Super Bowl XLIII - Memorable Player Quotes & Coaches Comments -
Super Bowl XLIII - Memorable Player Quotes & Coaches Comments

Comments and quotes from players, coaches and announcers from Super Bowl XLIII -- one of the most thrilling Super Bowls ever.

Quotes & Commentary | Scoring & Statistics | Play by Play

"That was a real super, Super Bowl" -- NBC's John Madden

Al Michaels and John Madden Post Game

Al Michaels:

"Professional football has evolved into our national pastime and one reason is that every week we'll go around the country and people will say, 'did you see that game, did you see this, did you hear about that, did you watch this.' This is the perfect way to end a season, with a classic Super Bowl."

John Madden:

"Everyone says, 'who's going to win the Super Bowl.' They all wait for this day. Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers on winning the Lombardi Trophy, being the champions, but also congratulations to the Arizona Cardinals. When you can play a game like this, I think you have to be proud of all the players and coaches and everything they laid out on that field today. That was a real super, Super Bowl."

Madden After The Game:

"Both teams played so well but the gap between winning and losing is the widest gap in sports. They were so close and played so hard. To me this is the way football should be played. This is what the NFL is and this was a heavyweight championship fight."

Madden on Fitzgerald TD catch to put the Cardinals up in 4th quarter:

"There's nobody that does it better Larry Fitzgerald. That had a little David Tyree on that play."

Madden on the Steelers defense in 4th quarter:

"We're in the Super Bowl, we have a 6 point lead, there's five minutes to go, now we have to prove we're the best defense."

Madden just before 23-yard pass over the middle to Breaston with four minutes left in 4th quarter:

"I think they can still do that business over the middle."

Madden on the Steelers pressuring Kurt Warner:

"They didn't have trouble in the first quarter nor did they in the third quarter at making him uncomfortable."

Madden on Santonio Holmes:

"Throw it out there to him quickly and let him be a punt returner."

Michaels on Roethlisberger:

"Every time you think the play is over it's not."

John Madden:

"That's Ben Roethlisberger just being Superman."

Madden on the Cardinals offense in the 2nd quarter:

"When you only have the ball for five plays obviously you're not going to get into any kind of a rhythm and that's what Kurt Warner is, he's a rhythm quarterback."

Madden on James Harrison's TD:

"You can look at it inside out and upside down. James Harrison got a touchdown."

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin

On being the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl

"Thank you. I'm also the most blessed coach to work with our staff and this group of men right here. I cannot say enough about what these guys are willing to do for one another and for you out there Steeler nation."

On if he ever felt he was in over his head when he replaced Bill Cowher

"No, I had great belief in the Rooney's and their decision making. They know what they're doing. My comfort rested in their decision making and all I wanted to do was prove them right."

On what he was thinking when Larry Fitzgerald scored the touchdown

"Actually I was thinking if they were going to score, that's how you want them to score, quickly. This has been our story all year, hasn't it men? Steeler football is 60 minutes. It's never going to be pretty. Throw style points out the window but these guys will fight until the end. And I take my hat off to you and I congratulate every last one of you."

On if he could have imagined himself winning the Super Bowl

"Yes I could. That's what we all work for. That's the planning that we put in for it, like 31 other guys. Somebody's going to be the one, and I'm just thankful that it's us this year."

On the many momentum shifts in the game

"There's going to be ebb and flow. Let's face it, Arizona is a great team. I take my hat off to those guys, players and coaches, administrators. This is what the Super Bowl is supposed to be about. It was, and hopefully the fans of football enjoyed it."

On his team dealing with the momentum shifts

"I wasn't surprised in the least bit about that. If you look at our story this football season, that has been our story. We had to win the division in Baltimore under similar circumstances. Our guys don't blink."

On the momentum shifts of the game

"That's been our story all year. We've got a team that doesn't blink in the face of adversity. It's never going to be pretty or perfect, if you will, but they've got a great deal of belief in one another. They've got a great deal of resolve, and it was put on display. Our defense gets a lot of recognition for what they're capable of, and rightfully so, but what you saw from our quarterback and our offense at the end of that football game is what they've provided for us all year. When we've needed it the most, they've done it and done it big. That's a rerun for us. We did that in Baltimore to win the division. We're a team and that's why there's no division in our locker room, because those guys know that when the chips are down, number seven and company will ante up and kick in. I'm just so happy and proud of them. If I could win any way, it would be like that. All people being involved and having to deliver for us is truly special. As a coach, it's special."

On the Lombardi trophy

"I actually never even touched it. I see five of them everyday when I do go to work. I know what they look like. I'm just glad that I can do my part in terms of contributing to that trophy case."

On Santonio Holmes

"Santonio is a guy that just loves to deliver in big moments and in big games. I think I said it earlier in the week at one of the eight or nine interview sessions I had: what he did tonight was similar to what he did in the month of January in the playoffs to get to this game, and was also similar to what he did for us in Baltimore to win the division. In big moments, we know what we can get from him and we appreciate it."

On Ben Roethlisberger's progress from his last Super Bowl

"He's not the same guy he was in the last one. He was a young guy in the last one. He's a franchise quarterback that we have a long-term commitment to. He's our guy, and he showed why today."

On his thought process when Larry Fitzgerald scored late in the game

"I actually was thinking that if they're going to score, that's how you want them to score: extremely quickly as opposed to just milking it and just going down the field and then not having enough time to execute a two-minute drive. As soon as we missed the tackle and he was running down the field, I probably was over it by the time he got in the endzone because we've just been in those situations so many times. (They're never pretty, but (we never blink either."

On what he said at halftime

"We talk about moments. We talk about (the fact that games are decided in situational football, and we you back up that talk with action in terms of how build our team, how we prepare. We probably practice two-minute, redzone, goal line, short yardage (situations more than a lot of teams. When you watch highlight shows, that's the football game. It's not the first-and-10 plays or the second-and five plays, unless they go 75 yards and hit their head on the goalposts. We embrace those moments; we believe we were built for those moments, and the guys proved it with their play. At halftime, I said the same thing that I said before the game. The things that run through a team's mind during a game like this'you don't want to give them too much to think about. I told the guys to honor the men that have come before them in this game with how they play. There're a lot of people who played the game of professional football, and their personal sacrifice has created an opportunity that this game is what it is today. How we play the game needed to add to that. We wanted to play physical. We wanted to honor those guys with how we played today. Hopefully, we did that."

On questionable calls

"I don't comment on officiating. I haven't done it all year. I'm not going to start today. Officials don't determine the outcome of games and truly: coaches don't determine the outcome of the game, unless they screw it up. Players make plays; players win games."

On his team's comeback

"It speaks volumes about our team. We never gave up. To come back and win it like that, is just unbelievable"

On his team's confidence to win

"We never doubted ourselves, not for a second. We stayed the course. We knew we needed a field goal. Santonio Holmes really made a name for himself today. This is all what we were preaching about today. All in all, we are the Super Bowl champions for the second time in four years."

On his health throughout the game

"You know what, there was no tomorrow. I left it all on the line. I am just trying to go out there and feel good about this game."

Steelers WR Santonio Holmes - Super Bowl XLIII MVP

On winning touchdown catch

"It was a play that we drew up that we were hoping to get open in the back of the corner. The defensive back bit up on the short route and Ben (Roethlisberger held onto the ball long enough to get it to me."

On how he managed to get both feet down in the end zone on winning catch

"My feet never left the ground. All I did was extend my arms and use my toes as extra extension to catch up to the ball."

On play of Steelers offense

"Everything was pretty good and went smooth for us. Ben (Roethlisberger had a couple of mistakes here and there but he's one of those guys who knew to keep fighting and win the game for our team."

On what this win means to the Steelers

"We're going down in history with one of the greatest games ever played in the Super Bowl. We finished it up the way we needed to and brought another championship back to Pittsburgh."

On if he ever dreamed of making the game-winning catch in the Super Bowl

"I definitely asked the Lord to help me today. I asked Him, 'Can I be the guy to win this game?' I told my coach earlier this evening that I wanted to be a great playmaker for this team. The Lord was willing to look out for me today and gave me the opportunity."

On what he told Ben Roethlisberger prior to winning drive

"Before that drive, I told him, 'Ben, I want the ball in my hands no matter what'no matter where it is.' I wanted to be the one to make the play, and I did it for our team."

On what he said to Ben Roethlisberger on the final drive

"I dared the team. I came up and told Ben that I want to be the guy. 'I wanted to win this game for you guys, man. Just give me the ball, give me the chance to make plays and I will do it for you."

On the final touchdown

"I knew it was a touchdown 100 percent. My feet never left the ground. All I did was stood up on my toes and extended my hands. I knew it would be 100 percent."

On if there was any doubt from teammates when the Cardinals scored

"There was a couple guys grabbing me and telling me, 'Ten, you are going to be the guy to make a play for the team. Don't give up on it.' I almost lost it for a minute dealing with the time, but God was behind me 100 percent. My guys we telling me, 'Ten, who wants to be the superstar? To be the superstar, now is the time to step in and shine."

On the sixth Super Bowl for the Steelers

"World Champions, we are going down in history. We are going down in history right now."

On if there was anything extra said in the huddle on the last drive

"No, I was telling those guys give them everything. This is what we worked hard throughout the summer, why we put in those extra hours in the film room throughout the postseason. Those guys have been spending so much time together, and believe in themselves. I stepped in the huddle and told them this is where we stand up on the podium. We became World Champions. Those guys believed in me.

On if he could have drawn up a better Super Bowl game

"No. My quarterback gave me the opportunity to get into the game early. They kept believing in me. The plays weren't there all game for us, but we made the ones that really counted."

On describing the touchdown

"There was a play that was designed for me to get into the back corner of the end zone. The defensive backs both came down on Hines (Ward knowing that he was our go-to red zone guy. When they went to him, Ben held the ball for an extra second and it gave me the opportunity."

On if he ever dreamed he would be here

"All my friends, all my family members have been texting me throughout the whole postseason saying that I was going to be the Super Bowl MVP if we make it there. I really didn't want to believe them because I didn't want to put such expectations on myself, but I'm here now. I thank all these guys for believing in me, my family and definitely my kids for sticking with me."

On if the rule change of pushing the receiver out of bounds changes his approach to catching the ball

"Not at all. Once I know I get two feet on the ground the hands take care of the rest. Once I get my hands on the ball I am not worried about if the defender is close to me. I am just worried about making the play."

On what was going through his mind when Larry Fitzgerald scored the touchdown

"Things weren't going well for him early in the game, but he stuck with it. The coaches believe that he could be their guy to make plays and he did just that. I sat on the sidelines and I said, 'This just can't happen to us right now.' Bryant McFadden and Nate Washington came to me and grabbed me on the sidelines and told me, 'You're going to be the playmaker, You're going to be a star for this team. You're going to make things happen.'

On if he was 100 percent sure he got his feet in

"One hundred percent I knew I had my feet down. I never left the ground once I extended my hands. I stood up on my toes so I wouldn't get pushed out of bounds. I knew once I grabbed ahold of that ball everything else would fall into place."

On if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said anything to him on the final drive

"I said to him that I wanted to be the guy that made the plays for this team. I wanted to continue to be great and great players step up in big time games and make great plays."

On what he thought when he saw Cardinals wide receiver score

"I kind of lost a lot of composure. But I knew our defense would get us a chance to get the ball back. And I knew we had a great quarterback in number 7. He's the guy that's going to continue to work hard, give him an opportunity and we did it."

On what the name of the play was that he scored the winning touchdown on

"If I tell everyone that, they'll definitely be looking to stop us from here on out."

On if he knew he was going to be the MVP

"It was coming down to the last drive. I stepped in the huddle with Ben and told him I wanted to be the guy to make the plays for the team and he gave me the opportunity to make the play. I became Super Bowl MVP thanks to his help."

On if the team believed they were going to win

"We always believed. We went 15-4 this season. We never lost two games in a row. We always believed that we could become World Champions."

On if he knew Hines Ward was not 100 percent

"Coming into the game, we talked on the way here. He said he was going to give 100 percent effort even if he wasn't healthy and he did just that. He opened up the game for us early. He was doing what he was supposed to do for us."

On Pittsburgh's defense carrying the team

"The defense definitely went out there and did its job. Having that 99 yard interception return for a touchdown was priceless. The catches made in the game to myself from Ben really helped seal the victory."

On what it means to be the MVP of this game

"It means hard work and dedication. I looked forward to the season. In the offseason, things didn't go my way like I wanted them to go throughout the season. I didn't become a 1,000-yard receiver this year like I hoped, but throughout the postseason I told Coach I wanted to be a playmaker. I wanted to be a guy that you could trust and depend on 100 percent, and those guys believed in me. It means the world to me. I've lived out the moment with the dreams I've accomplished right now. I am just thankful for being in this situation and my teammates for helping me."

On the last drive

"It was definitely making plays. It was me sticking with them. At the beginning of every game he (Ben Roethlisberger tells me, 'No matter what goes on, just stick with me.' I stuck with him. He was able to get me the ball. I wanted to move the chains and be that guy that everyone looks up to."

Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

On if he had fun

"I had a lot of fun. I'm really proud of this group of guys. Pittsburgh, our fans, we love you all over the world. And you know what? Offensive line, who's laughing now o-line. Let me take this (Vince Lombardi Trophy down to them."

On what he said to the team in the huddle

"I said it's now or never. I told the guys all the film study you put in doesn't matter unless we go do it now. I'm really proud of the way they responded. Went all the way down the field and scored."

On what he learned about himself tonight

"That anything is possible."

On the game-winning touchdown pass

"I was going to throw the ball in the flat. They covered it up so I went to Hines (Ward. He was covered, getting held. But all of a sudden, I saw him go to the corner. I threw it and thought it was going to be picked. He made a heck of a catch."

On capping the season with a Super Bowl win

"I'll tell you what, I'm so proud of this group of guy. We hung through some tough times, some adversity. They talk a lot about this offense, and you know what, I'm so proud of the way we responded that last drive. I hope we silenced some critics."

On being nervous in his first Super Bowl, compared to now

"I felt a lot better. I didn't have the jitters. I actually didn't feel really nervous, but when the planes flew over, that's when I was the most nervous. I'm just excited for everybody that we got this win."

On getting WR Santonio Holmes more into the offense with WR Hines Ward not 100 percent

"Not really, I mean 'Tone's (Santonio Holmes an integral part of our offense as it is. We just saw some things. I saw some stuff with him that I knew he was going to get open. If you get the ball to 'Tone he's going to make plays and he did it tonight."

On what the winning touchdown play was called

"Drop back, scramble right, scramble left, find someone open."

On the defense closing out the game

"We were just hoping that our defense could hold. We had all the confidence that they could do it. They've done it all year."

On his impressions of Kurt Warner

"I mean, Kurt Warner is Kurt Warner. He is a phenomenal football player. He threw the ball, I don't know his numbers but I know they had to be good. He is a heck of a competitor and I told him it was an honor for me to play in this game against him because his autobiography was the first one I ever read, so it was really an honor to play against him."

On his last touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes

"The first read was the running back in the flat but he wasn't open. Then I was going to try to bang it to Hines (Ward real quick, but someone was closing on it and I was a little nervous about it. It wouldn't have been a touchdown. I looked back, scrambled right a little bit and saw 'Ton in the corner. I tried to throw it high so he was going to catch it, or no one was, and luckily he made a heck of a play."

On going back to his receivers despite their dropped passes

"I'm just letting them know I have confidence in them. He walked by me and said, 'my bad' and I said, 'it doesn't matter,' because that's the type of player he is, that's the type of confidence I have in him and he came back and made a play."

On this Super Bowl compared to last Super Bowl

"I played a little better than I did last time so it feels a lot better, to be able to come back on that last drive, probably a drive that will be remembered for a long time, at least in Steelers history. So, it feels really good, really special."

On the game-winning drive and touchdown throw to WR Santonio Holmes

"I'm really proud of the way these guys played. That was a heck of a drive. We got backed up early on the drive with the penalties and we had to work the ball all the way down the field. On the scoring play that put us ahead the first read wasn't open, the second read wasn't open and I kind of felt (Santonio Holmes at the last minute, so I let it go and thought the corner dropped off but (Holmes went out and just made a heck of a grab."

On how his emotions differed in this Super Bowl compared to the first one he appeared in

"I felt better. I really wasn't that nervous. I felt more nervous when the planes flew over."

On what he said to his offensive teammates late in the 4th quarter and with the Steelers trailing

"I just said to guys, 'It's now or never guys. You'll be remembered forever if you do this. All the film study, all the hard work, all the stuff that people talked bad about us, it will be for nothing. We have to go out and do this.' It was a rotten start on the first play, but we pulled through and found a way."

On the difference between his performance in this Super Bowl as opposed to his earlier experience

"Winning the Super Bowl is all that matters. That's what makes me the most happy, and I think I played a little bit better this time."

On the roller coaster of emotions he experienced in the fourth quarter and with the Cardinals in possession of the football

"I thought to myself I might go from the ultimate high to the ultimate low here in a matter of seconds. Our defense came through, just like they have done all year and I am really proud of the way they played. I am really proud of this offense, too, because a lot of people have talked bad about us, but starting with the offensive line, we did something special tonight."

On his emotions

"We're so happy to be able to do this for the Rooneys. This is also for the fans. We love winning this for the fans and we know right now in Pittsburgh they're going crazy. There are people in the streets and I am sure there is snow on the ground, but it's really special to win one for the Rooney's. They're very special."

On MVP WR Santonio Holmes

"I just told him to not let it go to his head. He has potential and the sky is the limit for that guy. He can go where no receiver has gone and this will be a big confidence booster for him."

On the interception return for a TD by LB James Harrison at the end of the first half

"We couldn't see the ball because it was behind the line. But then all of a sudden James (Harrison started running out and all we were thinking was that he had to score because if he gets tackled, it's nothing. Those are the types of plays he has been making all year, that's the reason he was the Defensive Player of the Year."

On the significance of the football he was holding onto at the podium

"That's the ball I took the knee with at the end of the game and held on to. I gave the ball in the last game to Jerome (Bettis."

On the play of opposing QB Kurt Warner

"Kurt Warner is Kurt Warner. I think he's a fantastic football player. I don't know his numbers, but he is a heck of a competitor and I told him it was an honor for me to play in the game against him because his autobiography was one of the first one I ever read, so it was really an honor to play against him."

On what happened on his game-winning TD throw to WR Santonio Holmes

"The first read was the running back in the flat, but he wasn't open. Then I was going to try to bang it to WR Hines (Ward real quick, but someone was closing on him and I was a little nervous about it, it wouldn't have been a touchdown. So I just kind of looked left and scrambled right a little bit and saw (Santonio Holmes in the corner and decided to just throw it high, because either he was going to catch it or no one was going to catch it, and luckily he made a heck of a play."

Steelers LB James Harrison

On his interception return for a touchdown

"I got the pick. You know we had them matched up and it was kind of like, give it time, and I slid over to the right and he threw it right to my hands, and I took off. I was just trying to get to the other side, and score seven. That's all."

On how exhausting it was running down the field that long

"It was very tiring, but it was all worth it. I was just thinking that I had to do whatever I could to get to the other end zone and get seven. I just wanted to help my team win, that was it. That was all I was thinking about."

On it being tough to get to Kurt Warner, but their defense getting a sack and fumble to end the game

"He was getting the ball out to the receivers that he needed to. He wasn't holding onto the ball long. When he did hold it, it seemed like we were just a step away every time. He did a great job getting the ball out. On that last one, we got to him though when we had to."

On Santonio Holmes' winning catch

"I've got a lot of love for him right now. Oh my God. I don't believe it. That won us the game. Our offense came through for us when we really needed it. We went out there and gave up a big touchdown and our offense came through at the end."

On his record breaking interception return for a touchdown

"We had a play call one where we were basically on a max blitz. Kurt [Warner] had to get it out and so he had to throw a quick slant in or out and I guessed on and in and basically just shifted out, flowed out, and he threw it straight to me. After that it was about my teammates helping me get to the other end. Will and determination to try and do what you need to do and help the team win the game."

On his laying down on his back after scoring the touchdown

"I kinked my neck a little bit and air was a problem too."

On if he saw Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald chasing him

"I was seeing jerseys that were friendly and jersey's that weren't. That is really about it. I saw two jerseys that weren't friendly at the end, and that was it."

Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu

On the fourth quarter

"It's always four quarters, when you are in big games like this, especially against a quality opponent like Arizona."

On if there were any differences in defensive coverage on Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald

"No, there wasn't. We had some technique errors, as well as some mental errors. But, a great player like that is always going to find a way to make plays."

On if the Cardinals surprised them in any way

"Not at all."

On how gut-wrenching the final five minutes was

"Oh my God, I don't know. You can't explain it. You are seconds away from me crying in the locker room, and them being out here. That's how amazing this game is."

On what happened on Arizona's touchdown drive to take the lead

"We gave up a play. Great players like that (Fitzgerald are going to make plays."

On if he had faith that his team was going to come back and score

"Now I do (laughing. Big games like this against a great opponent, you never know. Ben (Roethlisberger did a great job today. He led the offense down the field. It's amazing."

On how this Super Bowl compares with his first in Super Bowl XL

"You can never compare things that are so sweet like this. It's amazing. I can't believe it. Two Super Bowls ' it's amazing."

Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin

On the Cardinals offensive comeback

"Yeah, I thought we made plays at times, but unfortunately we fell short and we didn't get the job accomplished that we came here to do. We played against a good team, they played well. You can't take anything from them. That's that."

On making adjustments in the second half

"We just felt there were some things we could do, as far as going no-huddle offense. We felt like there were some zones we could exploit. I think you guys saw, in the second half, we were able to move the ball up and down the field."

On what those specific adjustments were

"We just went to our no-huddle package ' combination packages, letting Kurt [Warner] come up to the line and see what defense they were in and go from there."

On the play that James Harrison intercepted

"It was a route where we should have had a pick on it. I think Kurt saw blitz zero, but they ended up dropping James Harrison out at the last second."

On what he was feeling during Harrison's pick and return

"I mean, it's tough. We felt like we gave them points right at the end of the half. That put us down ten (instead of at least tying the game. They played well. You can't take anything away from them. There's a reason why they're here."

On if there is any satisfaction in having come close

"The only satisfaction you get is winning a football game. There is no consolation prize. We came here for one reason and one reason only, and that was to win a football game, and we didn't get that accomplished."

On his big catch in the first half to set up the touchdown

"It was something we saw on film. It was actually a post, me running a crossing route and sticking my foot in the ground and coming back out the backside. We felt like the corner was going to play over top, which they did and I came out open."

On his injury in the second quarter

"Just a shoulder sprain, nothing serious, nothing to keep me out of the game."

On what he takes from this experience

"There's a lot we can take from it. Like I said, there's no consolation prize. We came here to win a football game, and become World Champions. We fell short of that goal but I would like to say that I'm proud of every guy in our locker room. Through all of the adversity that we had this year, guys fought, stuck together and believed in one another and I think that's the reason we got to this point."

On what he thought after Larry Fitzgerald's touchdown

"I just felt like we were supposed to become a World Champ. We made some plays, but unfortunately, we didn't make enough to win the game. They are a good team. There is a reason they are here."

On having to watch the Steelers take the lead

"It's tough, especially when you are not on the field in the last seconds of the game. Like I always say, I feel more comfortable with us (offense being on the field at the end of the game as opposed to being on the sideline watching."

On if Kurt Warner said anything to keep guys calm and focused

"It was just everybody on the team, knowing that we had been in that situation before ' down ' and in the past we've been able to come back and make plays. We did that today. We (just didn't make enough plays, but we never got down on ourselves."

On if coming so close to winning the Super Bowl makes him want to return to Arizona

"I'm not even thinking about that. That's not a relevant question at this point."

On the great punt and the safety

"We just felt like things were starting to go our way, and we were starting to gain momentum and we were starting to play good football. We felt like we were on a roll at that point and we knew that we could move the ball up and down the field."

On staying patient after a slow first half of offense

"We felt like we just had to stick to our game plan. I don't think that at any point we panicked or got impatient. I think the main thing for us was just to stick to what we did well, and I think we came out in the second half and did that."

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald

On taking a late lead before losing

"It was like getting a chair pulled out from under you. It just hurts to be able to get so close and fall short of your ultimate goal. You've got to tip your hats to those guys over there at the Steelers. They're a courageous group of guys. They fought to the end and made the plays when it counted."

On Pittsburgh's late touchdown

"It hurts so bad to be so close to being a champion and have it snatched away from you. Ben (Roethlisberger was just being Ben again on that last drive and was able to make some tough throws for his team and you've got to tip your hat to them."

On watching the screen on his second touchdown

"I was looking to see where the defender was and which way I was going to have to weave. Fortunately I was able to keep a step in front of the guy."

On Pittsburgh taking him away early

"They do a lot of different coverages. Dick LeBeau is an outstanding coordinator, if not the best, one of the best in the business. He does a great job of getting his guys in position. They had us going in the first half a little bit. We were able to come in at halftime and make some adjustments."

On the adjustments they made

"We just wanted to go to some of our signal packages. They were going to sit in Cover 2 and just try to re-route us the whole game. We were going to be able to have some options at the line of scrimmage. That's when Kurt's (Warner at his best, when he can diagnose what a defense is doing to us and just get us in the right position."

On staying focused in the first half

"When I was younger, I would have probably lost my cool and got a little upset. But in a game of this magnitude, I knew we were going to call my number and eventually there were going to be some balls thrown my way. I just wanted to make sure I was in the right mind frame so when I had my opportunity I was going to try to take advantage of it. That's what I was thinking going into the second half."

Cardinals CB Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie

On the Steelers throwing in his direction early in the game

"You have to give it to them. Their game plan worked. They know I play off the line. They got me early on with a lot of short routes."

On the feeling in the locker room

"Everybody is down. You can't even describe the feeling of hurt and the pain that you see in the players' eyes."

On what happened on the game-winning touchdown pass

"It was a Cover Eight. We were in zone (coverage. When Ben Roethlisberger got to scrambling, my eyes were bad and I got taken out of my zone."

On playing in the Super Bowl

"I understand that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I've had a long journey to get here and then the hype surrounding it and the fans were into it and the crowd. It's a great experience."

On how tough the loss was

"It was very tough. I had all of my family and friends. We were bringing everybody out here and them wanting you to do well and you come up short. It's just going to be hard to go back home and smile."

Cardinals QB Kurt Warner

On the disappointment after having the lead late in the game

"It is always disappointing losing your last game, especially when it is the Super Bowl. It is always disappointing when there is a chance at the end and you are leading late in the game. We got the fourtunes to change and gave ourselves a chance. I have to give credit to the Steelers and their tremendous drive at the end. That is what championship teams are all about. We made the plays to put ourselves ahead and they turned around and came back and did the same to win the game. That is what a championship game should be about. That is what championship teams are all about. I tip my hat to them for playing the way they did."

On the rollercoaster of emotions during the game

"It is tough when you are in a game like this. You have the lead late, but you know everything rides on the balance of this game. Your emotions are so high with two minutes left in the game when you have the lead. You know that you are two minutes away from being World Champions. On the flip-side, they come down and make a big play to win the game and the emotions flip. Either way, I am proud of this football team. I am so proud to be a part of this football team. I think that is one of the reasons why it doesn't hurt as bad as it could. These guys have exceeded expectations. I am proud. We gave ourselves a chance to win a world championship, but that other team went out and won it. I give them a whole bunch of credit, but I am glad to be on this sideline and this Cardinal team and organization."

On the penalties during the game and how much they hurt the team

"They hurt. We have overcome a lot this year. It is tough to continue to overcome those things against a great football team. We didn't play our best football game. So in that regard, the penalties hurt us. In the end, we still gave ourselves a chance to win a world championship."

On where this game will rank in Super Bowl history and how it ranks amongst his three

"That is what is neat about this game. When you come to this game, you want to be a part of the greatest game. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of three great Super Bowl games. I am definitely proud of it. Would I have liked to win more than one? Of course, but I am proud that I have been able to come to these games and be a part of some of the greatest Super Bowls ever."

On returning next season

"I don't know. There are a lot of emotions that go into a decision like that. There are things that make you want to come back and there are things that I am ready to have a break from. I really don't know at this point. I don't want to make any emotional decisions."

On what it was like in the huddle at the end of the game

"When you play the position I play, guys are always going to look to you for leadership. The one good thing is, I think they have a lot of confidence in me when we spread it out. We have done it very well this year. I think when we got in that mode, there was no doubt that we would make plays and get back in the game. So even though we were down, guys were confident that we were going to go out and make plays."

On what was going through his head when his defense was on the field at the end of the game

"Stop them. Tip a pass. Fumble, just make a mistake. You just want the other team to make a mistake. That is the bottom line. You don't want them to drive down the field and score like they did. You are just hoping that they make a mistake. They either have to make a mistake or one of your guys has to make a great play. It is always hard to sit on the sideline and not have the ball in your hand."

On the fumble at the end of the game and it not being reviewed

"I was surprised that they didn't. I really felt like my arm was moving forward. I felt like I almost got the ball off. It was very surprising, especially in that situation. I would have thought they would have at least taken a look at it. I was on the sideline waiting for them to review it, but I looked up and they were taking a knee. I think we all assumed that they would review it."

On the play of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

"I think Ben played great. He made some huge plays. He did a tremendous job of moving around and buying more time. I thought he did a tremendous job. He made a lot of plays like he always does."

On making it to the Super Bowl, but falling short

"We made it to a place that no one thought we would be. No one expected us to be here. It doesn't get any better than this. I mean obviously, you want to win, but we took the best in the league down to the wire. They had to make some great plays to win. I am proud of this team. I would have liked to win, but I am proud of where we got. I am proud of the way we fought and battled back. I am proud of the fact that we gave ourselves a chance to win."

On how people view him as a player and his Hall of Fame status

"I want to be great every time I touch the ball. I want to be great when I go home to my wife and kids."

On performance of the offense

"I think that is more of a question for the coaches. I thought we could be successful. We were able to move the ball, but we put ourselves in bad situations with penalties that set us back on a number of drives. I think we had a number of opportunities to give ourselves a chance to win."

Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt

On what he saw on Steelers WR Santonio Holmes touchdown

"It was a touchdown; he got his feet in. It was a good play. They made the plays at the end of the game and that's what good teams do."

On what play he thinks this game came down to for him

"Well, obviously the turnover right before the half hurt. That was seven points there that we gave them or we're going to get points, but I think we fought back and overcame that. And obviously the penalties were things that we allowed to extend their drives, things that hurt us, so it was unfortunate that there were that many penalties called."

On what was going through his head when WR Larry Fitzgerald scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter

"I think there was too much time on the clock. That's something that you're always worried about, but I felt that maybe we could at least hold them to a field goal and have a chance to go to overtime, but they made the play."

On what goes through his mind right now as he watches his colleagues celebrate

"It's nothing about my colleagues. I'm disappointed for our team. This is a group of men that I'm really proud of. They played very hard in circumstances where nobody believed in them, but themselves. I think it's a great message that if you believe together as a group you can accomplish things and be successful. We learned a lot about our team and it's unfortunate that it had to come out this way."

On what he said to the team after the game

"That I was proud of them, definitely. We've done something that is incredible - this run that we've been on, and a lot of people didn't think we'd be successful. We hung together as a group. I'm proud of the way they played. There's not much you can say at this time that is going to make it feel any better. But, we stayed together as a group, unfortunately we came up short."

On if he thought the last play of the game needed to be reviewed

"I was hoping it would be. I knew that it was inside two minutes, so it was obviously upstairs in the booth at that time. But, obviously I would have liked to have seen it replayed because it looked like it to me that Kurt (Warner was throwing the ball."

On what happened at halftime that helped the team get back into the game and regroup

"Well, I mean it was tough because we didn't do a whole lot in the third quarter, and then we got going in a rhythm in the fourth quarter. I think that one of the proudest things that I am of the football team is the way we responded, especially with that situation because in the past when we've had that kind of swing of momentum, especially before the half, it would have done the team in. But, we fought back and we believed in what we were doing, and that's a credit to the progress that we've made."

On if he thought Steelers WR Santonio Holmes was down on the last touchdown

"Well, it was close. It was a close call. It looked initially like it was down from the replay, but once again it was close enough that you can't really be sure."

On what coach said to the team

"Well, I told them that I was proud of our football team. We had a situation where not a lot of people in this country had seen this team play and I think in the last month we have shown what a good group of men we have. If you believe in something and you believe as a group, together you can accomplish things and never to forget about that, and really that's it. There's nothing really that you can say to your team at that time that's going to make them feel better. You just have to say how proud you are of what they did."

On the offense

"Yeah, I think it was a struggle the whole game because that's a very good defense that we were playing. We had some opportunities in the game, but we missed some passes and we lost the ball."

On the Steelers defense

"They have a good pass rush on both sides of the ball. We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in. It was just unfortunate that we had that many penalties."

On what changed in the second half

"I think we had a good second half. We were trying to do some things to move the football and give us a better chance to get down the field."

On his the emotions after the game

"It's difficult. Especially when you come out of a game that you've fought so hard to get back into this game and then take the lead right there at the end. Then they go down and score a touchdown. Then, you're in a position at the end of the game where you think you have a chance to get in the endzone, but something happens."

On the amount of penalties

"It just seemed like there were a lot of penalties that were called on us tonight and it was very difficult to watch."

On how QB Kurt Warner played

"I thought Kurt played well. He did a good job of managing the game and I'm just really disappointed for him that we didn't get this win."

Quotes & Commentary | Scoring & Statistics | Play by Play

Cardinals Steelers Super Bowl XLIII Tampa Bay Florida February 1, 2009

NFL Football: "Super Bowl XLIII - Memorable Player Quotes & Coaches Comments - "