Steelers-Eagles: Post Game Quotes

<b>BILL COWHER</b><br> When you look at the first half, they went down and scored and we went down and kicked field goals. <br><br> <b>Rain?</b><br> It didn't bother us at all. That's the way we've been operating, kind of on standby and ready to go with whatever the decision is. I think once the rain came, and we went off the field and came back out, it was kind of hard to get going for both teams.

Setback?
I don't think so. I like the way we came out. I thought there was some energy out there against a good team. Tommy missed Plax on the one third down. We missed a third down and we put together a very good drive. I think we did a good job. Both teams went 3-and-out the first two times and then we both started moving, but we were kicking field goals and they were scoring touchdowns.

Get fined for commenting on officiating in preseason?
No. I'm not going to comment on it. You guys saw the replays. I guess everyone can be a referee. Is everyone seeing the same thing? I don't know. I know what I think I saw.

He said ‘by rule'. Was that news to you?
I'm not even going there. You know how I feel about it. I don't know how long that first half was. It was forever. There were more flags out there. I don't know if me and Andy are coaching that poorly in training camp. Maybe we have to reassess how we're coaching things. I don't know.

Injuries?
Fu has a hamstring. He may be out a couple weeks. Jerame Tuman has a groin pull. He could be a couple weeks. We've got to look at Jason Gildon. His knee has some fluid on it. He's not sure how he did it. It's tight. So that may be more precautionary. We'll see how he is on a short week. I think everybody else got through it pretty well.

How did Fu get hurt?
Opening kickoff. He pulled his hamstring on the opening kickoff. That's the last time I make him captain.

How did Brian St. Pierre play?
He's learning. At the time of the games he's been in, it hasn't been conducive. He's been behind. He's had to play catch-up with people teeing off. So that's kind of been the hand he's been dealt the last couple weeks.

Are you feeling better than you did after the first preseason game?
Yeah. I do. It's a very good football team we played against. I liked how we came out. I didn't like the sluggish start. On the one drive McNabb did a good job of taking what we gave them. I don't think they had a play of longer than eight or nine yards. The third-and-ones, we've got to get them into third-and-longs. They were third-and-ones when he was quarterback sneaking. I thought the third down at the goal line…I challenged the play. I thought he was down. He wasn't and they scored. It was a good drive by them. I hand it to them. We didn't give up a big play, made them methodically do it and we couldn't come up with a play along the way. I mean, somewhere you've got to make a play. We had a chance on a holding call but got a facemask on the same call, which negated that. Somewhere along the way you've got to make a play. But the big thing is we didn't give up any big plays. We've got to find a way to get some turnovers.

Why did you play Townsend instead of Washington?
I wanted to get Deshea in there with the first group. We wanted to give Deshea a chance to work with other team's ones. I wasn't sure how long Andy was going to keep those receivers in there.

How was the field?
I think the field's going to be great. We went out there before and you can't even tell. It looks just like grass. You have to look hard. I couldn't even find the fibers that are in there. I think the field's great. Hopefully it will be that way all year.

How about that Verron Haynes?
I thought he ran really well. He does a lot of good things for you. He's a tough guy, a good special teams player, he can run with the football, he can play fullback. I think you're seeing as a runner he's pretty shifty and he has a good feel for it.

Did you see the lightning bolt?
Yes I did. I reacted like the rest of the players. I was the closest guy to the tunnel. The first thing I did was get my headset off. And then I went into the tunnel like everybody else. Hey, you were at St. Vincent that day. It doesn't take long. I saw it though. I did see it and I had the same reaction everybody on that field had. I mean, we were getting out of there. Then I realized it wasn't like practice. We had to hang around. They did the right thing. They wanted to make sure it was cleared out and I'm glad we got the game in.

First time ever in this situation?
Yes. It is. I've seen it on TV. You've seen the Hall of Fame game, I think, two of the last four or five years it's been canceled because of it. But it was the first time I've been involved with one. And I did see it. It was right over the scoreboard. It was very vivid.

What about Poteat's return?
It was a great run by Hank. They called the block. And then again it was a block that if you call it it's a foul. But you go through a year, a lot of times those blocks sometimes are called and sometimes they're not. And I will not fault a guy with that type of effort on a block like that. It was a great effort by Alonzo. He tried to get his head in front and sometimes they call that and sometimes they don't. It was still a great run by Hank.

Tommy Maddox
On pass to Randle El:
I've never seen anything like that. I thought he got in, then saw the replay and thought he got three feet in. So I thought that was a no-brainer. I was out there standing with one of the officials and he was sitting there saying it was a no-brainer so that was unfortunate. We moved the ball down there nicely. We had a chance, kind of stuck it in the end zone there finally, and didn't get a chance but came back on the next drive.

On O-line:
Every week that they play together, they're going to play better and better. They did a really good job controlling the line of scrimmage. We moved the ball. We just had the three-and-outs early in the game.

On scrambling:
Obviously you've got to move in the pocket a little bit. Whatever it takes to get a third-down conversion, that's important. It's fun to get out there and run every once in awhile.

On hot passing in practice but not-so-hot passing in games:
That's just the way games go sometimes. Sometimes you come out and everything clicks right off the bat and sometimes they don't. That's why, to use the cliché, that's why you play four quarters. And in the preseason you don't get a chance to do that. So there are going to be games like that. You've got to limit those games. You know, we had a couple plays early that we missed by just a little. If we get those it's a different story.

Has all the rain set you guys back?
Definitely and I think we've had to work very hard at the end of this week to kind of catch up and I think everybody's done that. We've just got to continue to go up as this preseason winds down and get ready for that opener.

What was storm like tonight?
It was unbelievable. I've never been involved in anything like that. It was kind of a weird feeling, but you've got to deal with what comes.

Jerome Bettis
How important is getting O-line time together?
It's important for continuity on the offense. It's important for those guys to get comfortable in there so that we can figure out what we want to do as running backs and also so Tommy can get comfortable back there with the guys in front of him.

Will you play more in next two games?
That's the coach's decision. I wish I made those decisions.

How far behind is the offense because of the rain?
That's hard to say. I'm not a coach and I don't really gauge where we are, but I know we're not where we need to be. There's the rain, but there's also the injuries. There are a lot of different things that cause that. The offense is always going to be a little bit behind the defense by nature. We know we're not there yet. We've got to keep going.

Was the delay tonight a microcosm of camp?
Yeah. Everything's been kind of quirky. We haven't really gotten a lot of good work in so it's been kind of unfortunate. That's the first time I ever had a postponement in a game, ever. I didn't see the lightening. It was behind me unfortunately. Hey, if you're going to stop the game you've got to stop it and err on the side of caution, and I think they did that.

Verron Haynes
How did you feel out there?

It felt great. Every time you get the opportunity to showcase your abilities you've got to seize the moment and I really think I did that.

Did you catch a lot of passes in college?
Yeah. I caught a bunch of passes. I consider myself a true running back, which is a back that can run, catch, and pick up the blitz. And that's what I showcased today.

Feel like an NFL player for the first time tonight?
Yeah. I really felt good. They gave me an opportunity to show what I could do and I showed them a little bit.

Was tonight a little different and do you feel different as a result?
I don't think it was any different. I think I got the opportunity tonight. I've always prepared myself for the opportunity but the opportunity presented itself tonight and I took advantage of it. I got an opportunity to get into a rhythm.

What about doing it with the second O-line?
The key is we made progression from last week to this. That's what you want to see out of those guys and I think they did an exceptional job picking up the blitz and giving the quarterbacks time to throw.

Kendall Simmons
On line:
I think we made a big improvement and that was the goal all week, so I think we done that. We've still got a long way to go but we made improvement.

Will keeping weight up be a problem?
No. My weight ain't the problem. I'm 305 now and I'm staying there. Weight ain't a problem. Just getting my strength back and just getting a feel for being in there, that's all it is.

What's in store this week?
Just get in there and get more reps. That's it. It's going to be a task for me but my body will get used to it. I just need more reps.

How did you feel tonight?
Good.

Charlie Batch
Hear any chants for you yet?
I have no idea.

Do you realize back-up is the most favored player in town?
I've been in both situations. I've been the starter and now I'm the back-up. And I was a back-up for two games before I started to play my rookie year. I know how it can be. As long as the offense is going good, there's no problem, as long as you're winning games. So I think that's how you have to look at it. I don't look at it any other way. If my opportunity presents itself, I have to do that. And I think right now the only way that's going to happen is injury. I hate to wish injury on anybody, but there's a chance he can go a whole 16 games and play every play. But there's also a possibility of him not being able to do that. If that's the case, I have to be ready to go, to step in and run the offense just like he was.

Were you feeling comfortable?
Yeah. You break the huddle and your head's not spinning because now you understand exactly what's going on. A year ago, I was just hoping the rest of the guys knew where to line up because we were all in the same boat. We were all new. And now it's one of those deals where I'm in there now with guys I'm feeling comfortable with. They were in minicamps and I was in the minicamps as well. I didn't have that last year. Now, I'm able to walk to the line feeling comfortable because I know where guys are going to be, know where the checkdowns are. If it's not open down the field, I'm able to take what the defense gives you and make things happen.

Troy Polamalu
How did you play?
Not good enough to win.

Do you feel better than the first game?
Not really. My goal is to go out there and win and as a backup unit we didn't really play well enough in the second half.

On being close to making big plays:
It seems like it's always like that for me.

Why do you say that?
I don't know. I want to be great. I'm trying to work to be great. You've got to make those plays to be great that I don't make.

Didn't you make them in college?
It's a little different story now, though.

Is it a confidence thing? Comfortability?
It's an accumulation of a lot of things.


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