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Pittsburgh Steelers Postgame Transcripts 12/17

Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin and select players comment on their game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, December 17, 2017.

Head Coach Mike Tomlin

Opening statement:
It was a tough, hard-fought game. We came up short. I appreciate the efforts of the guys. Obviously, New England is a good group. You know, we've got to be better in an effort to finish it. But a lot of good effort [and] things there.

On the injury front, A.B. [Antonio Brown] is getting his lower leg injury evaluated. I don't have a lot of information there. James Conner has an MCL knee injury. Other than that, bumps and bruises associated with playing. But I thought the guys played hard. I thought they made plays, obviously, in all three phases, just not quite enough to finish it. Such is life sometimes in the NFL. It's been awhile since we've been unsuccessful when we've stepped into a stadium. It's important that we absorb what happened, we make necessary responses as we move forward and get back into our winning ways. And that's going to be our challenge in response to what transpired. But we'll start on that as we get into next week. Today, we played. We played to win. We came up short. We accept responsibility for that.

How did the game plan change without Brown in there?
You know, it changes. A.B. is significant, but I thought that the guys did a nice job of adjusting and making plays largely. [When] you lose somebody like A.B., there is an adjustment. 

How did you view the touchdown that was called back?
You know, I don't have HD and all of that stuff. So, it's really irrelevant how I feel about it to be honest with you. It's not going to change the outcome of the game. I'm not going to cry over spilled milk and all of that crap and talk about replay. I ain't doing it.

Do you have a problem with Ben [Roethlisberger] going for it in that situation?
No. No, man. We play and play to win. That's what we do. 

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

Re: Offense stepping up in Antonio Brown's absence.
I thought it was awesome. I thought a lot of guys did some good things. But that's what we expect. How awesome at the end with JuJu [Smith-Schuster], too? He gave us a chance down there. Guys just stepping up and doing great things. I am proud of that.

Do you think that because you had them beat, you could beat them again if you saw them?
I'm not into moral victories right now. We just lost a game. It doesn't sit well. But the season is not over. I'll still see a lot of you guys next week. 

Can you go back on that last play? Was there some confusion?
I'm not going to comment on that. I just said it once. I'm not going to talk about it again. 

Did you get a look at that pass to Jesse James?
From the jumbotron, yes. Obviously, no one touched him. I thought that he crossed the plane before the ball hit the ground, but the rule is you must possess it all the way through. 

Would you like to see these guys again?
I mean yeah because that means that we made it far. We are going to take this loss. It was tough. We had chances. We had chances to win that game and we just didn't. It didn't happen for us. 

How much of what you guys did was based on their deployment and formation?
A little bit of both. We did some stuff early with some no-huddle and moved things around throwing the ball. In the second half, we started running and pounding. So, a little bit of both. 

Did you get a chance to talk to Tom after the game?

Did he share anything?
There were a lot of microphones and cameras, so I'm sure somebody got it. 

Are you glad to get that opportunity at the end?
Yeah, absolutely. It is a lot of fun. You get a chance to come in and probably win it with 50 some seconds and having to go a long way. 

How nice was it to see Ryan [Shazier] in the stands watching?
It was awesome. I would have loved to have been able to win this one for him. To see him here was cool. 

Defensive End Cameron Heyward

What was the range of emotions there after you saw Jesse James and thought he scored?
It was a heck of a rollercoaster. You go from a complete high, thinking that you scored. I think the set-up game was huge. You see JuJu Smith-Schuster getting all the way down there. We tip our hats to them. 

Do you think that you guys did a lot of good things today that you could take to an eventually rematch down the road?
Yeah, there were a lot of good things offense, defense, and special teams. Whether it was punting, Jordan Berry had a heck of a game. Tackling, I thought was pretty good today. Trying to get out there and I thought the pressure was better. We have to continue to do that. The offense did enough. We had a lot of chances to close the door in that game, we didn't. We learned we lived. I definitely think there are a lot of positives to take from that game with the negatives. It's one game. We can sit over here and day it was a big game, but it is not the Super Bowl. We have a lot of games left. I'm looking forward to it,

Can you explain the emotions when you saw Ryan Shazier on the big screen?
It was a lot. I got whispers that he might be here. When you see a guy like that on the jumbotron, a lot of emotions went through. I kept thinking, dang, I wish he were out here. I know he wishes he could be out there. We wanted to play hard for him. I thought a lot of guys did. We didn't get that W for him. He knew we played hard as well. We will talk more about it later. 

Would you like another shot at these guys?
Yeah, I like a shot at everyone that we lose too. There's a road that we have to take. I know that we have the same record now. At the end of the day, we have a lot of football ahead of us. Two games and a guaranteed football game. Now we have to go on a four game winning streak from here. I don't look at it anything crazy but five games, I mean, four to the Super Bowl. Three guaranteed because we are guaranteed a playoff. I'm looking forward to all of it. We can be dejected about this, but I like we are at. 

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