Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bill Cowher Press Conference Notes: November 14, 2006

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: OUT: Willie Reid (foot). QUESTIONABLE: Troy Polamalu (concussion), Deshea Townsend (ankle), Jeff Hartings (knee), Dan Kreider (hip), Clint Kreiwaldt (back). DOUBTFUL: James Harrison (ankle). PROBABLE: Sean Morey (toe), Chukky Okobi (calf)

  • The New Orleans Game: "A lot of positives." In six second half possessions the Steelers defense was able to get off the field five times without the Saints scoring -- the Steelers defense did a good job. The defense did have some chances to get off the field but New Orleans did a better job of executing.

  • Cleveland: A lot of new faces who didn't even play last year -- Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards were injured and didn't play. On defense the Browns have added some good players -- Ted Washington is "the cog in the nose" that is needed in a 3-4 defense, and Willie McGinest is an impact player. The Steelers are looking forward to the challenge of playing a good team. Reuben Droughns is a good player, and the Browns' running game is effective.

  • Moving Forward: The Steelers have no margin for error, and "have to start stringing some things together." The defense needs to do a better job of limiting other teams to field goals when they get into the red zone. The team has to "keep putting itself in positions" to make plays, and good things will begin to happen. The Steelers are still not playing up to their abilities.

  • The Schedule: Early in the season it was difficult to get into a routine because of the various times and locations of the Steelers games. Going forward most of the games are at 1:00PM, and the team is playing divisional opponents.

  • Willie Parker: He is a young back who is continuing to improve -- he is seeing things differently and is becoming more patient. And as a pass catcher he is better than ever -- "he is a complete player." As for being caught from behind twice, Coach Cowher has no concerns about that. Mr. Parker is a "good kid" who is "a down-to-earth guy." In addition to the two long runs he nearly broke a screen pass in the fourth quarter for big yardage.

  • Najeh Davenport: He represents a good contrast to Mr. Parker. Mr. Davenport is a back who is capable of "moving the pile" in short yardage situations. And around the league more and more teams are going with two running backs because of the difficulty of a single back carrying the load for a full season. In addition he is doing an excellent job on kick returns. "He is a tough guy -- a physical player," and has proven to be an excellent addition to the team.

  • Troy Polamalu: The medical staff will make the final decision on whether or not he plays Sunday. Mr. Polamalu suffered his concussion in the first half, did not play in the second half, and near the end of the first half "he could talk to you about a lot of things -- it just wasn't about football at that time."

  • Defensive backs: Don't be afraid to try and make a play -- trying and failing is preferred to playing afraid.

  • Officiating: The Steelers have submitted tape to the league for interpretation -- the personal foul/low blow personal foul called on Aaron Smith. Mr. Cowher believes that Aaron Smith did not propel himself into the quarterback's lower leg and should not have been called for a penalty. However, he was not critical of the officiating crew, he simply wants clarification on the penalty.

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