11:12 p.m. ET — Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley’s pass is intercepted by Steelers defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Steelers win the ballgame 16-13. Fans exit the stadium and beat writers finish tweets before heading to the elevators toward their respective post-game press conferences.
11:20 — Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh addresses the media.
“We’ve got to do a way better job across the board in terms of attacking what they did,” Harbaugh says. “They did a nice job. It wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen. [It was] exactly what we saw on tape from the last three weeks and just very disappointed. Not one of our better performances at all. Coaching staff, start with that, start with me. Start with the coaching staff, game plan, all of it. Not good enough. Very disappointing. We got to bounce back.”
11:23 — Chuck Clark addresses the media. He talks about the run game consistently making it short yardage for the Steelers offense on third down and how it impacted the defense.
“Of course we want it to be second and longer but they had the run game going so that’s what put us in that situation,” Clark says. “We can definitely get a little more exotic if it’s a little bit longer but that was a little bit tougher for us, honestly.”
Shortly after, Huntley speaks to media, talking about what he saw on the interception. What the Steelers did to bottle them up. He talks about the three and outs in the fourth. He exits, and media follows close by to the locker room.
Walking in, it’s near-silent. Players have filtered out; others head in and out of the showers. Bags are being moved and zipped by trainers as media fill the center of the locker room. There’s one player remaining in his pads.
11:30 — Broderick Washington, still in his No. 96 jersey, stares down at the floor dejected. After three minutes, he goes to unlatch the buckles on his shoulder pads, but doing so would be moving on from the game, and he wasn’t ready to do so.
11:35 — Media start to notice Washington cycle between him placing his head in his hands or the 1,000-yard stare he has when looking forward. I step up and ask if he’s willing to speak.
“I... I just need a minute, man. I’ll...” I nod. Tell him I understand and to take his time.
On the other side of the locker room, offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler, an honorable veteran, takes the first wave of media.
11:38 — Patrick Queen goes to each member on the wall where Washington remains, and daps up each one. Washington reluctantly accepts.
11:40 — Washington nods and looks up, finally prepared to speak. He nods media over, still frustrated, and gives a sobering session.
“Broderick, it’s almost midnight and you’re still in pads,” I ask. “Just, where’s your mindset now? What are you thinking?”
“To be honest... Really just embarrassed,” Washington says.
He looks to his left where veteran defensive end Calais Campbell, who missed tonight’s game due to a knee injury, signals to the young player with his hands to settle himself down. Washington, disheveled, obliges. It’s an eight-second gap between his next answer where he gathers himself.
“I just feel like, myself personally, I didn’t play up to our standard and [I] just gotta go back to the drawing board and get better.”
“What was the offense doing for the Steelers that was causing so much success for them or causing you struggles,” I ask.
It’s an eight-second pause, which is something I’ve come to admire about Washington. He’s never given a canned answer. He’s thought out each one. He does it each time during post-practice pressers, and he’s still noble enough to do so after a painful loss.
“Just gotta be better, man,” Washington says. “They came out—they came out with fire and they really wanted to win the game and—just gotta be better.”
Washington answers a few more, but he’s still accepting tonight’s outcome. He’s asked what it is about this game that has him taking the loss so hard. It’s the fastest he’s answered a question in a Ravens uniform.
“I hate losing,” Washington responds. “I don’t care what it is. I don’t want to lose. Shoot, I just expect way more out of myself. But yeah, I hate losing.”
Media members look to one another, nod that they’re good and thank Washington for his two minutes. He’s kind enough to respond.
“Appreciate you,” Washington says to the media. He sits back down, and returns to mental self-flagellation. Reporters, audio recorders, microphones and cameras peel away and head to the next Raven. Then the next.
11:45 — Another nod to himself and Washington stands up and meets a trainer to help strip off the sweat-soaked jersey. After peeling off the pads, Washington returned one last time to the locker. One last time to nod in acceptance of tonight’s defeat where the Steelers rushed for 198 yards and tossed the traditionally stout defensive line, with Washington in tow, to the side and possibly out of AFC North contention.