Do you expect Shaun Draughn or Jamal Womble to play any at all?
"No. There's no way that Jamal Womble can play with a fractured hand and his hand in a cast. You'd have to be insane as a coach to put a running back in there that can't even hold the ball. And Shaun – we did the MRI and took some X-rays and took a look at the fracture, and it is healed significantly. He's making great progress, but it's still not healed enough that it would warrant sticking him in the ball game. As much as he's lobbying to play and as much as I would love to let him play, the downside is that if he did re-fracture it, it would probably entail surgery to put pins in it and that would probably set him back another two-and-a-half to four months this spring. So it's not worth the risk."
On his relationship with Dave Wannstedt:
"My wife Tammy and I saw Dave and Jan last night and Drew had just happened to be walking in front of them and Dave said, ‘Thank God you sent Christmas cards with Drew because it's been a while since we've seen each other.' It's been a couple of years, I think. We drove over when we were living in Cleveland and Dave's daughter got married in Chicago. So you don't see each other that often, and I think the last time Dave spent much significant time around Drew was when he was with the Dolphins and we were still in Miami and Dave invited Drew to come out and be on the sidelines for a game.
"Our history goes back a long time. It's almost uncanny to think about that it was 1979 that I was fortunate enough to join Jimmy [Johnson's] staff and Dave was there. It doesn't sound like a long time ago until you do the math and you figure out that it was 30 years ago. There's an awful lot of just great memories of our families together, trips that we took with the staff and all of the things that coaching staffs go through. The wins, the losses, the moves from Miami to Dallas. So it's rare and unique, I guess, where someone that you spent that much time around and have so much respect for that you end up playing each other."
On the return trip to Charlotte:
"We've got to come here and focus more on the game itself. With so many guys, it was the first time in a very long time coming to a bowl game, so it was kind of a brand new feeling. I think being here and doing it before will help us a little bit. I love it here in Charlotte. It's a nice place and if I wasn't going to a BCS bowl game, I would love to come back here. So it's working out for me and my family gets to come, so I'm really pleased with it."
Have you noticed a more business-like atmosphere and attitude from the team this week?
"Well, we haven't had practice [in Charlotte]. We're about to have practice [on Tuesday], so I'll be able to answer that question in about three hours."
On Pittsburgh's low turnover count this season:
"I think it all starts with their offensive line. They're doing a great job of giving the quarterback some time to release the ball and also in creating lanes for their running back. At times when you see Dion Lewis get the ball, it's like he's not getting touched for five or six yards. Especially with momentum and him being the back that he is, he uses that and his shiftiness to make people miss and to break big plays. So I think when you have to focus on the run game so much, when they do play-action pass, guys are running free.
"So the quarterback has a little less chance of making a mistake. I think they do a great job with that and also, they present matchup problems with a 6-foot-5 receiver and that big tight end that they've got. I think they do a good job of spreading the ball around with excellent play-calling. If I get a chance to say hello to my old coach – Coach [Frank] Cignetti – that would be fun too, but I think he does a good job of mixing it up."
On the offensive approach to the bowl game:
"We know that they have a very strong front four. They lead the nation in sacks which is obviously a big red flag for us. I think our last couple of games coming into this we've been protecting a lot better and opening it up and allowing guys like Jhay Boyd and Greg [Little] run down the field, just giving us a little bit of time so that we can complete those long passes."
Does the extra bowl preparation time allow offensive coordinator John Shoop to draw more plays up out of the blue?
"Yes, absolutely. That's a benefit of having such a long time to prepare for these guys. We can go in practice and try something new and if it doesn't work, then we can throw it out. Or if we see something in practice that we like, we can try it the next day. We have time to try new things. That's definitely one of Coach Shoop's strengths. He might see something on the film that they have a weakness in and he has no problem putting it in the game plan the next day just to try it."
On coming back to Charlotte:
"Last time we were here we played a really good game and we also played a really good team last year and we didn't pull it out. Our No. 1 goal is to win this ball game, not to have a good time out in the city or go do the NASCAR thing. We're about business and we want to win this game."