Steelers quotes from Cincinnati

<b>BILL COWHER</b><p> <b>BC: </b> Let me say that is a football team that fought to the very end. I'm very impressed with them. I know that Corey was not himself and did not play the entire second half. But that team fought very hard. It was a very hard-fought game and it was good to see us kind of re-establish some of our tradition and establish the run.

To be able to get the ball back with five minutes to go and them never seeing it again, it was like the days of old. That was a good game for us. There were a lot of positives that came out of it. We came out of it pretty healthy and we've got a big challenge this week.

Q: When you went to Jerome, what made you decide to do that then?
BC: Amos actually came out and Jerome went in. We kind of said coming in that we've got to quit just pulling guys and start letting guys run. You just never know how a game is going to unfold. And then talking to Jerome in the second quarter, I just told him to stay ready because we were going to need him. I didn't forsee the second half to be what it was, but when he came in, he gave us a little lift. He was able to run the ball and then Amos came in and hit a couple of runs. You'd like to say that every game is scripted that way, but it's not going to be that way. Those guys have to stay ready. You're not sure how it's going to unfold. We're going to need both of those guys down the stretch. And it will be good to get Verron back next week and be able to have him as well. Jerome certainly gave us a lift and I thought Amos did a good job. I thought we played a very solid game.

Q: How about the fake field goal?
BC: It was there. I thought about it on the first one. If I would have known he was going to miss, I would have called it. It was just something we saw. Kevin (Spencer) came in early in the week. To be honest, I've called it a lot this year, but we never got the look. I've called a lot of them off. It seems like every time we talk about one in a meeting, they give us something different that they haven't shown. They gave us what they had shown and we executed it. I'm glad we did it because somebody was going to do it.

Q: Can you talk about the Hines Ward touchdown?
BC: Danny Kreider did a great job going in to help him block. He was trying to get a defender off and inadvertently hit Hines and knocked him into the end zone. That's a hustle play. It was a great effort by Hines and Danny.

Q: What's the rule on that?
BC: He was just going in to hit a defender and happened to hit his own guy in the back. You can't aid any runner to move him forward, but you can knock a defender off of him.

Q: Different combinations on third down?
BC: We just had different packages. The nickel package has different players in. I though Kendrell kind of came into his own a little bit. A lot of things just came very natural for him. He works very hard and he's his own worst critic. I saw some articles saying he hasn't been playing very well, but I thought he's been playing pretty good. I know he sets his bar pretty high, which is fine. It was nice to see him reap some of the fruits of his hard work. I thought the defense as a whole, outside of that last drive - I wish we would have held them in the red zone - I thought we played a pretty solid defensive game.

Q: Joey Porter hold up well?
BC: Yeah, he wouldn't come off the field and the one time he did come off the field, we didn't have enough guys so we had to call a timeout. I wish he would make up his mind.

Q: Leave him at rush end and Farrior in the middle?
BC: James Farrior is a guy who is a really smart player. We left him in the middle and moved Joey back up to rush end, tried to get Clark in there a little bit, but Joey didn't want to come off the field. He was in there with Kendrell. It was good; it kept those guys fresh. I don't know how it's going to unfold, but it's good to have options.

Q: Why did you stick with Jerome?
BC: You could see it from that first run. He was moving the pile. You'd like to be able to do that. Amos came out because he was tired, but once Jerome made that first run, I just told Amos to wait. I don't want to see guys going in and out. Let a guy get going.

Q: Did you think of the free kick at all (at the end of the first half)?
BC: Yeah, but it was too far. That is an option. I used to work on it, but I've never seen it.

JEROME BETTIS

Q: You usually don't get this much attention for 59 yards, do you?
JB: No, not usually. But you do what you've got to do.

Q: You back to the old style of offense today?
JB: In the second half, we got a chance to control the football and really pound them.

Q: Were you getting nervous in the first half when you didn't play?
JB: You get frustrated. As a running back, you want the opportunity to make a difference in the game. It's tough. When you have two running backs who want the football, it's going to be difficult. There are going to be times when I get it more. There are going to be times when he gets it more. There are times when I'm going to be frustrated. There are times when he's going to be frustrated. But at the end of the day, it's about this team and it's about winning football games.

JOEY PORTER

Q: Can you talk about the emotions of being back out on the field?
JP: It was like it was Christmas for me. Not being able to go out there and play football for a couple of weeks, to finally go out there and play again, I'm just so happy.

Q: What about the sack?
JP: I'm just glad that it happened. It seemed like a long time coming, when you don't get to play for a couple of weeks and you get to go out and make a big play and get back to doing the things you're used to doing, it feels really good.

ALAN FANECA

Q: How did that feel?
AF: Just running it down their throats even though they know what we're doing, and we're doing it anyway, is awesome.

Dale Lolley
SteelCitySports.com
Dale Lolley also covers the Steelers for the Washington Observer-Reporter


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