Tommy Maddox (Dr. Maroon will come up following me and
will discuss his condition with you so I’ll refrain from making any comments
in regards to that); Jeff Hartings is out with a knee (there’s a chance
he’ll get scoped Wednesday and at that point we’ll have a better sense of
what the time frame may be; Hank Poteat is out with a knee; James Farrior is out
with a knee, MCL sprain; Mike Logan is out with a groin. And the following
player is doubtful and that’s Larry Foote with a calf. We have two players
questionable: Fu (Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala) with his pec and Chidi (Iwuoma) with
his knee. And we have two players probable: John Allred with a concussion and
Jerome (Bettis) with his knee. That’s our situation. There may be other moves
made through the course of the week, depending upon the health of some of these
guys, and we will probably have a kicker by the end of the day.
[Dr. Joseph Maroon talked
at length about Maddox’s injury following Cowher’s press conference. In
summation, Maddox’s prognosis is “excellent” and Maroon feels Maddox could
practice next week. Maroon feels that psychological problems are the bigger
concern and that only Maddox can decide if he should return.]
Who are the kickers?
We’re going to work them
out today. Joe O’Donnell, (Michael) Husted, and then we had two young kids
come in. We’ll work them all out this afternoon. That’s where I’m going
Are you going to Heinz
I think that’s where
we’re heading. What a great thing to do on a day off, isn’t it?
Did you sign the
linebacker because Farrior’s out?
Correct. We’ve got Farrior
and Foote probably both out, so we’re very short at that position.
Has it helped that
Mike played here?
Yeah, it’s very helpful.
He was here all last year. He knows the system. He was with the Raiders earlier.
He was just released about three weeks ago so he’s in playing condition. It
will be a welcome sight. Our depth at that position has been hindered a little
bit. John (Fiala) will go as the buck with Kendrell (Bell), and then Mike will
back both of those guys up.
Will you put Mike in
No, I don’t think so. I
think Joey (Porter) has done a pretty good job.
Will you sign another
No. Based on the information
we’ve got, I don’t think we’re going to do that. Going into this game,
Antwaan (Randle El) will be our third quarterback if we get to that. We’ll
have a small package for him.
Will he practice as a
quarterback or be the scout guy?
A little bit. Sure will.
Hey, 3 for 4 this year.
Any changes in your
I’d like to change the
results, absolutely. No, it’s hard to say. You almost get to a point where you
start pressing and trying to make the perfect call. The players start to press
and make sure they’re covering everything. And I give credit to Tennessee.
They hit a run against us on a third down and long, and hit a pass, went down
the field. He scrambled one other time. The first thing we have to correct,
we’ve got to make the makeable field goals. That zaps your team of momentum.
What’s a makeable field goal? Inside of 40 yards at this level [phone rings].
There’s our fifth kicker. Been getting a lot of calls from kickers these days.
But making makeable field goals, turning the football over on offense. We have
the second-most turnovers in the National Football League. And then certainly
our situational football on defense. Third down, the red zone recently. You’ve
got to hold teams to field goals. Those are things that were strengths of our
football team in the past. We’ve been able to overcome a lot of those, even
before last week. During the course of some of those wins, they were prevalent.
They certainly come to the forefront when you don’t win football games. Those
are the three areas we have to address. I think our football team understands
that. You can talk about it all you want, but we’ve got to execute, get off
the field, not turn the ball over and make makeable kicks.
Will Farrior be out
No. I’m hoping most of
these guys will be back in a period of time, one to two weeks. There’s nothing
at this point that looks like it’s long term. We’re dealing with it on a
week-to-week basis, so this week obviously we’ll have to have some people step
up. They’re going to have to perform.
Is Jeff’s injury the
same injury he had before?
Yeah. It’s re-occurring.
We’re going to get another opinion today. According to schedule, Dr. (Jim)
Bradley will do a scope to see what he can find. If there’s anything at all
wrong with his knee, we’ll know more at this point.
You have two dime guys
out. Will you bring in DBs?
There’s a chance that
Would you consider
going with the nickel based on performance and the injury situation?
going to explore not so much who we’re doing it with, but what we’re doing.
And both. Injuries will always play a factor into anybody you put on the field.
At this point, that’s going to play more a factor than performance.
Did Todd Peterson know
he had cracked ribs when he kicked?
Well, nobody knew it at the
time. He hurt them on the kickoff that he made the tackle on. Then he went in
and they checked him and tried to block it, but they couldn’t because he
didn’t know where it was with the pain he had. He played with that. I know he
was hurting, as I stated after the game.
Coach, what were the
problems with the running game the other day and how will Kordell Stewart affect
Well, I don’t know how
much Kordell’s going to affect the running game. Certainly the other day they
did a good job. They penetrated, blew some things up. They brought eight guys
into the box. They did a good job. They beat us physically up front. Give them
Bill, are you more
inclined to go back to Jerome now, or at least give him some more opportunities?
I think so. Hopefully
he’ll get through this week the same we he got through last week. We’ll get
him more involved, along with Amos (Zereoue), yeah.
I’d like to see how they
get through the week. If they both go through the week well, we may go with
Jerome starting and come back in with Amos, but let’s see how they get through
Bill, Jason Gildon
said ‘we’re doing a lot of things differently.’ Is that happening?
When you talk to players
after the game a lot of times, there is a lot of frustration. You’d have to
talk to him more specifically. I don’t comment on what players talk about. We
went over the whole game with the football team. I wanted them to experience the
same feeling I had when I watched them. It was not a good feeling. We didn’t
play very good. It was important that they watched it and they discussed it. If
they had anything they wanted to comment on, they had the opportunity. You know,
right now is not the time to question what you’re doing. Now’s the time we
have to step up and start answering and be a part of the solution, not be part
of the problem. That’s the thing our football team has to understand, and I
think they do. We’ve identified the things we’d like to correct and talking
about it won’t get it done. We have to go out there and get it done on the
field. Let that be our talking.
Why did you say after
the game that the team was tired?
I don’t know if I was
referring to anything. When I say a tired team, I’m referring to the emotions
of the last few weeks. (We had) the big game up in Cleveland for first place,
and Baltimore before that for first place. Come back and play a five-quarter
game against Atlanta. That took a lot out of us. People were still talking about
that Thursday. Then you go down into a place we knew would be tough. Through the
course of the week last week we tried to take care of it, but we had,
offensively, over 90 snaps two consecutive games, five quarters of playing on
defense, last week chasing around a quarterback and we had to do it again this
[Do these guys use any of
the answers to the endless questions they ask? Someone please stop Ellis
performance indicate that he spent his time as a backup pretty well?
Yeah. I think you sensed it
all along. He’s been very supportive of Tommy. He’s prepared himself every
week. You could see on the practice field his focus when he came in. What he did
the other day was good to see and was great for his confidence, but did it
surprise you? No, because he had been preparing. He’s handled this thing like
a true professional. He hasn’t always, I’m sure, liked to sit on the
sideline based on where he’s been, but he’s been very supportive, very
unselfish; and that mindset has allowed him to step in, as he did the other day,
to perform the way he did, and I would expect him to perform at that level this
Do you expect to see
more empty sets the rest of the year and how did you do against them Sunday?
Well, we did good at times
and didn’t do very well a lot of times as well. We sacked him on fourth down
and 2. Other times they were able to hit some passes. We missed some tackles. Do
we expect to see it? Sure. Cincinnati has it in their repertoire. How much
we’ll see of it, I don’t know. But like anything else in this business,
until you show an ability to stop it you’d better prepare for it because I’m
sure we’re going to see it. Now, how much? That remains to be seen. They’ve
got a good group of receivers. They like to spread it out and give the ball to
Corey Dillon. At times they’ll put Lorenzo Neal in there and they’ll get the
Would you like your
fans to support your quarterback?
Yeah and I think they will.
They’ll support our team as long as we’re playing well. … We’ve left I
don’t know how many points on the board at the end of the half again last
week. It’s like the sixth straight week that we’ve either missed a field
goal or turned the ball over at the end of the half. There’s a lot of momentum
you carry into a locker room in how you finish a half. Obviously the start of a
game is big, but I really think how you go into a halftime and how you come out
is a very, very important time in a football game when you can re-establish a
mindset on that field about who’s in control of the game.
We’ve some chances to put
some people away at the end of the first half, or at the beginning of the third
quarter, and that’s what’s led to a lot of these games, being as they may,
how they unfolded.
Coach, I’m another
newswoman who’s here for some free publicity, like a lot of these
pseudo-sports journalists, so tell us, please, how has Tommy’s injury impacted
the rest of the team?
Well, the impact was felt
Sunday when the unknown was there. All the information we’ve received to this
point, which I have also shared with the team on Monday, has been very positive.
I think you look around the league, some very unfortunate injuries that have
ended people’s careers and maybe affected their lives. I don’t’ think that
will be the case with Tommy. Again, I’ll defer to Dr. Maroon. But I think on
Sunday, when you see a player laying there as Tommy was, you obviously think all
the worse things. It puts things in perspective.