Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bill Cowher Press Conference Notes

Bill Cowher met with the assembled media today, and thanks to the miracle of the internet Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic was there. Here is a portion of his comments and what was discussed:
  • Injuries: Two players out -- James Harrison (ankle) and Willie Reid (foot). Jeff Hartings (knee), Clint Kreiwaldt (back) doubtful. Numerous players, including Troy Polamalu (shoulder) listed as probable.

  • Willie Parker: Coach Cowher believes that Mr. Parker's post game comments Sunday were not an indictment of the team or his teammates, but his own disappointment at losing.

  • Turnovers: The team is committing too many turnovers, and while it is difficult to force turnovers the defense isn't getting very many.

  • Lineup: Everyone is going to be held accountable and Mr. Cowher intends to utilize the players who give the team the best opportunity to win.

  • Philosophy: Sports is a microcosm of life -- there are peaks and valleys, and how individuals deal with the ups and downs is more important than the ups and downs themselves. The team has to remain positive, fight through the challenges, and stay professional. The team has to sustain a belief in themselves without trying to do too much -- Mr. Cowher indicated that some players are afraid to make mistakes, and others are trying to win the game by themselves.

  • Playoffs: The Ravens do have a difficult schedule ahead, but the Steelers need to worry about winning a football game, one game at a time; and can't sorry about playoff possibilities.

  • Opponents: Teams are not doing anything unusual, or unexpected, to stop or attack the Steelers.

  • Denver Game: Ben Roethlisberger made some bad throws -- his first interception was a bad decision -- but the other two were not necessarily bad plays -- the second interception was much like a punt (i.e. Denver had the ball inside their own five-yard line), and the third interception was late in the game. The Steelers' offense is turning the ball over in the red zone, and points are not being scored despite gaining significant yardage. In then red zone the team has to come away with some points. The 72 -yard reverse by Jevon Walker "was a back-breaker."

  • Santonio Holmes: He's a young player who is going to improve, but "he has put the ball of the ground way too many times." He is getting more comfortable with the offense, but he has to get acclimated to the speed of the NFL game.

  • Penalties: The team has gotten too many big penalties (e.g. personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct), and while referees are calling those penalties more -- which is how it should be in the NFL -- the players have to adjust.

  • New Orleans: The Saints are playing with great confidence and will be a good test for the Steelers.

  • Najeh Davenport: "He has been a real pleasant acquisition," and has played well in any role he's been asked to take on.

  • Offensive Line: For the most part they played well. Max Starks played better than the week before, and on the first sack of Ben Roethlisberger he was expecting help from Najeh Davenport.

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