Cowher Not So Confident This Time Around

<p>In deference to New York, the NFL saddled Pittsburgh with a short week to face a well-rested Tennessee team. Chad Scott refuses to play and there will be no Bell surprise. Cowher admitted that the Titans beat up the Steelers the last time around. This time, the Browns have already softened the Steelers up. Does Cowher have anything left up his sleeve?</p>

Here's the defensive game plan so far:

"We've got to eliminate the big plays," Cowher explained. "I'm sure they're going to test us on the outside as a lot of people have and they probably will. We'll have to stop the running game and try to contain McNair."

Is that all?

"We've got to mix it up. Steve McNair's a good quarterback," Cowher admitted. "He's a big guy, hard to bring down. Last time we blitzed him some, dropped some. He scrambled a couple times. We dropped; we blitzed."

Cowher states the Pittsburgh Steelers have to mix it up. Didn't they do that the last time? Cowher is not even talking about big plays, just the problems Steve McNair poses with his size and speed. You can add to the mix a depleted secondary and a defense once again surrendering large chunks of yardage through the air.

What Cowher is saying is that there is no game plan, thanks to the lack of personnel. Scott will certainly be missed, but perhaps not as much as Mike Logan.

"Unfortunately, he's an integral part of us being where we are today," Cowher said of Logan. "Not just with all the contributions and the different roles he played, but just his demeanor. He brings an energy to your football team, so we'll miss him."

Logan would have been the ideal player to deal with McNair. With him out, the Steelers do not have many, if any, defensive advantages. The Tennessee Titans merely need to stay in the spread, forcing the Steelers into the dime thereby keeping Kendrell Bell off the field.

"We'll use whatever we have to use at this point. This is last game, potentially," Cowher says, backtracking a bit, "of the season so there's no holding back. Whatever we have out there, we're going to play."

In addition to that the Titans already demonstrated that they are the more physical team.

"They physically beat us last time," Cowher reminded the press. "They beat us at the line of scrimmage and they beat us in every phase you want to name. They manhandled us."

Cowher does plan to put some bodies out there, but he's not sure what the Steelers have left in the tank. He's not sure what he has left.

Will we see a repeat of the last performance?

"We missed some tackles the last time, too. We didn't tackle very well in that football game," recalled Cowher. "That's the one thing I do remember."

To ask the Steelers to play even better this time around seems to be a pipedream. However, Cowher may have figured that he already delivered enough to the Steeler faithful.

"Of all the things we've done, to be able to bring 11 home playoff games here since I've been here is great," Cowher said about the city of Pittsburgh and its football fans. "There might have been some people that left, but the people who were there made up for it because it was loud. And it was energized. And it was great. To experience that game at home, I don't think we win that game on the road."

This time, the Steelers will be on the road after a short week and an exhausting game at home. Logan may be one injury too many and we fans may be left with only the afterglow of the best Steelers comeback since the Immaculate Reception.

Steel City Insider Top Stories