Quarterback's Corner - 11/1/06

Jake Plummer talks about the extra motivation playing against Pittsburgh, Mike Bell's first career 100-yard game and his confidence in tackle Erik Pears. Check out the full transcripts.

Jake Plummer

On whether facing Pittsburgh adds any extra motivation
"You want to beat them, and I'm sure they want to beat us. But it's not the end of the year after this game, and we've got to keep playing. So yeah, we're up for it. We're going to have to play really good to beat them at home. It doesn't do anything to change the past. It just makes us feel better if we come out of there with a win. But it will be hard to do, and we've got to get ready."

On whether there's more chatter among players heading into this week's game
"Not me. I'm not a chattering kind of guy, as you well know. But I'm sure the defense is going to be ready to go out there and get going. On offense, we don't want to be too chattery out there, especially on the game day because (Steelers LB) Mr. (Joey) Porter loves to talk. He's a great football player, but he's going to get his words in. The best thing to do is to just play ball. He's a great football player, makes plays continuously and loves to tell you about it. You've just got to play. Guys like that, you've just got to keep lining up and hopefully you keep hitting them until they go quiet, but we'll see. We're definitely moving on. We've got to move on fast. Everybody's a little sluggish today, but we'll bounce out of that and get out there on the practice field and get ready for this next one."

On getting rookie TE Tony Scheffler getting more involved against the Colts last week
"He had, a couple of weeks ago, a tough week personally, so he came back here and kept working hard. It ended up he got some balls, so hopefully we can continue to keep him in the mix and keep getting a lot of those guys in the mix to take a little pressure off of Javon (Walker) and not be set on who we're going to all the time. I think you know Javon's going to get plenty of opportunities, but someone else stepping up behind him definitely helps."

On whether he can take anything from the game plan of last year's AFC Championship Game
"You look at some stuff. They're a very aggressive, fast, very good defense. Their defense is still playing really well right now, so we've got to see what we did good in some things against them and expand and do even more. You can look at last year. You always go back and look. There might be something that happened during the game that we didn't have game planned that maybe we can exploit this week. But that's what the coaches do. We just got the plan this morning, and it looks good. We're going to get it honed in and get out there and practice and get ready to go this weekend."

On the Steelers allowing 98 total yards against Oakland last Sunday
"That's why I say their defense is playing really well. They fly around. They're fast. We know we're going to have to play well to beat them, especially at their place. You don't do that very often in the league (with) the athletes that there are in this league. To hold a team to that amount of yards is pretty impressive. We don't want to do that. We want to go in there and produce. If we get this game plan down, we should have some chances to.

On Steelers S Troy Polamalu
"You just have to keep an eye on him. You've got to know where he's at. Sometimes he'll see something and try to go make a play. For me, I have to know where he's at so I can read the defenses. But for the guys that are protecting, you need to know where he is. Sometimes he'll come, and if the guy's not respecting his gap responsibility, that's when he makes plays. So you've got to constantly keep an eye on the guy. He's a great football player. It's hard watching film to not start kind of watching him run around because he makes so many plays. He's sometimes very unorthodox in running around, but the guy makes plays, bar none. So we want to limit how many plays he makes in the game. If we can do that and keep the other guys from making some, we should have some success. But he's a guy you've just got to know where he's at. He's very unconventional, too. (Maybe) he's supposed to be over here, but he's way on the other side of the field or he sees something. That's similar to playing Junior Seau back when Seau was with San Diego. The guy would just kind of go wherever he wanted and wherever he saw a weakness. With those kinds of guys, you just have to have guys constantly keeping an eye on them. If you can do that, hopefully you stop them from making plays."

On how T Erik Pears played in his first start last week
"He played really well. He was real strong on the run, did good in the pass. That's what I felt all along he would do. He's a guy that works hard. We didn't put him on any islands or make his job real hard, but he went out there and still got after it. I knew he would do that. He's a competitor. He's strong. Hopefully he'll just keep improving."

On how long it took him to get over the loss in last season's AFC Championship Game
"It's terrible to end a season like that, but once that's over you can't go back and do much. You've got to let it burn and inspire you and motivate you to go after the next offseason and hopefully have a good offseason and get a chance to go back there and get it done. But it's not the driving force behind the reason I'm playing football. Obviously, it was a disappointment, but we look to get past it and hopefully this year not have the same thing happen."

On whether playing well last Sunday allowed him to take some pressure off himself
"I don't think of that, really. We played well as an offense. I mentioned that defense isn't really geared to shut people down. It's geared to hold them down enough so that their offense scores more points. We didn't produce against some other teams earlier in the year, but we did against them. It was nice to move the ball, but we didn't win. Winning is what it's about. My record since I've been here, we've won a lot of games, but still the AFC Championship Game when we lost is what everyone focuses on. It doesn't matter what you do production-wise. The pressure's still on, even more so. We've got to go win, and that's it."

On whether the focus on the AFC Championship Game loss is unfair considering his record
"I think everybody watches a game to watch a win. That's what it's about. It's winning games. If you're losing, you're getting replaced. If you're not playing well, there are other people to come in. This game is about winning, and that's what it's always been whether you produce or not. I wasn't happy after the game. I wasn't like, ‘Good, I played well.' Hell, no. That's selfish. There's no ‘I' in team, and I've never been like that. I want to go play well this week and hopefully get a win."

On rookie RB Mike Bell's first career 100-yard game against Indianapolis
"Mike did great. He had a rough week of practice and didn't get a lot of reps, but when he got out there he ran really hard. That's what you get from him. He's got a great attitude, a great work ethic, and I like playing with him. He can run the ball well. Both he and Tatum (Bell) are running really well. Now he's definitely going to have his confidence, and that's just going to help us down the road."



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