Transcript: Bill Cowher

<b>BILL COWHER</b> <br><br> Let me just say we concluded the off-season program today with just a meeting. I was very pleased with obviously the participation we had and the way they went about it. I think it was very productive from the standpoint of our coaches getting a feel for the players that we have.

We've got a lot of new coaches and certainly the newer players getting acclimated to the system. The next phase will be the training camp and that will allow them to make the next step with the pads on and hopefully at that point we'll have a greater understanding of the players that we have.

Did you find out anything about some guys that you didn't already know?
I wasn't quick to pass judgment yet. I think you have some impressions, but until you put the pads on and are able to see them under fire and playing a complete game, that will tend to separate some people. It was again an opportunity for them to gain an understanding and to try to become more comfortable in this system and be able to seize the opportunities they'll be given in camp.

How was Roethlisberger's spring camp?
You know what? I thought that just in getting in and out of the huddle he got better as the four weeks went on. Certainly he flashed a lot of the skills you're looking for: his athleticism, his touch, his strong arm, to make all the throws. It's just getting comfortable. And he was playing against our defense and in these last four weeks he saw a lot of different fronts, a lot of different blitzes, a lot of people going in a lot of different directions. You couple that with being new in the system, there were some inconsistencies but that's to be expected. But I thought again he showed a lot of signs of what we thought we were getting when we drafted him.

Is your roster intact?
I think so. We'll look at what's available and we'll continue to see if we can upgrade at any position. This is probably pretty much the roster we'll have going into camp.

Is Jeff Reed healthy?
Yeah. Jeff will be ready to kick in camp. Yep. He's actually been kicking off, so he's fine.

Do you have any more updates on Plax?

Have you talked to him?

Do you have a plan for how you're going to handle that situation at camp?
Yeah, we're going to take the group that comes to camp and get ourselves ready. These aren't like the days of old when you had three or four weeks to get ready. You've got to hit the ground running. We've only got 15 days. What these guys do between now and when they report is going to be important. Part of this process in developing a team is picking your 53-man roster and once you're able to do that, where special teams becomes a part of that, and training camp and the battles that will take place becomes a part of it, then you have to be ready to understand your role and recognize that that role can change. We need to have productive, consistent players. There's going to be some competition and we'll set some roles going into the season, but like I said they can changed just based on where players are and how they're playing. And then we have to deal with the adversities and challenges that are inevitably going to be there. So those are things we talked about this morning in developing this football team for this year.

Did Plax jeopardize his starting job?
I think, again, we're going to go into camp and we'll go from there.

Are there any health issues going into camp?
Clint Kriewaldt had a pin put in his thumb. He fractured his thumb the other day in practice. It's like a four-week injury so he should be fine.

Are you worried about any of the contract issues with Hines?
Nah. I think in this business you have to deal with things subjectively. I will try to do so with each individual. We've had conversations, him and I, and we'll continue to do so, none of which I would ever share in a public forum. Again, I'm very respectful and understand what this system's all about and understand what players are all about. Again, we'll try to deal with things on a subjective basis, still recognizing that the bottom line is when you have team success, individual goals will be met, but it still starts with team and I will constantly preach that.

Are you confident he'll be here on day one?
We'll wait and see. I have no control over that.

Steel City Insider Top Stories