. Lets strip sack, lets get a pick.” You never feel like you are out of the game until it is zeros on the clock.
RB Benny Snell
How satisfying was that run?
It was satisfying, it was good. I’m happier about the win though – a team win.
How satisfying was your first touchdown?
It was very exciting. I got to keep the ball too, so I’m happy about that.
How do you think Devlin Hodges did today?
Duck does outstanding. He shows up to play. I wouldn’t even say it was a mistake. He made a little interception. We still had trust in our defense, and they had trust in our offense.
Re: Leadership of Duck [Hodges]
Duck has been a leader since he stepped foot on the Steelers facility, OTAs. I witnessed that first hand, so I always have my trust in Duck.
LB Bud Dupree
Did you get an explanation on the roughing the passer call late in the game?
I didn’t even ask. I put my head to the side. So, I don’t know why they called it. I put my head to the side initially on contact.
Re: Take us through the play and what was going through your head
I was max pro [maximum protection] on my side, so I had a tight end, running back and a tackle. I just got wide and tried to run by the tight end because I knew he was going to chip if I was in tight. I came free once I got outside and I saw that Baker Mayfield still had the ball, so I sped up and hit him. I thought it was a clean hit.
Were you worried that that could have been a penalty that would beat you guys?
No, I wasn’t worried because I was going to try to do the same thing the next play.
What were you thinking when you guys were down 10-0?
Just hang in there. Don’t blink keep going. Coach [Mike] Tomlin always tells us not to blink. We knew what we were messing up on. It would have been different if we just couldn’t stop them at all, but we knew what we were messing up on. We were out of place in the gaps and letting people run free. This is old stuff that we shouldn’t have doing.
WR James Washington
How long have you been hunting?
Sixth grade. Deer, hogs. I mean pretty much everything that’s in Texas.
Are you a better hunter than Devlin Hodges is?
Probably everything else but he’s got me in duck hunting for sure.
Is he as good as a caller as he’s cracked up to be?
Oh yeah. He’s top of the line.
Could you hear any duck calls today?
I didn’t hear any. I heard someone blowing like a bird call or something in the stands. It wasn’t a duck call, that’s for sure.
How big was the first catch for you?
It got us going. It gave Duck [Devlin Hodges] that confidence and from there on we kept moving and going.