Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bill Cowher Press Conference - Max Starks Out

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach met with the Media on Tuesday and thanks to the miracle of the internet Pittsburgh Steelers Fanatic was there. Here is some of what Mr. Cowher discussed:
  • Injuries: Chad Brown (grade three MCL on left knee -- no surgery), Chidi Iwuoma (left wrist dislocation -- had surgery Tuesday), and Max Starks (right knee -- to be scoped) are out. Ryan Clark is doubtful (groin). Troy Polamalu (knee) is questionable as is Mike Logan (hamstring). Four probables: Clint Kreiwaldt (neck strain), Tyrone Carter (concussion), Jeff Hartings (knee), and Bryant McFadden (shoulder). Roster moves will be made in the next couple of days to fill in spots. Mr. Iwuoma and Mr. Brown may be placed on injured reserve.

  • Carolina Game: The most complete game this year, and the Steelers need to match that to be competitive against Baltimore. The Steelers have not been eliminated, and they have to keep winning to have any chance of moving on to the playoffs.
    • The offensive line did a good job of giving Ben Roethlisberger time to throw, and the Steelers were very good on third down.

  • Baltimore Game: In the first meeting this season the Steelers threw the ball more than 50 times which is not Pittsburgh football. Their defensive line is playing very well, and the linebackers and secondary are great. The Baltimore defense does a good job of moving around, disguising blitzes, and giving the offense different looks. The game plan is going to have to be better than the last game. Despite having clinched the division the Ravens still have a great deal to play for. The Ravens are playing with a great deal of confidence and the Steelers are beginning to do so. The Ravens have stayed healthy, and have good team chemistry.
    • Playing at home improves the Steelers ability to communicate and that should help though execution is the key.
    • The Steelers need to be able to run the football to succeed against Baltimore.

  • Willie Colon: May fill in for Max Starks. Colon is strong but hasn't played much.

  • Coaching Future: Coach Cowher hasn't made a final decision, and NOW isn't the time for making a decision on whether or not to coach next year. The same process that was employed at the conclusion of last season will be utilized at the conclusion of this season. He still loves the challenges of coaching the NFL, and isn't feeling burned out. He's seen his daughters play basketball this season and doesn't believe that will be a factor in his final decision. He called upon the reporters to not be "judgmental." He will not answer any more questions about his coaching future.

  • The 2006 Season: He is very pleased with the veteran leadership on the team, and has seen young players (e.g. Santonio Holmes) have grown and gotten better. The team lost same games that they probably should have won but there is nothing that can be done about that now.

  • Ryan Clark: Mr. Clark has played very well and very unselfishly. He has played very well on defense and on special teams. Anthony Wright has filled in very capably since Mr. Clark was injured.

  • The NFL: Watching the Tennessee v. Jacksonville game reminded Mr. Cowher of the Steelers @ Oakland game ("Been there, done that").

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