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Steelers Monday — Q&A with Allen, Colon


Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review
Two Steelers addressed the media today — Cortez Allen and Willie Colon — following the team’s 24-17 win Sunday night.

Cortez Allen
In our journey to be at the top of the division and at the top of the AFC, we have to win on the road, and we have to win in our division. So, we took a big step into that (Sunday night).

Fourth-quarter closing?
We made an emphasis on finishing and being disciplined through all four quarters, and I felt like we put together a full game (Sunday night) defensive and offensively, minus a few plays.

I think we played more team defense. I think we played our roles, and we played more disciplined than we have through this season. So, I think that showed against the Bengals. When you’re playing team defense, good things happen. When you get away from playing individualized things, as far as not trying to make this play or that play, instead of just doing what’s in your job description. I feel like we played a complete game in that sense. So, we had good results.

Different emphasis in practice this past week?
I would say focus, because the guys — including myself — were a lot more focused in our details and what we had to get done. We all knew how important that game was and how important the games from here on out are when you’re talking about division play. So, the focus and intensity of how we practiced and prepared was higher.

In meetings as well?
Absolutely, and it’s something that we will continue to build on each day.

Talk about Ike’s performance?
That’s the nature of being a defensive back, having a short memory, since he had a couple plays that didn’t go his way last week. But the good thing is that he had another opportunity, and the way he came to practice each day and prepared for the game, he was focused, clear-minded and ready to go.

Next game must-win as well?
We’re not calling it a must-win, but our goal is to win every game. So, we just want to build on what we did last week and continue to that. So, we’re continuing to build.

Willie Colon
I feel like our intensity and energy level was high. We still left some things out there, but it was a total team win, which we needed. That was the most important thing. We just have to take things one game at a time from here. We understand that. If we’re able to run the ball, and we’re efficient in that aspect. And were able to give Ben time, I think the sky’s the limit for this offense.

More tenacity against Bengals?
I think everybody just kind of bucked up. We needed that win. We can’t make any more excuses. Every time we looked at the film, it was just us beating us, and you can’t have that. We know we’re a better team than that, but we can’t wait for the next guy to make plays. Every guy had to individually step his game up and make things happen, and we were able to do that. (So), it felt good to go back to Steelers football. I think that’s us. That’s our identity, and we have to be that. In the games that we lost, on offense, we didn’t close games out. And when you don’t do that, you breathe life back into the other team. And we lost. So, when you get down to 3-4 minutes left and we’re on the field, we have to close games out. And we were able to do that.

Most physical game all year?
I think the refs let us play. That’s what was most important. Both sides, they let us get after each other, and from an offensive line standpoint I think we built momentum and hit it downhill. And Dwyer did a good job hitting the holes, and things snowballed after that. So, it was a good for our running game.

OL surprises?
No, but I think you’ve got to give a lot of credit to Doug Legursky. For him to come in and not miss a beat. Everybody knows what Pouncey’s all about and what he’s capable of doing, but for Doug to step in and not miss calls. He had some great blocks and was solid inside. He’s kind of the hidden backbone of our line. I think he doesn’t get enough credit. Mike Adams, too. He stepped up and played a nice game for a young guy, so credit to both of them. He did well. He did what he was asked of him, and that’s important.




Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug

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