Last year, the Steelers swept the Ravens in the season series. The good guys have a chance for some immediate revenge, as a win Sunday would give them the season sweep for the first time since 2015. Remember 2015? A Justin Tucker OT game-winner at Heinz Field, then the RYAN MALLET-led Ravens beat Fat Ben’s Bums in Baltimore, a win that SHOULD have kept Pittsburgh out of the postseason. However, everything of course broke right for them in Week 17 and they back-doored their way in.
Unfortunately, a win tomorrow won’t in any way effectively end Pittsburgh’s season. On the other hand, a loss could well put our own squad’s hopes on life support.
Here’s to breaking out the brooms.
All the stats, notes, quotes, and more to get you ready for Ravens-Steelers in Week 9!
KNOW THY ENEMY
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
OLB Terrell Suggs on the Ravens being 4-4:
“It’s not what you want to be, but it’s not terrible. We have eight more, and with all these home games, we are definitely going to have to take care of business at home, starting [with Pittsburgh]. In this conference, we are probably going to need seven of them to get in [the playoffs]. … We are not going to get too low. The attention to detail increases now. We have to play better in the red zone, and we have to play better situational football, therefore the game doesn’t get so on top of us. We are extremely disappointed [in being 4-4], but we have enough veterans on this team and understand the task at hand – especially with all these home games we’ve got coming. So if we handle our business at home, we will be all right.”
S Eric Weddle on the Ravens’ mindset entering Week 9:
“We have to look at ourselves and get back to work. Obviously, the last couple weeks we have not played well enough to win, so each individual, coaches and players included, has to come back to work and work even harder than what we have done to give us a chance to win this next week. It’s a huge game – obviously, a divisional game leading into the bye. The way our division is shaping up, this is a big game for us. Look at yourself, don’t get emotional, don’t get sensitive. This is part of the National Football League, so get coached up, look at the things you didn’t do well and move on. Don’t let this loss linger in any way. Just continue to get better. That’s all we can do.”
Marty Mornhinweg on the benefits of having QB Joe Flacco stay on the field when QB Lamar Jackson is under center:
“Joe is the quarterback of this football team. I don’t like taking him off the field. Now, there may come a time [when I take him off], and there are some other benefits that I won’t get into of keeping him on the field. But yes, there is an endless amount of possibilities that you can do with two quarterbacks on the field, so that’s where we’re at, and we’ll try to take advantage of that.”
G Marshal Yanda on the key for a more productive running game:
“I think it starts in practice. I think we just have to stay at it. We have to stay committed to it, and I think the guys, we just need to not, obviously, not give up on it, and we just need to keep grinding. Every day in practice, I’m talking about the guys in practice and individually working on our fundamentals and our techniques, and we really feel that it will come. We’re not going to get [discouraged]. We’re not going to overthink it. We’re just going to keep our heads down and grind, and we feel like the run game, it will come.
ILB C.J. Mosley on if he thinks inside linebackers should get more credit in a pass-heavy league:
“It’s kind of like the O-line; even though they do get paid top dollars, too, they do all the dirty work, and you don’t really see it that much. [Other positions] are all about the big plays: making interceptions, throwing touchdowns, catching touchdowns, getting sacks. So for the inside linebackers, we’re just the interior guys doing the dirty work, which I don’t mind. And, I feel like if you hold yourself to a high standard, and you have a tougher game plan that can allow you to make big plays, then you get rewarded for it.”
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Ravens Tight Ends
The last time the Steelers and Ravens met, Baltimore emerged from Heinz Field with a 26-14 victory. The active tight end group, consisting of Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams and Mark Andrews, combined for 10 receptions and 99 yards. First-round pick Hayden Hurst now looks to make his first appearance in the rivalry on Sunday.
In a few words, what is the tight end group dynamic?
“Versatile, explosive, smart, physical and passionate.” – Nick Boyle
How would you describe QB Joe Flacco?
“Very calm, almost like a ‘lax bro.’ But, he’s a great leader, calm under pressure and someone we all trust.” – Mark Andrews
“Elite!” – Maxx Williams
“An overall great person, great QB and extremely talented.” – Boyle
“‘Joe Cool.’ He’s just always calm and collected, and he’s a regular guy. It’s fun to be around Joe. He has a really good personality, and the fact that he wears Vans is very cool.” – Hayden Hurst
What’s the mentality you must have facing the Steelers?
“You have to know it’s going to be a physical game. You have to go in ready to basically go to war for four quarters. They’re not going to hold back at all.” – Williams
“It’s a big game. It’s probably the biggest rivalry in the NFL. Any game like that brings a ton of physicality.” – Andrews
What are some thoughts you have going into your first game against the Steelers?
“I got to sit on the sideline and watch the first one. I know what it’s all about. We don’t really like them. They don’t really like us. There is going to be a lot of contact, a lot of collisions, which I think suits my game. I’m excited to get in there and be a part of it.” – Hurst
What are some individual goals you have?
“I don’t really make individual goals. Obviously, I want to be the best tight end and the most complete tight end that I can be, and then just go out there every week to contribute and help us win.” – Andrews
“As far as numbers and things, I don’t really have that in mind. For me, it’s just to go and not have any mental errors. I want to be correct on all the plays I have. I want to catch every ball that comes my way. I think if I do that, I’ll have a pretty good career.” – Hurst
What is a cause that is really important to you?
“My cause that I’m focusing on this year is for diabetes research. My brother-in-law just got diagnosed at 26, so I’m learning more about that, and now, even with Mark [Andrews], who has it, too.” – Williams
“Mine would probably be Show Your Soft Side with the dogs, because I have two dogs that we adopted, and I feel like I love animals, and I’m really close to my dogs. I feel like they’re my kids.” – Boyle
Which football player did you look up to the most growing up?
“That’s easy. My dad [Brian], because he played, so obviously that’s what made me love football and want to be following in his footsteps in the NFL. That’s easy for me.” – Williams
“I grew up a big Miami Hurricanes fan, so I watched Greg Olsen. Jeremy Shockey is probably my favorite tight end of all time. After the draft, I actually got to talk to him a little bit, and it was pretty cool for me. Those two were kind of my biggest idols growing up.” – Hurst
HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! ~ Key Connections
Baltimore head strength & conditioning coach Steve Saunders was independently contracted by more than 20 Steelers players for advanced strength and speed training and rehab/recovery during the 2005-09 seasons, assisting the team to two Super Bowl titles (2005 and 2008).
Pittsburgh ILBs coach Jerry Olsavsky was a linebacker for Baltimore in 1998.
Prior to attending South Carolina, Ravens TE Hayden Hurst played baseball in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system (2013-14). He was picked in the 17th round of the MLB Draft.
Pittsburgh Injured Reserve TE Ryan Malleck spent a portion of the 2017 season on Baltimore’s practice squad.
Ravens offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris is a native of Alquippa, PA, and attended Center HS…In 2010, he was inducted into the Beaver County and Center Sports Hall of Fame.
Ravens SE/SW area scout Kevin Weidl was born in Pittsburgh, where he attended Mt. Lebanon HS and was a standout QB.
Steelers CB Joe Haden prepped at Friendly (Fort Washington, MD) HS. S Marcus Allen is a native of Silver Spring, MD, and attended Dr. Henry Wise (Upper Marlboro) HS.
HOW DO THEY TAILGATE?
French fry sandwiches and beer that tastes like penny water.