The Pittsburgh Steelers opened their season 1-0 following a 23-16 win over the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park.
It was a game that held plenty of excitement, and one many outside the Steelers' locker room didn't see coming. Pittsburgh came into the game as nearly a touchdown underdog and fell down 10-0, but climbed their way back to a second half victory.
Afterwards, players and coaches took to the podium to discuss the opening week win. Here are the best quotes from the afternoon.
Head coach Mike Tomlin on the win:
"You know we're not worried about style points, we'll let you guys write whatever stories you want to write. We knew it would be tough sledding. They've got a great defense. They've got continuity, not only in players but schematics. We're playing them in their place. We had a bunch of new pieces.
"We weren't style point oriented today. We just had to win this game."
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the rookies:
"We had a lot of first-timers out there. And that’s a hostile place. Those fans are awesome. They were loud. It was very, very loud. Pat [Freiermuth] grabbed me afterwards like, 'Holy cow, it’s loud out there.' I said, 'Yeah, welcome to the NFL.'
"A lot of environmental factors. That’s fans, that’s weather, that’s a really good defense, a good team. You know what? I’m proud of the guys because—I hate to use a Coach Tomlinism—but they didn’t blink. They stood up in the face of not playing well early.
"We didn’t make the big mistake either. That was huge. We didn’t make a big mistake early. We didn’t do what we wanted to do but we didn’t turn the ball over, we didn’t do anything catastrophic. The fact that we came in at halftime and it wasn’t like there was a big rah-rah, no one really spoke and acted crazy; it was just like, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do in the second half. Let’s go do it.”
Roethlisberger on Diontae Johnson:
"He’s a phenomenal football player. He’s a guy that is an incredible talent. Very scared when he went down early on. Luckily, I think he’ll be okay. He’s one of those guys; you get the ball in his hand and just sit back and watch it. We knew what the call was. I told him to be patient because sometimes he can get impatient with the double move route, and he did. His ball skills are through the roof. The ball kind of got tipped up and he was still able to catch it and get two feet in. Just awesome."
Roethlisberger on T.J. Watt:
You'll want to watch this one.
Roethlisberger on people doubting the Steelers:
Linebacker T.J. Watt on defense's performance:
"I don't want to say a dominant performance because obviously there's still a lot left on the table and I'm sure there's going to be a lot of film to watch and make corrections, but I'm very happy with where we are, especially in Week One. I love playing with this group. We fly around. We handle adversity really well."
Watt on Cam Sutton's fourth down tackle for loss:
"Huge. I think the play before, I came up and under the tackle and I shouldn't have. Minkah [Fitzpatrick] came down like a missile from the middle of field and made it fourth-and-one. Just plays like that were happening all day. I'm so excited to get back and watch the film because there were tremendous plays like that all over. Then Cam Sutton made a tremendous play on that fourth-and-one as well to get the ball back to our offense."
Defensive end Cam Heyward on the win:
"It was a quality win versus a great offense. The last few times we’ve played them, we haven’t had our best game. But it’s one win. We’re happy we got the win, but we’ve got 16 more."
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