DB Charles Gaines:
On why he needed to lose weight after his injury:
"I feel like I was playing slow. I wasn't as quick as I used to be and things like that. Then (secondary) Coach Hafley and (assistant secondary coach/corners) Aaron Glenn just sat down with me and said I want the player that we drafted. I always kept that on the back on my shoulders. I just wanted to be great. That is my main thing. I am a competitor. Some times when I go on the practice field, I feel it in my movements and my reactions to things. Running with (WR) Travis Benjamin, you can't be too overweight. You have to be in shape. You have to be ready to go 40 yards with him and stuff like that."
On if his hamstring injury was serious enough to go on IR/designated to return or if he could have played sooner:
"I feel like I could have come back a little earlier, but I just believed in the guys that were in the training room. I believed in the coaches. I believed in myself. I did whatever I had to do to lose the weight to come back. If I had known this in college, as far as how your body fat adds up to your performance – I had so much body fat, to the point where I had loose muscles – I had to get my body fat down, eat right and sleep right and stuff like that."
On the Steelers WRs:
"Very talented guys, competitors – that is the main thing when I watch film. They love competing. They love competing. Every play they are going to give their all. That is why every time I go home since I have gotten back I watch so much film on them. Once I found out I wasn't playing last week, I got a whole week ahead of some of the guys. I think I am going to play a great role in this week's game."
On coaches' comments about his competitiveness:
"That is one thing about me. I love competing at all levels at everything I do, not only with football. I like to compete with my kids, my father, my mom. I like to just compete:
On if he will do any trash talking in his first game:
"Oh yeah, it is what I do. That is what I do as far as competing. You are going to lose some and you are going to win some, but the main thing is going out there and competing. We have a great opponent in (WR) Antonio Brown. He is from where I am from so it will be blessing just to get the opportunity to face him and learn from what he does and how I can get better. I will be out there having fun."
On if he and Brown are from the same hometown:
"Yes, he is from Carol City area, Miami Garden area. I am from Liberty City area. It is like 10 minutes apart. Seeing him have so much success at the next level, on this level, the same person he trains with, I train with, as well. I know in the offseason he puts in tremendous work on and off the field."
DB Tashaun Gipson:
On if there was ever a time this season where the defense felt as good as last year:
"I really don't like comparing this year to last year because we have different guys, we have (DB) Tramon (Williams) instead of Bus (Jets DB Buster Skrine). I wouldn't say it's been a time where I said 'hey, this doesn't feel like last year' or 'hey, this feels just like last year' it's just that we haven't found our groove. We got guys playing out of character at times, myself included. Not pointing fingers at anybody but our playmakers have to make plays, our stars have to be stars. At the end of the day we haven't been like that consistent enough I would say. We know who we have back there. It just comes down to making plays and being who we are and not getting out of frame and we have been getting out of frame and not being who we are on the backend.
On the constant lineup changes in the secondary:
"I'll say not having out pro bowler corner back out there or strong safety or free safety out there all together is that's blow to the secondary? Absolutely. That's not to take anything away from (DB) Pierre (Desir) or (DB Jordan) Poyer or those guys who had to come in and step up. Guys are pro bowlers for a reason those guys play at a high level and when you get all those guys together and healthy, yeah you build that continuity. It's hard to build it with a bunch of new guys that are still trying to learn the system and grasp who I am, haven't been playing much. Again, that's not an excuse we hold those guys accountable, it doesn't matter who is out there whether it's Joe or Pierre Desir or (DB) Charles Gaines, we hold those guys accountable and they have to make plays. I would say it's just guys not going out there and executing. Our guys who are pro bowlers sometimes we get out of frame and we didn't make enough plays or we let plays get away from us. I wouldn't say it's solely the injuries because when we are out there sometimes we just aren't making enough plays."
On the possibility of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger playing on Sunday:
"He can fool y'all. He's not fooling me. I don't believe he's playing. I respect him he's a tough competitive guy so if he says he's going to play I'll hold out five percent hope that he might play. I saw the injury just like everybody else saw it and I don't know. If he could play in a boot he would but unfortunately he can't. I have a great deal of respect for him but I'm preparing for who I think is going to be playing out there. I believe (Steelers QB) Landry Jones is going to play, who I think is a good quarterback. If you give him enough time he can make every throw. We'll see how it goes. It doesn't matter who is throwing the ball they have the best receiver in football, Landry Jones, (Steelers QB) Mike Vick., Ben Roethlisberger, you throw a guy the ball he's catching 300 yards. That's a quarterback stat line so that's what I'm focused on right now."
On Steelers WR Antonio Brown:
"He's quick, he's fast, He's not the biggest guy at all but he plays big and you have to respect that. He plays like a (Cowboys WR) Dez Bryant size. He can run all the routes. He's just everything you want in a receiver and I respect his game. I truly respect his game. Coming in you would like to have Joe Haden on a guy like him but we're definitely going to shuffle some stuff around and make sure that we keep him off his game. I respect his game. I think he's playing at a high level. I think he's the best receiver in football."
OL John Greco:
On if Steelers DEs Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt flip sides or if they stay in the same spot:
"They stay in the same spots for the most part if it's just a vanilla 4-2 rush on third down. I am assuming that is what you're talking about. In the run game, they stay to their sides. During their exotic third down stuff, you see (Heyward) float around. He lines up over the center."
On Heyward lining up in different spots on the DL:
"He moves around a little bit. He is a heck of a player."
On if Heyward normally lines up on the right:
"He is on the defensive right, our left. He creates a lot of issues for the centers and the tackle too trying to cut him off. He is the kind of guy that when you watch him on tape he is able to make plays himself, but I think he makes everyone around him better as well. He creates issues as to where you might have to make a running back cut back early into another defender. He creates a lot of issues that are helping the guys around him."
On if the Steelers DEs getting more sacks than their LBs changes the way the offensive line will approach the Steelers' defense:
"We are still doing our same gameplan. You can definitely see that they have switched up their mindset or technique this year because of some of the issues maybe they had last year and some of the success that teams had against them last year. It is a lot harder to do that this year. We are going to have our hands full."
On how tough it is for OL Cam Erving to jump in at left guard when he is not that experienced playing in that specific position:
"It is tough. I think what is important is when it happens in the heat of the moment like it did against Cincinnati for him. I think that is tough because as you said he hasn't had experience there for some reason. For some reason we weren't getting him looks there, even though he has to be ready for everywhere. This week with him having a full week of preparation – that is what is nice about it. When you are a backup and have to worry about multiple positions that is a lot on your plate because at any time you could be called to go into any of those positions. Once you are slotted at that one positon then you can say I am looking at this guy on tape, I am looking at this guy on tape and how they are reacting. I think he can hone in one position. I know this week he has been doing a great job at it. He can play anywhere. He has already shown that. We are confident in that. This week of preparation has worked wonders for him and he will be ready to go."
On how big of an adjustment will it be for Erving to move into the left guard spot:
"I think guard is not an issue. You are just basically mirroring your footwork. Assignment wise it is the same thing. Everything we do on the right, we do on the left. Center is a little bit (different) because you are making all the calls and getting everyone lined up and your footwork is a little bit different. And you are snapping the football. He did that in college. Me, I just learned on the fly last year. This year, like I said, injuries happen, it is so rare here because we have been fortunate enough, knock on wood, that guys have been healthy and had these long streaks. There are a lot of teams that battle injuries and have issues. You have to be able to step in at any position. I know we have the guys that can do that."