Von Oelhoffen, Ward, and Burress talk about 2003

<b>Kimo von Oelhoffen</b><br> <b>Q: How do you feel about this season?</b> <br><br> <b> KVO:</b> We did some good things, really. It really was four or five plays all season that made the difference. We've got to make those plays. That's the line in the NFL right now. We weren't good enough. We've got to get better.

Q: Is it a matter of making a few tweaks or does this team need a major overhaul?

KVO: That's up to the management. Individually, each guy has to take it upon himself to get better. Each and every player has to get better. There's a lot of different ways to go, but I think we have the people who will figure out how to do it. That's all there is right now.

Q: You're the first defensive lineman to lead the league in sacks since 1990.

KVO: Yeah. I was lucky. I'll tell you what, the other guys on the line played just as good. I hope they keep coming, but I'll probably have a better year next year and have no sacks.

Hines Ward
Q: The lack of a running game has really hurt you guys, huh?

HW: If teams are going to go out and play cover-2 all the time against us, we've got to be able to run the ball. We didn't have that. When defenses play cover-2, the only way we can get them out of that is to have a good day in the running game. I was here the first couple of years when teams were afraid to play cover-2 because we ran the ball so well. We just didn't do that this year.

Q: Is it tough to go into the offseason with a loss like the one you had?

HW: It's very disappointing. We had high expectations. Usually, when a bad season comes like this, there's going to be a lot of changes. I was here my first couple of seasons and I know there are going to be a lot of changes. I really can't worry about other people. I have to go out and work hard and make sure I'm here next season. It's frustrating. This has been a frustrating year because we were never able to get anything going. I don't know what to say about the offseason other than there are going to be a lot of changes around here.

Q: Can you figure out where it went wrong?

HW: It's a mystery. I know we have a good team. We went to the playoffs and the championship game and we basically have all the same players back. We just couldn't get it together. For us to play well, we needed to play more consistently. The fact that we couldn't put two wins together this season shows we didn't do that.

Q: Is there going to be a difference going into the offseason as the hunter instead of the hunted?

HW: Yeah. Baltimore won our division. Now they hold the title. We have to work hard this offseason to get our title back.

Plaxico Burress
Q: This offense was so explosive last season. What was the difference this season?

PB: We just didn't make the right plays at the right time. We have to make the right plays at the right time on special teams, offense and defense. Somebody has to make a play. That was the biggest thing that hurt us. One play can win a football game.

Q: Is this team that far away. I know it was 6-10, but is it that far away?

PB: It's like I said on the first day of training camp. I've never been on a team with this much talent and potential on each side of the football. But it really doesn't make a difference how much talent you have if you can't go out and play together and find a way to win. The bottom line is that what looks good on paper doesn't mean squat. Until you go out, play together and execute, you're not going to win football games.

Q: It did look good on paper, but that didn't translate onto the football field. Why?

PB: Play cover-2. If you play cover-2, you had a good chance to beat the Steelers.

Q: You couldn't figure out how to counter that, or have you already figured it out?

PB: You've just got to run the football. It's plain and simple. If they are going to come out and run double coverage from the first play until the last play, it kind of says a lot about us. You go out and beat one guy and there's another guy standing there. It's frustrating. It's embarrassing that somebody could come out and do that to you.

Q: You play to get respect, but now, maybe you and Hines are getting too much respect. Is that the case?

PB: Yeah. It's kind of like you create your own monster. There's nothing you can do about it. Suck it up. They tell you not to get frustrated, but how can you not? For me, I feel like I brought this on myself. I'm over there getting double and triple covered and nobody can find a way to get me open or get my hands on the football. If you're going out and drawing two or three people every play, I think you're pretty much doing your job.

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