Cowher post-game transcript

<b>Bill Cowher: </B><br><b> BC: </b> Not a whole lot to say. Certainly we played really hard. We battled back. There are points in the game when you have to make a stand or make a play. We have not been able to do it to get us over the hump and we continue to fall short as we did today.

Q: Did the taunting penalty on Hines Ward factor into their last touchdown drive?

BC: We got out of it OK. They got a holding call on the kickoff return. Certainly it may have cost us a little field position but not as much as it could've been.

Q: Would you have attempted an onsides kick if they hadn't called timeout?

BC: If they weren't going to make the adjustment then we would've done the onsides, so we wanted to see what they did and when they brought the guys up we kicked it deep.

Q: Did you consider going for a touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the three instead of kicking the field goal?

BC: No. We needed two scores.

Q: Bill, the offense did nothing for a long time and all of the sudden got it going. Any reason?

BC: No. I mean, we made some plays down the field. We had some penalties that hurt us today on third down, and the few third-and-shorts we had in the first half we didn't convert. But a lot of them were third-down-and-long and again the penalties were very much an issue.

Q: You didn't seem to throw down the field early. Was that because of the nature of the game? Were you playing it close to the vest?

BC: Yeah. It's hard to say. Like I said, we had our opportunities with field position and we just couldn't capitalize early. We got moving late. I thought the line did a pretty good job for the most part and, again, we couldn't come up and make a play when we had to.

Q: Why did they call your wide receivers for false starts?

BC: It was an illegal formation on one of them. Sometimes they called us for flinching.

Q: Bill, Dewayne Washington was on the sideline and Deshea Townsend was in. Why was that?

BC: I just thought it needed to be done at the time.

Q: You rolled out Tommy Maddox a little more today. What was the thinking behind that?

BC: Just part of the play selection. We ran a few nakeds, nothing different than what we've been doing.

Q: Bill, you always talk about the beginning of the second half being important and it kind of backfired. They blocked a punt.

BC: Yeah. That was not a good play.

Q: Was Troy Polamalu distracted on that play?

BC: It was not Troy's play on the punt. It was not his man.

Q: Bill, you've never had a team this far out of the race at this point in the season. Will you handle things any differently now than you have in the past when the team's been in contention?

BC: I don't know if it is different. We're trying to handle the aspects of a team that's very disappointed. We're struggling to win a football game right now, so that's the element we have to deal with. These guys have been working their tail off. The veterans have been excellent. The effort's been good. Right now we're just not putting together a complete game. You look at it and when the offense starts to go then we're not getting defensive stops. The beginning of the game, we were getting defensive stops, we were getting field position, and we sputtered on offense. It just seems like right now we're not putting together a game where we're in sync and we're complementing one another. That's what seems to be missing right now. We did not beat ourselves. We didn't turn it over. We didn't take it away either. We had a punt blocked. That cost us three points. Again, the big play, certainly after we got it within three, was the big pass play to (Darrell) Jackson. They scored on the next play. We came back and did a nice job responding to that. Now again, we've got to have defensive stops at points in the game or we've got to take advantage of field position early in the game. Right now we're not in sync as a football team. Until we do that we're going to continue to struggle on Sundays.

Q: Did you have the play to Jackson defensed right?

BC: Well, I mean, man-to-man coverage with Dewayne, you've got to make that tackle.

Q: Brent Alexander was hurt late in the game. Any idea how is he?

BC: No.

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