Cowher can only shake head

The Steelers' worst preseason in 19 years was capped by what may have been the worst game in the history of pro football. But the 0-4 Steelers came out of their 15-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers without any key injuries. That and the play of rookie quarterback Omar Jacobs were highlights. Here's what the coach had to say:

Bill Cowher, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

We had some injuries out there this evening. The worst is probably going to be Barrett [Brooks], who unfortunately tore his quad off his knee. He is certainly done for the year. Mike Logan should be fine. He had his ankle rolled up on. The backs were going down with stingers and they should be okay. Chidi [Iwuoma] had a mild concussion. He was kicked in the head on the one punt.

I thought they played hard. Certainly the turnovers in the red zone were disappointing; they kind of voided some good efforts. Preseason's over. Everyone's zero-zero. We come to work tomorrow and get ready for Miami next Thursday.

How did Duce Staley look?

He did some good things. I thought he got better as he ran, with what he had to work with.

What did you think of Omar's play?

I thought Omar Jacobs played very well. I thought he took unbelievable – I mean, it's not just a stride, he took a giant leap from what he's done in the first three games. He made some plays out there. I thought he did an excellent job.

To read into Ryan Clark starting with the entire second-team defense?

No. Those safeties were going to play. We haven't really made a decision.

Did Tyrone Carter play corner?

We used Ty at corner when Chidi went out. We only had three going into the game, so when Chidi went out Ty was the next guy. We didn't want to overdo Ricardo [Colclough] and BMac [Bryant McFadden] so they were doing a little round-robin.

Did Ricardo bring back memories of Plax?

Yeah, that was a unique play. We were just talking about that with the officials. One official was actually down in Jacksonville that day. The only difference between this one and that one, this one, he threw it forward so it was an illegal forward pass. When Plax threw his down he threw it backwards so it was a live ball. That was the difference between the two plays, both of which were still considered live, so when Ricardo threw it forward it was an illegal forward pass, and when Plax threw his backwards it was a fumble.

If they recovered that, would it have been a fumble?

No, not on an illegal forward pass. We keep the ball.

Is it a matter of technique?

Yeah. If you're going to spike the ball, spike it forward. I guess that was the lesson to be learned.

Is that fair? Should the rule be looked at?

No. If people are consistently foolish enough to do that, and we have to make a rule for that, then it doesn't say much about the state of players in the National Football League.

Why so many carries for Duce?

He needs the carries. He hasn't had any carries. He played one game against Green Bay last year. I mean, he needed to run in this preseason and he needed to be able to run an extended period of time to see if he could sustain it. When was the last time he's run this many times? It was probably in Green Bay a year ago, one game. I think it was important for him to play, as it was this whole preseason because as we get into this regular season right now, I'm trying to assess roles that people are going to have and the role he may have on this team and this will be something to refer back to. I feel good about where Willie [Parker] and Verron [Haynes] are, because Verron ran a lot last year. Duce was the one guy that really has not had a lot of experience.

How do you see his role?

Those things will unfold in the next few days. I'm not going to sit here and make an assessment of roles at this point.

Where's this team coming out of camp?

I like this team. I do. I don't like losing; I never will like losing. But that's not the objective of the preseason. The fact we got through it without any major – we had Barrett tonight was really the major injury we had. I feel good about Hines [Ward]. I'm not sure about Jerame [Tuman]. He'll be a little touch and go. But outside of those two guys, we got through it healthy and I thought we had a good camp.

How about Chukky Okobi coming back and playing so much?

He did. He needed that as well. It's hard for me to sit here and assess his play but I'm just glad he was able to get in there and play three quarters of football. That was good for him.

How did Tim Euhus play?

I've got to look at the tape. That's the first exposure I've had with Tim. We'll look at that and see what options we have.

We make up rumors about Duce's future with the team. Are we off base?

You will have all those answers to those questions within the next 48 hours, so if you can be a little more patient to this point, I think everything else will take care of itself. I know you want to be the first; I know you want to break something before it happens. But because we're on a short week we're not going to use all that time. We're going to make some decisions tomorrow and the rest by Saturday. So the questions you have, off base/on base, whatever it is, those will take care of itself in the next 48 hours.

Have you been preparing for Miami?

This whole practice this past Monday was on Miami.

How about anytime previously?

We've sprinkled a few things in.

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