Pittsburgh Steelers Post Game Quotes

<b>Bill Cowher: </b> I don't have a whole lot to say. I think it was pretty evident that we gave up about 16 points on offense and you can't do that. We did it, and consequently, we lost the game.<br><br> <b> Q: </b> Your team keeps on moving the ball down the field, but when you get inside the 20, you haven't been able to punch it in.

BC: Yeah, that's the truth. We're going down there and we possess the clock and come away with three points. We've got to rectify that, there's no question. Again, you look at the game and we're up 10-0 and the next thing you know, they hit a safety and they're up 10-2. They hit a couple of big passes, but they really didn't do a whole lot on offense other than that. He was very efficient, McNair. We come back and we're up by four, and call timeout to try to get the ball back hoping to go in with at least a four-point lead, instead, we're going in down three. We came out in the second half and the missed field goal took a lot out of us. It just seemed like there was a big play that went against us at bad times in the game. We're still only down 10 and (Maddox) threw the interception. Again, it was almost to a degree like Houston last year. I felt like we could stop them and we were moving the ball, we just kept on turning it over.

Q: The big plays he made passing the ball, were they just him making big plays, or were they breakdowns in the secondary?
BC: I don't think it was a breakdown. One was a jump ball. They came down with it. The other one, Chad (Scott) was in there and the guy came across his face. They executed the play, give them credit.

Q: The end of the first half, you call a timeout hoping to get some points and they come away with them instead. That was a big play?
BC: It was a huge play. Like I said, we're up four, and you're thinking that's the worst scenario. Next thing you know, you're going back into the locker room down three. Again, that second half, the first series was so big in all three phases. We come out, cover the kickoff good, stop them on defense and Plax makes a big catch. Then we get down in there and first and 10 and the red zone and we don't even come out with three. Then they convert a couple of third downs and we get a foolish penalty by Troy, giving them 15 more yards. Then they scored that touchdown and went up 10. But there was a lot of football left and we stopped them and got the ball at the 42 yard line. But that interception he threw to the linebacker kind of sealed the fate.

Q: Was the red zone offense a little conservative in the first half?
BC: I don't know. If you're not efficient, you can call it whatever you want. We'll sit back and assess what we're doing. Obviously, we have to become more efficient there.

Q: What's up with Marvel Smith's shoulder?
BC: He dinged it up in practice Thursday. We were hoping it would be better by today, but it wasn't. We've done all the tests and it's really nothing more than an inflammation of a nerve in the back of his shoulder. He was touch and go for today, but we decided to hold him for this week.

Q: That's two more interceptions by Maddox. Is he being too aggressive?
BC: Interceptions being returned for touchdowns are a problem no matter how you look at them. The second one, he was trying to throw it away and he got spun around. Obviously, it was an ill-advised play. The first one, was between him and Plax. Any interception is not good, none of them were deflected passes. I still have a lot of confidence in Tommy Maddox, that won't waver.

Q: Is it disappointing to lose this game the way you did, at home, blowing a 10-point lead?
BC: Losses are all the same.

Q: Aren't there degrees, though?
BC: I guess there are.

Q: This would be?
BC: I don't put them into degrees. A loss is a loss.

Q: Did you learn anything about your team in the first month that you didn't know, or was anything confirmed?
BC: I told the team, there are a lot of positives with this team. A lot will be defined by how we respond to a game like this. The first month is kind of an identity-finding process. I would find a lot more plusses than minuses. Certainly there are some things we have to correct, have to get rectified. But I like this football team. I know we're sitting here 2-2 and we've got an uphill climb, but the answers to our problems are in our locker room. It's about us going out and executing and doing a better job doing the little things and the things that keep coming up and biting us. We're giving up too many returns for touchdowns. The turnover thing is big. Penalties. Those are the type of things that we've got to be smarter. When we play smart football and are efficient on third down, we're a tough team to beat. For the most part, we've done a good job in these first three games defensively, with third down, trying to eliminate the big play. The red zone is something that we've got to do a better job with, but I don't want to preach to the point that when we're down there, we're just waiting for something to happen. We'll be aggressive. We've got to sit back and look at it. We're moving the ball, we're getting down there, but we have to finish. We cannot keep shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties.

Q: Injuries?
BC: Hines got dinged a little on that hit. We'll see how he is, I don't think it was anything serious. Plax got a hip pointer. I don't think it's serious, but we'll see how he is. Jerame Tuman also had a concussion but did not return.

Q: Both of your losses have been similar types of games.
BC: Look at both games, it's been a series of returns. We had the kickoff return and punt return in Kansas City. We had an interception return as well and an interception return here. However you want to label that, we cannot continue to do it. We can't allow big plays in any phase.

Jim Wexell
SteelCitySports.Com

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