The six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers arrived in Dallas on Monday to begin their preparations in earnest for Super Bowl XLV. On Monday, after checking into their hotel, the Steelers conducted their first of several press conferences of the week. I’ll be in Dallas as of Tuesday night, and will do my best to supplement the outstanding job the press does with some unique coverage of my own. For now, let’s continue with our review of what various members of the Steelers had to say during their Monday press conference. Next up: Brett Keisel.
Other Monday Press Conference Transcriptions:
- Brett Keisel (on SB Nation Pittsburgh)
- James Farrior (on SB Nation Pittsburgh)
- Mike Tomlin (on BTSC)
- LaMarr Woodley (on BTSC)
- Hines Ward (on SB Nation Pittsburgh)
QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE
Defensive Lineman Brett Keisel
(On the genesis of his beard)
"The beard - the beard is why we're here. It's unleashed Super Bowl powers on our whole team and hopefully it can win us one more."
(On the beard's name)
"Just ‘The Beard.' There's no other beard that matches it, so it's just ‘The Beard.'
(On where he got the idea to grow the beard)
"I think it just came from Pittsburgh. We've got a great hockey team and they grow their playoff beards out and I saw those guys looking burly and thought, ‘You know what? After mini camp in June, I've got seven months until the Super Bowl and we're trying to win our seventh Super Bowl, so I'll see if I can let this thing (grow) for seven months and this is the result."
(On the beard's facebook page)
"Yeah, it's got its own facebook page. It's got a twitter page. Neither of them are run by me, but they became popular. We also have a T-shirt. It's pretty sweet."
(On if there are any problems with the beard)
"Yes. There are maintenance problems, issues with the mouthpiece (and) issues with the chin strap, but all of them are for the main goal which is to win the Super Bowl."
(On if the beard will be shaved)
"Yeah, it's coming off at some point. Hopefully we'll win (and) I can go home and pull the Lombardi (Trophy) out of the beard for all the fans to see and then I think I'll have to whack it off or my wife might leave me."
(On how his wife's put up with the beard)
"It's been good. She's been a great supporter throughout it all. She doesn't really remember the guy she married, but she gets to wake up to this every morning and at least get a chuckle. She gave me a razor for Christmas and it's still in the package, but I'll have to break that out eventually."
(On if the beard is his response to S Troy Polamalu and LB Clay Matthews' hair)
"Yeah, I'm thinning on top, so I had to do something to try and match those guys. I'm happy with how this looks."
(On what DE Ziggy Hood has brought to the team)
"He's done a great job. For a young kid to be able to come in and play as well as he's played says a lot about him. Our defense is very complicated. It took me about four years to grasp everything, so he's done it in two and not only do that, but fill in for a great, great Steeler in Aaron Smith. Those are tough shoes to fill, but he's done a great job and he's a big reason why we're sitting here today."
(On what impresses him about Hood)
"I think it's just his work ethic, mainly. The kid is a nonstop worker, no matter what he's doing. You can always find him in the weight room or studying film. That's what it takes at this level if you want to be a good D-lineman and he's done all those things."
(On if he knows Patriots OL Matt Light)
"I don't know him personally, but I do know of him. I know he grew a beard."
(On what he thought of Light's beard)
"I thought it was decent. I would maybe give him - I don't know - maybe one below mine, but it was decent. I didn't see his beard towards the end of their season, but when I saw him when he came into Pittsburgh, I was impressed."
(On if he wished he could grow a beard during his BYU days)
"All the time. BYU - that's where I went to college - and they have a strict honor code where you can grow a mustache or sideburns, so I always had a ‘stache or some sideburns and eventually I would get a little stubble. I think they have to loosen that up, maybe have a diesel day or diesel week everyone can let their beard (grow) for a month or so."
(On the length of his beard and maintenance)
"I don't know. I think it's at least four inches. I just shampoo and condition."
(On if this week is familiar since this is his third Super Bowl in the last six years)
"It is familiar. You know what to expect. You know how to divvy up tickets and (know it will be) a hard time telling family and friends that they can't come and stuff, but you know what to expect. You know what this is all about. You know what the media sessions are like. Hopefully that's an advantage for us. Will it be? I don't know, but I hope so."
(On if they have told the younger guys what to expect)
"We have. We've told the younger guys about what to expect and about how to manage their time. There are going to be a lot of people pulling at you and pulling you in different directions this week, and you have to remain with one thing and that's that we're here to win this ball game. If we can win it, a lot of great things will happen."
(On if the Steelers could take the "Team of the Decade" title away from the Patriots if they win a third Super Bowl.)
"I don't think so, not yet. I think we've done a good job of winning two Super Bowls. I don't know if you could describe us as a team of the decade because two out of 10 is not that great, but we'll take it. Three of six is good. I'm not saying that I'm not happy with where we're at. I think we've got a lot of great players in there that could possibly bring up a discussion about that. As of now, I think that we're a good team and we're trying to be great."
(On why the defense responds so well to Dick LeBeau)
"I think it's just the way he carries himself, really. He comes into our meeting room every morning and he's got a big smile on his face. He's excited to be at work. He's excited to be around us. He's excited to have the job that he has and that all resonates down with all of us. Everyone feels his desire to be great and feeds off of it. I think when you have someone like that that is around you every day - and not only that, but he's a Hall of Fame player - you can't help but respect him and want to do everything you can for him."
(On if all the talk about the Jets and Packers' defenses riles them up)
"We're fine with it. We're fine being the underdogs. We've been in situations like that before, so it is what it is. We're the last two teams out of 32 and that's awesome in my opinion. To be able to be in this position, to win another Lombardi (Trophy), that's what you play for and a lot of players don't even get the opportunity to be here. So, we're excited about this and let the chips fall where they may on Sunday."
(On Aaron Rodgers)
"I think Aaron's the best. I think he's playing the best, including (Tom) Brady. I don't see (Brady) throwing the ball where it's five feet off the ground for 40 yards like Aaron does. He's done an amazing job with those guys. Obviously they've got weapons everywhere and I think it's going to be a big key in the game: getting to him and trying to get him rattled."
(On SI.com's column about Ben Roethlisberger's teammates coming to his defense)
"Well, I've always had Ben's back. Even when everything was going on, Ben and I have a very good relationship. We're close friends on and off the field. I think everyone was behind him. Everyone just didn't know how to respond to all the questions and all the scrutiny. So, obviously he's done a phenomenal job. He's turned a negative into a positive and he's playing for his third Super Bowl and that's great."
(On if there was skepticism when Mike Tomlin came in to coach an already established team)
"There was skepticism. He had never been a head coach. We had candidates inside our locker room at the time that I think a lot of people thought were going to get the job. I think people thought (Ken) Whisenhunt might get the job or Russ Grimm. So, when they brought in Coach Tomlin, he was a young guy. People told me that he coached with a lot of excitement and I didn't know what to think. I was at lunch one day and Mr. Dan Rooney came in there and was like, ‘Hey, have you met your coach yet?' And I said, ‘No.' And he said, ‘You're really going to like him,' and he was right."