Bill Cowher Press Conference Transcript

<b>Bill Cowher</b><br>Casey (Hampton) is coming back into town tonight. He's got an ACL(injury). We're going to check out the MCL. He's going to have surgery.

It may be next week, it may be in two weeks. We placed him on IR and signed Kendrick Clancy. Chris Hoke will take that starting position and go from there. As far as Chad (Scott), he's got a slight tear of the quadriceps tendon, which is good news. The knee is fine. He won't require any surgery. We'll know more in 10 days, but anywhere from four to six weeks is what it could be, possibly sooner. We'll know more in 10 days. At this time, Willie Williams will start and we'll continue to work Ike (Taylor), Ricardo (Colclough) and Chidi (Iwuoma) in the sub packages we have. I feel good about that. That's why Willie is here. In the meantime, we have placed Mike Logan on IR. Mike had a really significant hamstring. The feeling was that by the time he comes back, he still wouldn't be 100 percent. At the same time we had an opportunity to sign Tyrone Carter, who's got some experience at safety. We wanted to sign him quickly because with the bye week we can get him up to speed with our defense. So we signed Tyrone Carter to take Mike's position and then we added Vontez Duff to our practice squad.

It's been two weeks since Kendrell (Bell) surgery. What's his prognosis?
Kendrell has been running pretty much pain-free. He'll start practicing next week and we'll go from there.

How comfortable are you with Chris Hoke?
No one's going to replace Casey Hampton. You're not just going to step in and think he won't be missed. He'll be missed. Chris Hoke is a very solid player. We signed Kendrick Clancy and Kendrick backed up Casey all of last year. He was having a very good mini-camp and then really pulled his calf muscle on the first day of training camp. So he really never had a chance to play much. We were fortunate he was still out there. I was surprised. We'll get him back and see what kind of shape he's in. Chris is a solid player and, like I told the team, we've lost a lot of players, but our expectations and standards are not going drop off. Other players are going to have to step in and meet the challenge that goes with it. We're ready to do that. Unfortunately, we've had some experience with losing starters and having guys have to step in.

Was there consideration to Kimo (von Oelhofffen) going inside?
This is the way we're going at this time. We realize what Kimo has done in the past, but we feel very good about Chris Hoke and the way Kimo's playing at end right now.

Because of the nature of the cornerback position, do you feel better with a cornerback back there than a rookie?
That's the basis of the decision. That' why Willie was brought here to give us some experience. He's played left corner here on some very good teams and we expect him and at the same time, we expect to keep Ricardo and Ike in there in the sub packages. They've got to be ready to go if there's another injury. Fortunately, we have some depth there. Chad, contrary to what some people believe, has had a pretty good season for us. We're fortunate he'll be able to come back because we're going to need him going down the stretch. In the meantime, he's around here, he's got a lot of experience he can't help these guys with.

Were those both turf-related injuries?
Yes they were.

Kendrick Clancy said he's stayed in good shape.
Yeah, and really when you look at him and Tyrone Carter, we were able to get two good veterans who aren't beat up. Really, we've been skating on thin ice with some of the positions. I know we've been doing it with the quarterback position. We feel good about Tommy (Maddox), he's going to maybe begin throwing next week. But when Mike (Logan) went down, we didn't have a lot of experience. Russell (Stuvaints) has done a good job, but to be able to get Tyrone Carter, but also Kendrick Clancy, is big.

What do you like about Chris (Hoke)? What does he do well, what are his strengths?
He's a thrasher. He's quick. He's tough. He's quick off blocks, he doesn't stay blocked long. He's not the size guy Casey is - and like I said, I don't want to compare him to Casey because Casey's a unique individual - but Chris has been here for a few years. He knows this system well. I think it's fortunate we have a couple of guys in him and Kendrick who know this system.

I know you'd rather look forward than back, but was that a long nine seconds at the end of the game?
It seemed like it was, yeah. I know sometimes it seems like time stands still, but that was a little too realistic to me. I saw it hit one and stay there.

Did you make a phone call?
Didn't need to.

Somebody else did?
People who were at the game saw it themselves.

Do you, as a rule, have a policy about injuries and positions?
I'm going to make decisions that are in the best interests of this football team. Whether it's an injury, whether it's a matter of performance. Everybody's accountable. I deal with each situation as it goes. Players I think respect that. They may not like it, but they respect it. That's the way we'll deal with every situation and every position.

So there isn't a policy?
I think I just answered that.

A policy can be in the best interests of the team. In opinion, I'm going to do what's in the best interests of the football team. I don't think a policy is in the best interests of the football team.

Off the top of your head, do you play on another turf like the one at Dallas this year?
I hope not.

They told me it was pretty much similar to the practice turf you have here.
Pretty similar and the same thing are a very distinct difference. Very distinctly different.

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