CB IKE TAYLOR
"It's plain and simple. We just got our butt whooped. That's what it all boils down to. Nobody is making excuses. Tonight we got our butt whooped."
How did that happen?
"It happened. Just like life, things happen. It's all in how we respond. But tonight we didn't play like we wanted to play. They came in here and they handed it to us."
It seemed pretty emotional. Tom Brady had that spike after he scored and they kind of kept coming.
"We can't worry about what they do. We can only control what we do. Tonight wasn't good enough at all."
Does this take a hit for you guys? Don't you want to be the best in the conference?
"You're right. We did take a hit. No excuses. We have to come back tomorrow and do what we need to do, feed off of this and make sure it doesn't happen again."
WR EMMANUEL SANDERS
"I was happy to see them starting to come to me. It was definitely a couple of steps forward. I'm looking forward to next Sunday."
S RYAN CLARK
Ike [Taylor] said you got your butt whipped. Is there any other way to describe it?
"No. They beat us. They were a better team. They executed better and were more physical. They did what they wanted to do basically. You know that coming in – [that] they are going to play well, they are going to play smart. They are going to be patient. When you play a defense like ours, you take a four yard pass or a five yard pass and try to turn it into more. That's kind of their game. Tom [Brady] executed extremely well. [He] made very good throws and was smart with the ball. We just have to get better. It's just one game. But it's a game we can learn a lot from."
How does that happen? How is he able to execute as well as they did?
"You'd have to ask him. He did the job. We didn't make the plays that we needed to make, but he didn't really give us many opportunities. It's not the first time you've seen Tom Brady operate at that high level. You don't get called the best, or always in the argument for the best quarterback in the NFL if this is the first time that you've done that. But you know how it is when somebody does something against us. The sky is falling and we anoint that guy Baby Jesus. But Tom went out and did what Tom is supposed to do. And we didn't come to play. We didn't make the plays."
It doesn't worry you at all?
"I can't be worried. You can't start dredging up things from the past. This is one night and this is one night we need to get better from. It sucks to lose any time. If we'd have lost 3-2, or losing like this. Obviously, for our defense, it hurts more because we're not used to playing this way. We're not used to giving up yardage the way we did or giving up the scores in that manner. But you have to come back and continue to play. Yeah, we're [angry]. We're upset. But we just have to come back to work tomorrow the same that we did when we were winning."
How does a team play like that against a defense like yours?
"You play well. You execute. If you watch, he's patient. They are a very patient team. People get into trouble against us when they get impatient. They try to get out of character and try to do things that they are not used to doing – things that play into our hands. If you watch they way they operated the game, they weren't running the ball a lot on first down. They were taking the 4-yard pass, taking the 6-yard pass. They basically played ahead of the chains the whole night. [And] we can't dial up the type of things we like to. They spread us out and just took what we gave them. It was a very intelligent game plan, but very hard to execute. It's very hard to tell a quarterback, 'We want you to throw five-yard passes the whole way until you get your chance.'"
QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER
Was it a game changer when you had those opportunities in the red zone early and couldn't cash in?
"Obviously. Seven points is better than three. We have to capitalize when we get down there. We left some plays out there, but I was bad."
This was uncharacteristic for your offense. Any theories?
"I don't know. You have to give them credit. I don't think they did anything to confuse us or anything like that. I think they just flat out beat us. It was a good old fashioned butt whooping. And you never like it when it's at home."
Do you think injuries are starting to have an impact?
"That would be making an excuse. And I'm not going to do that. Obviously, it hurts when you don't have guys out there. You're used to practicing with certain guys and then all of sudden you move guys around. But I do have to give a lot of credit to guys who came in and played their positions – Emmanuel Sanders, Mike Wallace moving around, Antwaan [Randle El]. It is hard to find a positive from this, but nobody quit. All the way to the last play, nobody quit."
You mentioned coming in that you appreciate watching Brady. Was that him at about his best today?
"He looked pretty good to me. It just seemed like he was Tom Brady."