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What The Steelers Said Following Their 30-23 Win Over The Seahawks

Interviews, transcripts, and press conferences from the Seahawks' Week 17 30-23 loss to the Steelers at Lumen Field. 


Featuring postgame quotes from the following:


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Head Coach Mike Tomlin

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MIKE TOMLIN: The guys, we were in a hostile environment today to say the least, and playing a team that was desperate like we were, and we didn't blink, and so I'm appreciative of that. They are to be congratulated for that, but I thought the offensive line provided the wave that we rode. We talked all week about trying to conquer the environment and winning the line of scrimmage being a major component of it, and they embraced that challenge and I thought they kind of controlled the climate, made third downs manageable ones, minimized possession downs, minimized the crowd component of it, and so just thankful for that. A lot of plays made by a lot of people, but that's team football, particularly this time of year as the road gets narrow. T.J. got injured in-game but I think he's going to be okay. The rest of it is bumps and bruises associated with play. I think Joey Porter went down, but he went back in. So, we're thankful, and we'll keep pressing. Questions?

Q. How encouraging is it to get back-to-back offensive performances like that, especially not when you really needed it?

MIKE TOMLIN: You said it. The really needed component of it, smiling in the face of adversity and being our best selves in the most critical circumstances is what we desire to be and the guys displayed that.

Q. Mike, was the plan to come in and try to run it like you did?

MIKE TOMLIN: Most certainly.

Q. Just saw that in the film, thought you could do it?

MIKE TOMLIN: We thought that it was the purest way to conquer the environment.

Q. What'd you think about the way Mason handled the environment?

MIKE TOMLIN: I thought he did a nice job.

Q. Was going under center part of the specific game plan for this? And how do you feel that played into the running success?

MIKE TOMLIN: Under center, at gun, it doesn't matter. We were committed to running the football to minimize the environmental component of it. It's today's NFL. You're running gun, you're running under center, you're running pistol. That's everybody. It's not just us.

Q. Mike, what'd you like about the way Najee ran today?

MIKE TOMLIN: I thought he was determined as was Jaylen. I thought we got appropriate efforts from all parties involved and not to minimize it, it's just a critical time and so if you're a competitor, you're going to be at your best.

Q. Can you stay with a hot hand at quarterback for next week?

MIKE TOMLIN: We'll talk about that next week. Right now we're just appreciative of the victory and we'll give you guys something to buzz about here for the next 24 or so.

Q. Mike, you're still going to need help because of what happened today. You just ignore that and do what you got to do?

MIKE TOMLIN: All we can do is win the games that we're in. That's this time of year. That's any time of year. You can't spend a bunch of time scoreboard watching and things of that nature. It's professional ball. We got to beat the people we play.

Q. Is it abnormal to watch scoreboards, though, at this point of the year?

MIKE TOMLIN: Not for me. A lot of that so it was cool to see that happen.

Q. Was Kenny not dressed because he was unable to play?

MIKE TOMLIN: Just the early portions of the week, we didn't know what his availability might be. We allocated reps accordingly and so we'll see what next week holds.

Q. Mike, one question. There was a big sack by Herbig there.

MIKE TOMLIN: Really was. Young guy on the come-in. We got a lot of young guys on the come-in. We needed that play. He loves football. He works hard. He made a significant play for us, certainly.

Q. Your defense gave up some big plays but they were also able to hold some field goals. How important was that, especially early part of the second half?

MIKE TOMLIN: That's football, particularly this time of year, they got an explosive group. They got a veteran quarterback, they got an awesome group of weapons, receivers, tight ends, running backs. I'm appreciative of the efforts of everyone, particularly on the short field. I just thought it was the difference particularly in the second half, holding them to field goals and being solid down there on the short field and to be honest, after we experienced a lot of attrition at linebacker and safety, we hadn't done a lot of that, so it was cool to see that happen.

Q. Did you get a good view of that catch George made on the third down deep pass?

MIKE TOMLIN: Yeah. We're used to seeing George make plays like that.

Q. You always talk about not living in your fears. Is that a perfect example of that? First down play?

MIKE TOMLIN: You said it. Scared money don't make money. I think I said that last week.

Q. Did that go into some of the fourth down decisions early as well?

MIKE TOMLIN: You said it.

QB Mason Rudolph

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Q. Mason, when that call came in, time to throw the ball, what were you thinking?

MASON RUDOLPH: I was a little nervous, not going to lie, but I assumed that it would be in some sort of a zero or press one high look and figured George would win on the slant, so, yeah, he made big plays all day on third down and so did Diontae. So did a lot of guys on our squad today, but that was a big one, but, yes, a bit nerve-racking but rewarding.

Q. Mason, how encouraging to put back-to-back win performances, offensive performances like that together?

MASON RUDOLPH: That's great. We knew that was our only shot to get into the tournament, so I don't know any information on scenarios or whatnot, but we knew that we got to win. We got to win next week. Really a team win, very cliche, but very true. The turnover there, late in the fourth quarter to give us the ball in a short field and the offensive line, I don't know what we rushed for. I don't know if we broke the 200 mark -- we did. Okay. So, that was incredible.

Q. Mike said you were going to come wanting to run the ball and you did, didn't you?

MASON RUDOLPH: We knew we wanted to go at them in a hostile environment on the road and try to quell some of that and then, you know, play action and throw when you needed to, but it's why that place has such a reputation for being hard to play at on the road, so we rode the wave of the offensive line today and they carried us to the finish line.

Q. Mason, back to that call to Pickens. It shows some confidence in the quarterback, doesn't it?

MASON RUDOLPH: There's probably a lot of quarterbacks that could've completed that one. No safety helped. George got the separation. I'm appreciative that. I think a lot of coaches and a lot of play callers want to be conservative there and just run it out, but we've got a very aggressive head coach who I think he made that call at the end of the day, so it paid off.

Q. Mason, does any of this surprise you? These last two weeks.

MASON RUDOLPH: I mean, yes and no. You never know what can happen, and like I said, God orchestrates things in different ways. I told the people out there I thought what happened last year? I didn't get a start. There wasn't an opportunity to jump in there and I finished the year riding the old pine, so thankful that I got a break and got an opportunity to lead our team. It's just fun, playing football after not doing a whole lot of that for the last few years.

Q. Is it personally rewarding to you, the best two offensive performances of the year back-to-back?

MASON RUDOLPH: I haven't looked at the film obviously or statistically, but I don't really care much about. We knew we had to get a win in Seattle on the road in a very tough spot with the team who's trying to make the playoffs as well, who's got everything to play for, and, once again, so enjoyable to take all the reps this week in practice and build the confidence and I just don't have enough reps with those guys. We had a good week and felt good going into it.

Q. Was there a particular pass that when you hit it you thought, okay, this is going to be a pretty good game?

MASON RUDOLPH: When the Diontae fumble and then it became a fumble out of bounds, that was a nice one to get on your side because that could have turned the ball game a different way early in the game on our side of the 50. Just thankful and happy to have a nice, happy plane ride home.

Q. You see the confidence level maybe not with yourself but the entire offense which is growing quarter-by-quarter. We can get this done. We can put up 500 yards. We can get 30 points.

MASON RUDOLPH: Yeah, I think we felt confident out there today. I know we moved the ball well from the beginning and I think that builds confidence and any time -- the first drive, we didn't get any points, but we moved it well but guys made plans and they set the tone, early on, the way they ran the ball and it was just impressive to watch from my vantage point back there and see those guys push off, James, Isaac and Mason Cole and Broderick and Dan, they did terrific.

Q. I know the game is just over, probably haven't watched a lot of tape. Did you, for the most part, put the ball where it was supposed to go -- are there not many instances --

MASON RUDOLPH: You know, the play action pass in the red zone that kind of iced the game would have made it a 14-point game, I thought I could have put it on Allen Robinson's back shoulder to make it a true two touchdown game, but…

Q. You just threw that one away?

MASON RUDOLPH: Yeah, I threw that one over his (head), but, I don't know. I guess that's because I'm a little conservative at heart and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

OT Broderick Jones

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(On the run game) "The running backs, they did their thing. I just give it up to the running backs, how physical they were today, making people miss. Najee (Harris) had a great stiff arm. Us as an O-line, we love to see that. Just them being physical and continue to dominate and continue to run through people's face is a good feeling."

(On if this is the offense Pittsburgh was searching for the entire season) "We always had it in us, it's just the ability of all the offense to lock in as a whole. Everybody being on the same page, all 11 guys that's on the field, playing on one band, one accord, and just continuing to execute. Us imposing our will throughout the whole game, that's a big factor in it."

(On what's the sparked the offense as of late) "Just us playing together. I feel like everybody is on the same page, everybody is bringing with them, so if you got that, then it's hard to stop us."

TE Pat Freiermuth

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(On what's sparked the offense the last two weeks) "I think it's just us executing, and doing what we're supposed to do and letting the chips fall where they may."

(On Mason Rudolph) "Mason's (Rudolph) is a vet, he's been here for a while and he knows how to execute the offense and he's been doing a great job and I can't say enough good things about him."

(On still being in the playoff hunt) "We're still in contention to play playoff football. I don't know what happened earlier, but from what I understand we have to win out, and we took a step in the right direction today."

OT Dan Moore Jr.

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(On what has been the spark for the team the last couple of games) "I don't know. You could say a number of things, but winning is winning. That's all that matters."

(On why the run game was so effective today) "I think our coaches did a really good game plan going into the week and I think it came down to execution."

(On how fun it is as a linemen to play in a game like this one) "I mean it's extremely fun especially when you see your running back running down the field stiff arming guys and getting 20-30 yards. It's a huge swing of momentum for us and we loved it."

LB Myles Jack

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(On being effective on defense despite all of their injuries) "It's just the confidence that our coaches have in us. They just instilled an 'Everybody to do their job' type mentality and as long as everybody is where they're supposed to be, we got guys that will fly around and get to the ball and make plays happen. You guys saw that happen today. That is a hell of a team, the Seahawks. We knew it was going to be a back and forth fight. We threw punches, they threw punches. But at the end of the day, our punches hit a little bit harder."

(On putting together back to back wins) "It feels great. That's what it's all about. December is the most important month I feel like in the NFL. We were always taught, they remember

December. Winning these games, going on the road in a hostile environment like this, it just shows what type of team we have."

(On how difficult it is to play in this environment) "It's definitely a fight. They call it the (12s) for a reason. The crowd and everything, the atmosphere, but as long as you stay focused, keep our keys in front of us, make sure the communication is good, nobody can beat us. I'm confident in our guys."

DE Cameron Heyward

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(On relying on help from other teams to get in the playoffs) "I don't have nerves at this point, I think those went away five or six years ago. Fighting back, 9-7 right now, a chance to go out and fight for the playoffs. Whatever cards you're dealt, you go out and deal with. To have a chance this late in the season to get into the playoffs, that's all we're hoping for. We need help, but that help doesn't happen unless we take care of our business."

(On what it means to the defense to score 30 points in back-to-back games) "We haven't been at our best on defense. But we have an offense that's going out there giving us 30 points, that's a lot to rely on. I hate to say it gives us more room for error, but it's a team game and to have that complimentary football where if we give up a score, the offense goes and scores a touchdown, you really do appreciate that."

(On the team's mentality the last two weeks) "It's funny, some of our younger guys, that's what they were raised on in college. It's win or else. You really don't have that separation to lose a game there. So, from a young guy's perspective, you have to win, and I like to say we're trending in the right direction, but this game is not indicative of the next. We have to go out there and prepare, and everybody's got to be on it. It doesn't matter who they have out there, we have to go out and get the job done."

RB Najee Harris

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(On how the offense has played in the last two weeks) "Yeah, man, it feels good. It shows the progression we have, the grit that we have, the resiliency, it just shows us a lot about the offense. Like I said earlier, we have had a lot of distraction this year, and for Coach Sully (Mike Sullivan, QB coach) and Coach Faulk (Eddie Faulkner, interim offensive coordinator) just to have a good gameplan and execute it, and the O-Line coming through, I just think it shows what type of team that we are."

(On building off of big runs) "Well the key wasn't for me, it was for all of us. Us running backs knew what we had to do to win the game. Just like last time, we had to establish the run so guys could play off of it. The receivers could make the plays, and even the certain plays that Jaylen (Warren) had that kind of sparks the offense. We have to build on that, it opens up a lot of things. Us running the ball inside a lot created a lot of good plays on the edge for guys to break runs and make plays. Establishing the run helped that a lot."

(On if he channeled Marshawn Lynch during the game) "Channeling him? No, I did not. But it's always good to see Marshawn. My whole – pretty much the guys that are in my circle were all there at the game. This is a place that's pretty close to home, so a lot of guys were able to make it. It was good seeing 'Shawn. He actually surprised me. He's always traveling. I was on the field stretching, and he came up and hugged me, and so did everybody else. It was good to see my team. I hadn't seen them in a minute. I mostly just talk to them over the phone because of the distance, but it was good to see the guys in my circle."

CB Joey Porter Jr.

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(On the defense's ability to execute even with all their injuries) "We always keep that 'next man up' mentality. I feel like everybody that's stepped up and playing a great role. [Elandon Roberts], he's been coming in and making plays in and out. [Patrick Peterson] at safety making plays. We've got the pieces and we're just putting them together."

(On winning the last two games and what that does going into the final game) "We're just worrying and focusing on us and what we can do. Coach [Tomlin] always says control the controllables. That's all we have to do. We just have to keep winning. We have one more ahead of us and we're just going to do what we can to get that victory."

(On circling this matchup against DK Metcalf) "Yeah, he's a chippy dude. Trying to be physical with you before and after the play. I didn't let it affect me too much. There was a little bickering before in the first half, but second half, I felt like I really locked in and started playing good football."

RB Jaylen Warren

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(On the offense today) "It was really good. We came out and did our thing and this is what it looks like."

(On whether this is the kind of offense they were looking to have all season) "Yeah, 100%."

(On why the run game was so effective today) "Everybody got on their guys and knowing what to do and just trusting each other."

(On what was the spark today) "I think just the play making. I feel like nobody on the team is waiting to make the play, everybody is willing to make the play. You can just see it."

(On the stiff arm by Najee Harris) "Yeah, that got me (hyped). I would say that's my favorite part, too. That's a spark right there."

(On his 23-yard run) "I don't really know what it looks like, I was just running for my life. Whatever it is to move the chains, that's what we do."

(On Mason Rudolph's impact on the offense) "He provides a spark, too. He does his thing, he doesn't hesitate. He puts the ball where it's supposed to be."

(On whether he spoke with Marshawn Lynch prior to the game) "Yeah, I did. I was starstruck, because I watched him growing up. I was like, 'is that Marshawn Lynch?' to my teammates and they said yeah, that's him. He ended up calling me over and I thought that was pretty cool."

(On whether that motivated him) "Yeah, 100 percent. To realize that someone like that knows who I am, sort of. I think that's pretty cool."

(On whether he feels like the offense has found its identity) "Yeah, we're willing to do whatever we got to do. We didn't come into this game to play their football, we came in to play our football."

WR George Pickens

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(On the satisfaction of winning this game in convincing fashion...) "It's always good to win. It's always fun to win."

(On what has been the key to his back-to-back standout performances) "Just keep working. Every day I come to practice I try to hone in on all the details."

(On what has been the spark for the offense's revival in the past two games) "I'd probably just say guys coming together. You go through, like, so much adversity during the season, and these 15, 16 games toward the end, I feel like guys now are really locking in. All we got is ourselves."

(On how the effectiveness of the running game contributes to the overall success of the passing game) "That's simple football right there. When the running game opens up like that, and you can keep pounding it, toward the end of the game we catch them all in the box and not on the slant, that's how the game of football goes, and that's the best thing we did, the run game. Shout out to the O-line."

(On his deep catch on third down if he had any doubt he would catch up to the ball) "Nah, to be honest. I would have made that catch like so many times. In college, if I'm in reach, I'm going to catch it."

(On the coaching staff having the confidence to pass the ball on the final drive...) "That's why I say a shout out to the O-line. It was just opening up. When they pack guys in the box like they did today, because they couldn't stop the run, the air game is wonderful."

(On the poise of Mason Rudolph) "Mason has just been Mason, to be honest. He's been doing that, like I said, when he was the backup. Mason is just being Mason to me. We trust each other."

(On how the season compares now to just a few weeks ago) "It feels different just like I said earlier, just the guys coming together, the camaraderie. I've been on a team where camaraderie wins championships, so guys coming together for sure."

(On what led to the team coming together) "Practice, to be honest. We had the same meetings, we had the same type of talks every week. But when you get on the field, when you get on the grass, that's really the biggest thing. So I would probably say practice."

Check out some of the best action shots from Week 17 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lumen Field on December 31, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.

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