“It’s just ultimate confusion when we play — they’re trying to confuse us and we’re trying to confuse them. Their defense is all over the place. Guys are here, guys are there, all of a sudden this guy is over here and 20 guys are blitzing. That’s the biggest thing with Baltimore. Then you add the physical stuff. I don’t mind that … I can take hits. It’s tough.” — Ben, on playing the Ravens (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
What they’re saying…
“Flacco didn’t play a perfect game, but it was close…as a rookie, he was basically expected to manage the game. Last year, he suffered back and thigh injuries, which affected his throwing motion. But there are no excuses now. The playoffs are where quarterback legends are born because the great ones like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger take over games.” — Mike Preston, Baltimore Sun.
“It’s got to be Baltimore. I’ve had a feeling it was going to be Baltimore all along. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s going to be some football game.” — Hines Ward, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“I picked the Ravens to make it to the Super Bowl, but I don’t know that they make it out of Pittsburgh. Reason: The Steelers have their number at Heinz Field. OK, so Baltimore pulled out a last-minute victory there this year. Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play. With Roethlisberger, the Steelers are 6-1 at home, including a playoff victory. Plus, they won their last six overall vs. the Ravens with Big Ben.” — Senior sportswriter Clark Judge, CBS Sports.
“When you come into this locker room, you know this is a team of winners. So you have to put yourself in that right state of mind so you can go out there and win a world championship.” — Ziggy Hood, to Jim Wexell for the Tribune-Democrat.
“It’s one and done. There’s a lot of teams that have already gone home. But really, it doesn’t matter to us who we play. We just want to keep winning.” — Ike Taylor, in the Washington Observer-Reporter.
“I’ve lost to Ben Roethlisberger seven times. He’s definitely my biggest problem I’m facing.” — Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, to ESPN.
“This is World War 3 to us. This is definitely Armageddon. We’re very evenly matched. Two physical, fast, outstanding defenses. Two very poised quarterbacks, except their quarterback may have an edge since he’s got two rings, but we’re working on getting Joe his first one this year.” — Terrell Suggs again, on ESPN‘s First Take this morning.
“The story of the Steelers’ season has been how they’ve dealt with Roethlisberger: going 3–1 in his absence, integrating him seamlessly into the offense and making sure he was right, mentally and physically. As the season drew to a close, NFL Films miked the Steelers’ quarterback for the Dec. 23 Carolina game, and in one episode Roethlisberger dragged guard Chris Kemoeatu away from a fight and yelled at him, ‘Don’t you throw that punch!’ When coach Mike Tomlin told Roethlisberger to make sure he kept the linemen in check, Roethlisberger told him he’d talk to all of them at halftime. ‘Young man growing up,’ Tomlin said to himself on the sideline, speaking of Big Ben.” — Peter King, Sports Illustrated.
“One time after a play, I looked at (Suggs), and he was bleeding from the mouth. I was bleeding from the nose. That says it all about a Ravens-Steelers football game.” — Ben, from Scout.com.
“He’s a Miami guy. He’s a tough guy. He had the broken nose. I was glad we broke his nose and then I was very impressed that he played through it. Obviously, you can throw very effectively with a broken nose – he proved that.” — Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, who also played for the RedHawks as a defensive back, to the Baltimore Sun.
“Can they please stage this game inside a steel cage? The most bruising rivalry in football is played by two teams built around pounding defenses and a preference for the running game. The fascinating thing, as in the Jets-Patriots game, is how the teams will change their approaches because they are so familiar with each other.” — Judy Battista, New York Times.
“I think we are getting hot at the right time.” — Ben, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Also, in case you missed it:
You can see a locker room interview with Ben from last week here. (thanks Jan!)