On RB Rashard Mendenhall’s return: "Our savior is back (joking.) No, we’ve been teasing him all week. It was great to see him out there and he did a great job."
On getting conservative before the field goal at the end: "We knew we needed that. We got down into field goal range and I was still ready to go if we wanted to. But we kind of were just dominating a little bit up front. We were getting three, four yards at a pop and I was mixing up the snap count on them there so they couldn’t anticipate it. I think that’s probably the smart way to go, I guess."
On whether he got hurt on that drive: "Yeah, I just got hit in the wrong spot, if you know what I mean."
On being comfortable despite penalties and dropped passes: "They are a great defense. They get after it. I don’t think we had any sacks today and that’s such a credit to our guys. We felt like we left some things out there, obviously. But when you play a great team like that, you just want to get the win. Of course, you’d want to win 50-0, but when you are playing a team like that, it’s probably not going to happen. So we’ll evaluate it. We know we need to get better in certain areas, but a win’s a win."
On the offensive line negating the pass rush and creating throwing lanes: "They did a great job against a great pass rush. They rotate nine guys and they’re fresh and our guys are tired. But they never gave up. I’m just so proud of that group, as always."
On the difference between 2-2 and 1-3 and going on the road after a short week: "Obviously, every game is a must win for us. It is even when we are in training camp. We want to win every game. It’s a must-win. We just need to play like the Pittsburgh Steelers."
On the pace of the second half: "We got into the fourth quarter and everything just kind of flew by in the second half. They took a lot of time to go down and score. We figured it’s now or never. We went 80 (yards) and then ended up going longer. So, just like I said, I’m proud of the guys to fight all the way to the end."
On WR Antonio Brown being the go-to receiver on the third down play in the fourth quarter: "Yeah, we ran that game earlier in the game. And I ended up hitting (TE Heath Miller) out of the backfield because they got a little bit of pressure and I didn’t have time. I saw Antonio was open in the first quarter when we ran it. So (when) we came back to it, I thought ‘same coverage, same route, maybe I can get him.’ The offensive line did a good job of pushing the defense around me. I stepped up and A.B. just made a play."
On whether they would punt if they didn't get the first down: "I have no idea. What did Mike say?"
On what he said to LG Willie Colon during the game: "Absolutely nothing. Willie is a fighter. He’s a tough son of a gun. He’s in there pancaking people. I mean, he’s putting guys on their backs. Unfortunately, he’s getting calls. You look at it, and without getting fined for saying something about the officiating, I think Willie’s just flat-out pancaking people. He’s putting them on their backs and defensive lineman are kind of throwing their hands up because there is nothing else they can do. I just stay positive with him. And he needs to stay positive because he’s doing a great job."
On whether it was it the right call to wait so long to bring back Mendenhall: "Yeah, he looked great. I don’t know if he feels good, but I’m sure he does. He didn’t really take too many big shots and made some big plays. We just hope that he made it out of this game without any more injury."
On whether it was "one of those days" for WR Mike Wallace: "Yeah, there were some tight ones. But those DBs are good. They are all over you and there are some really small windows. I have to put some of them in better spots for him to make the play. But, you know what, it’s a frustrating day when you get a great defense because you want to do so much and there are so many plays you feel that you’ve left out there. That’s what I just told him. We can be frustrated right now, but let’s move on. And he’ll move on. He’ll be fine. He’s frustrated because he holds himself to a high expectation, high standards. And that’s good. You want that."
On the shot in the arm that getting an game-winning drive is: "I pride myself, and we pride ourselves on offense, if we get the ball, whether we are up, down or it’s tied – whatever it is – we want to go down and win the game. I want the ball in my hands. We had a couple of key third downs that we converted, which were huge. Those were big. Those are momentum things that I always have confidence in myself that we can do it. I always have confidence in myself and the guys that we can do it. But sometimes younger guys, unless you’ve been here to do it, you are not really sure if it gets done as much as we talk about it. It’s good to go down. That was everybody on that drive."
On how long the option has been in his arsenal: "About two seconds, because that kind of happened right there. I don’t know what I was thinking. I think I saw in the program that I needed 44 yards for 1,000, so I started to crazy. No, it was just kind of silly on my part."
On what he was thinking on the sequence where Brown lost his show and Cotchery tripped: "On the first one, I got A.B. the ball and I thought he could have stayed to the outside and could have scored because he’s got the speed and the quickness. But he’s a great cutback guy. I think the guy made a good play because even when he cut back, I thought he was going to score. It was the next play or a couple of plays later where Jerricho was coming across – it’s hard for a receive with their back to the defense when he’s coming across the field because I can see that there is really no one around him because he cleared the last linebacker. I can see that, he can’t. When you are on the goal line, you have to expect – and we preach this all the time – that the second you catch it, you are going to get hit, because it is so tight down there. So when I threw it, you could see him make sure he had the catch and brace (for contact.) That’s my assumption, that he was kind of waiting for the hit and he just got caught up. It’s unfortunate because we could have had a touchdown there. And I could have hit Heath (Miller) later. That’s 14 points we left off the board."
On the biggest challenge with a short week: "Rest and health, seeing who’s healthy, (and) who’s banged up. You only have a couple of days to get ready to go. And going on the road is always tough."
On how much it changes what he is able to do: "Well it depends on who’s banged up. We’ll get to work on Tuesday and see where we go from there."
On hitting Mendenhall twice and one being ruled a running play: "Yeah, I’m going to protest that (joking.) He did a great job. We had one guy in the pattern run the wrong route. We hit that check-down and I made a forward pass and Rashard made the rest of that happen. We’re in Pittsburgh, so we call it a run."
On if he has any jitters about how he wakes up tomorrow: "No. He’s an animal. He’ll be fine. I assume; I don’t think he had any injuries."