Q&A: James Farrior

James Farrior (51) and Larry Foote (50).

James Farrior has been the rock in the middle of the Steelers' defense since the opening game of the 2002 season. A stabilizing force in the middle of an emotional defense, Farrior sat down with us on the last day of training camp and provided his views after a month of work at St. Vincent College.

James Farrior, buck inside linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Well, tell me how you see things after training camp?

A: Things are looking good right now. We're not where we need to be, in terms of the season starting right now, but I think we're making good progress. We had a lot of young guys out here competing and that's a good thing. The mistakes that we're making right now have been correctable. When the season starts we'll be ready to go.

Q: Are any of the mistakes bothering you?

A: I think they all can be corrected on the field and in the film room. My main concern was that our third-down defense wasn't playing as well as we wanted but it's going to get better and it will get better.

Q: You said last week you weren't pleased with the way you played, but I thought you looked quick and was surprised to hear you say that.

A: I just didn't get any tackles. I was around the ball enough but my guys were making the tackle before I could get there. I feel good. I was being hard on myself, but that's what I'm going to do. That's the type of competitor I am. If I'm not making tackles I feel like I'm not doing a whole lot.

Q: How do you see the free safety position? Are you satisfied with the new players there?

A: We've got three guys right now competing for that job. The two veterans are both getting the same amount of reps and they've both looked good when they've been out there with the first unit. It's going to come down to the end I think, but I'm fine with either one.

Q: Have there been any miscommunications with the free safeties?

A: Just little stuff -- Ryan just from not being here and T.C. (Tyrone Carter) not being out there with the starting group; just little things that I know can get corrected.

Q: It seems that fans are down on Ryan Clark. What do you think of his ability?

A: I think he's a good player. He's a proven player. He knows the game and how it's supposed to be played. I'm not worried about that tackle that he missed. I missed one on third-and-one or fourth-and-one. I went too far around a guy and missed it. I mean, stuff like that happens. It's going to happen in the games; people miss tackles. It's how you respond after that.

Q: How about Joey Porter's recovery from knee surgery? Is he showing rust or any decline?

A: He started out a little slow but I think he's coming into his form. I'm never worried about Joey. I know he's a great competitor and he's probably one of the best athletes on the team. I know when he comes out to play that he'll be ready.

Q: What do you think of the offense?

A: They look good. They look good. I'm pleased with their production and the fact they're moving the ball well. Ben (Roethlisberger) looks good back there in the pocket. He doesn't look like he's been in an accident just a couple of months ago. That's a positive.

Q: Will he be effective with the no-huddle?

A: I think so. I think his knowledge of the offense now, coming into his third year, will help us out a lot, make him do a lot of different things.

Q: Are you worried they'll get away from the running game without Jerome Bettis?

A: No, not at all.

Q: As a middle linebacker playing against them all camp, do you still fear the Steelers' running game?

A: Yeah. The Steelers are going to run the ball no matter what. They're going to find a way to run the ball. That's how it's been around here since before I got here. I don't think we'll stray from it too much. We'll just put a few wrinkles in it.

Q: So you don't see any problems at all?

A: I'm planning on a big year. Hopefully we'll end up in Miami.

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