Steelers QB Maddox & RB Bettis Interviews

<b>TOMMY MADDOX</b><br><br> <b>Q: </b>The way to beat cover 2 is to run the ball. Can't you do the same thing by throwing short passes? <br><br><b>TM:</b> If you look at what we did, we did a lot of that. This game we were able to do it because we weren't down 14 or whatever.

The hard thing about playing against cover 2 is when you get down and you're trying to catch up, but as long as you're in the game that's the secret. I mean, you look at our last drive, they went single high a couple times and we were able to hit big plays, but other than that they were in cover 2 and we were taking the underneath guys and moving the ball down the field.

Q: In the red zone, are teams putting up sort of a picket fence at the goal line?

TM: Yeah, a little bit. We're seeing a lot of seam, a lot of cover 2 down there. They're trying to get outside of Hines and Plax and take the fade away and kind of just keep everything else underneath. It's frustrating. We still had some opportunities to get in the end zone. We didn't take advantage of it.

Q: Is this a good time for a bye week?

TM: Yeah I think it is. It gives us a chance to look at the last six weeks and evaluate it and see where we are and kind of group together a little bit and come back out knowing we have 10 more weeks to take care of business.

Q: Will you watch football or get away from it?

TM: Oh, I'm going to get away from it. I think it's good. It's an opportunity to do that. I think Monday everybody needs to come back in here with renewed spirit and ready to go.

Q: Think you may have a golf club in your hands this weekend?

TM: Oh yeah. Couple times.


Q: So, what solutions do you have here, Jerome?

JB: Just hard work. Hard work. We've got to go back to the drawing board and just work on the little things. We made some steps but we've got to keep going. I think it starts with our practice. We've got to go out there and practice a lot better.

Q: Has he told you about any changes at practice today?

JB: I haven't heard anything.

Q: Would the team be inspired if you received more playing time?

JB: I don't know. That's hard to say. Anybody stepping up and making a play is going to be motivation for us right now. That's what we're not having enough of, guys stepping up and making plays. We're not doing the little things to put yourself in position to making big plays. We've got to get back to that.

Q: How did the guys react to your two late scoring runs?

JB: I think they were inspired. The sideline went crazy and erupted. Everybody felt something they hadn't felt in a couple weeks, that confidence that 'hey, we're going to win this football game.' So that was big. Hopefully we can build off that.

Q: Do you feel better about your situation because of that?

JB: Oh, yeah. It makes you feel better because you contributed and you gave your team a chance to win. That's the only thing you ask for is to help your team win.

Q: Are people trying to do too much?

JB: To an extent. Whenever you go into a situation like this, where you're not living up to the expectation in terms of the team, you may be a little bit too quick to push the panic button. You think you have to make all the plays. In trying to do that, you do too much, so yeah I think that's definitely the case with the whole team.

Q: Is it difficult to do your job when the offensive line is switching as it is?

JB: Yeah, I think everybody's job is going to be that much more difficult. But I think it is easier to run the football as opposed to throwing the football in a situation like that. So we need to definitely pound the football and get those guys' feet up underneath them and get them comfortable doing what they do, and then expand from there.

Q: Is that the No. 1 solution? Getting the running game going?

JB: I'm biased, so of course I say run the ball every play. Let's run the ball every play. But is that the solution? It's hard to say. I mean, the solution is for every player to step up and be accountable. I think that's the solution because it's not just the running game, it's not just the offensive line, it's not just the passing game, it's not just the defense. It's collectively everybody, special teams included. We all have to step up and play a lot better.

Q: Do you take it one game at a time?

JB: No, I think you even have to go smaller. You have to say one play at a time as opposed to one game at a time. We were guilty of looking at the big picture earlier in the year, but you've got to look at it one game at a time. More important than that, you've got to look at one play at a time. You've got to make sure all 11 guys are doing the right thing on that one particular play because that play can be the difference in the football game. That's what we're missing. We've got to make sure we concentrate on each play, one play at a time.

Q: Do you think you deserve to start next game?

JB: That's neither here nor there. I don't get into what I think I deserve. I mean, what it is is what it is. What you deserve is never what you get. I deserve to never have to work again as hard as I work. That's not going to be the case. It is what it is, and the situation I'm in is the situation I'm in. However the cards are dealt that's how I'll play em.

Q: Have you changed the way you interact with people in the locker room?

JB: It's harder to be as aggressive with guys in terms of maybe getting in guys' faces and trying to let them see the importance when you're not out there and they can't see the effort you're putting forward. It's really easy when they see the effort you're exerting and you're going out there and putting it on the line. And then when you come to a guy and say 'hey you need to step it up.' That's an easy thing to do. But when a guy doesn't see the effort you're putting in it's hard for you to say something like that. What's the basis for that?

Q: Is leadership overrated?

JB: No, I think leadership is definitely not overrated. If you don't have the positive leadership in difficult times, that's when it becomes more apparent. When everything's going good everyone's a leader. When things are going bad, when somebody needs to step up and say 'hey I'm going to be the guy to get us going. I'll be the catalyst.' That's difficult sometimes.

Q: Can the shuffling of run-down and pass-down guys on the line work?

JB: You don't have a choice. That's what you're dealt with. You've got to go with what gives you the best chance. Now, whether or not it makes sense or it tells the defense what's going on, so be it. At least you want to get the play off, give yourself a chance. If that gives you a chance you've got to go with it.

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