What made it a difficult decision of whether to blitz or not?
Against a team like that, you don't want to blitz a lot. Sometimes you do and it's hard to determine which one. We tried to choose the right play for each situation but they came up with some plays.
Is it frustrating?
Yes, it's very frustrating. To be 2-5 right now and we're out there playing our hearts out and fighting on every play, it's tough to lose right now.
Did the defense run out of steam?
I don't think we ran out of steam. I think it just boils down to making plays and we didn't make plays today.
Was Arlen Harris surprising?
We knew he was a good back and we knew that if Marshall Faulk wasn't going to play he'd be in and we knew we had to stop him. We felt that was going to be the key to the game and he did have a good day.
Did playing pass defense enable them to run so successfully?
They ran a lot of draws and put us in a lot of situations where we didn't have the linebackers we wanted to have out there. They put us in dime and then ran the ball. We were short of linebackers and they did a good job with draws and counters.
Was the thinking to cover some and then rush other times?
We tried to mix it up. We tried to keep them honest. We tried to make them think about what they were doing. We just didn't come up with the plays today.
Is it difficult to cover when he gets that much time?
Yeah it's always hard. We have to get the pass rush going.
I thought you were going to intercept that pass.
So did I.
How did you miss?
I really don't know what happened. I missed the play, missed out on the opportunity and blew it. It went right through my hands.
What's the biggest problem defending their offense?
They're a good group. You can't say anything negative about them. They really put things together well. Bulger put the ball on the money. We had some opportunities to make some plays but didn't.
Is it their receivers that set it all up?
It's a combination of everything. The scheme is definitely something. There wasn't a lot of repeat of plays. It seemed like they threw a whole lot at us with a lot of different combinations. By the end a lot of it looked the same but they might not have run out of the same formation. They threw a lot at us and played a great game.
Is the solution to blitz more?
It seems like it. I can't tell from my perspective. A couple of times the quarterback got the ball out of his hands quick, and we had opportunities - I had opportunities - to make plays and it didn't happen.
Was the third-and-23 the key play?
I think so. We held them to a field goal, which was huge, but a situation like that just can't happen. It kind of tears down the whole defense when stuff like that happens.
Did you guys run out of gas?
I don't think so. At that point in time we just wanted to make plays and sometimes when you try to press too hard to make plays you lose a little bit of your technique.
Did you feel defensively you guys got done what you had to get done? (Yes, an actual question)
We gave up 33 points. As good as we felt like we were playing, giving up that many points makes it tough to win the ballgame.
Did you wear down?
No, I wouldn't say they wore us down. The effort was there. It wasn't the effort, it was the execution part. You can play balls out every play, give unbelievable effort, but if it's going the wrong way it doesn't make any sense. I don't even have no good answer for you right now.
Disorienting feeling for you?
Very, very, very disorienting.
How do you turn it around?
Go back to the drawing board and work hard every day, show up every day, surround yourself with guys who'll go out there and fight and put the best guys out there that will give you the best chance to win the game. Right now, 2-5, there's no room for error, absolutely no room for error period. We came into the game looking at this as a 10-game season and we started off 0-1. We've got nine games to go and guys have to come to work tomorrow and do everything extra they can do to try to make themselves better, including me.
Hines said he's shocked this team is 2-5. Are you?
Everybody's shocked right now. We're not playing the type of football we're capable of. We're playing real bad football right now. You have guys out there giving unbelievable effort but at the end of the day wins and losses is the bottom line. At the end of the day, you want to win. Being 2-5 is demoralizing to the whole team. We have to bounce back, work hard, find out who'll really be there next week for you, evaluate the game tomorrow and get a good workout in.
How did you feel being on the outside again in the dime?
It felt good. That's what I do, but no matter where they put me I feel I can help the team. Today I was more active in the pass rush but it doesn't really matter how I played because we lost.
What ever happened to Blitzburgh?
That's tough. I'm in a situation to where I just - they call the plays, I execute them. That's all I can do. I'm not a coach, I'm a player.
Does it lead to a deflating feeling on the team?
You just want to try and do so much. If we're not getting much pressure, there's a natural tendency as a player to say 'let's get some more pressure so we can help the DBs out.' I mean, you want to do that, but, you know, I've just got to play what's called. It doesn't matter what's called because all of our defenses are made to stop the offensive play.
What did Bulger do today?
Completed passes. That was the key. He made some good passes. I know he threw a good pass on me. I couldn't believe he threw that ball. I thought I timed it right. I mean, it was a perfect pass. The tight end went right over me and grabbed the ball. The kid did make some good passes out there. Can't take that away. They played good. I say we've just got to go back to the drawing board.
What about taking FG off the board?
Yeah, I mean, I thought you never take points off the board but he had a lot of confidence over there. I didn't think they'd do it but they took the points off and got more. Right now, I'm frustrated, frustrated at how we're playing because I know the guys in here. I've been with them five years and the character we have on this team, I know we can get it done and when you're not getting it done it's tough because you don't want to point fingers at one certain guy but at the same time it's like 'What do we do now?'
Does it take one play or game to turn it around?
It could be one play that gets everybody fired up. It could be one game. I was looking forward to this being the one game to get everything turned around. We had opportunities. We definitely had opportunities and couldn't get it done, so once again we're in here answering questions about why we didn't win. Personally, I'm getting tired of answering questions about why we didn't win. Two and five is not somewhere I want to be right now because I plan on playing football in January.
How did it feel to play rush end again?
For me to do that is natural. It's nothing for me to go over there and line up and do that. I know how to do that. It feels good to rush the quarterback a little bit. That doesn't matter right now. We lost the game. Until we win games, it doesn't even matter.
What was the most frustrating aspect?
We didn't get enough pressure on him that I would feel comfortable with. When I got here, we were Blitzburgh. The beauty of the 3-4 is getting after them as many times as you can. Come after them every play. Live by the blitz; die by the blitz. If you give up the play, you can blame it on the blitz. It's tough to blame anything when you don't have any pressure because now you're like 'We didn't even give ourself a chance. There's no pressure back there.'
Was it a dual-edged sword?
If we pressure, they tried to run the ball and if we don't pressure, we're leaving the quarterback with a lot of time to throw the ball. That's basically how it was
Did you blitz enough?
They max protect a lot. And they made some plays on two-man routes that were unbelievable. Torry Holt made some plays with two people releasing and you think 'No way he should come down with that ball.' He did that a couple times. That's tough to swallow on third-and-13. That hurts the whole morale of the defense. Then you try to overcome that, and you get a couple goal-line stands early and it kind of wears on you as the game goes along.
Defensive Quotes: Post Game
Steel City Insider Top Stories
Steelers-Patriots, A to ZA history lesson, tape review, prediction, complete breakdown and much more in this Steelers-Patriots Conference Championship Game preview.
Steel City Insider12:00 PM
Steelers Right Blend of Experience, SkillThe Pittsburgh Steelers are handling the biggest week of most of their careers with a precision that's difficult and hard to master.
Steel City Insider12:53 AM
Notebook: Run Vs. Pats, Illnesses, Eli's MathThe AFC Championship Game is drawing near and the Steelers continue to keep the energy high.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 3:14 AM
Steelers Showing Immeasurable GrowthThe Steelers have made monumental strides since they last met the New England Patriots.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 2:43 AM