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83-Steelers-43
11-01-2006, 05:07 AM
Tense Cowher taking blame for team's woes

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, November 1, 2006


Is the uncertainty that has swirled around Bill Cowher affecting his players? Have Ben Roethlisberger's medical issues cut into his preparation? Did Cowher consider using Charlie Batch at all during the Oakland game, and might Batch play Sunday against the Denver Broncos if Roethlisberger struggles?
No, no and no.

Those were Cowher's answers, literally, to questions posed at a weekly news conference in which the Steelers coach alternated between tense and terse.

Cowher did elaborate on a number of things involving the Steelers and took the blame for the sorry state of the defending Super Bowl champions.

"I accept full responsibility for that," Cowher said. "Each one of us has to do more, and it starts with me."

Less certain is how the Steelers, who are coming off a 20-13 loss to lowly Oakland, pull themselves out of the funk that has left them at 2-5 and in the same company as the Cleveland Browns.

Cowher stood squarely behind his quarterback, though he did say Roethlisberger is trying to do too much at times and faulted him for three of the four interceptions the third-year pro threw against the Raiders.

He also said he is disappointed in the inconsistent play of his veteran offensive line, and as for his kick coverage team, well, don't even go there.

He didn't indicate that a major shakeup is coming, and Cowher made it clear the eight-game winning streak that catapulted the Steelers last season will be of little help as they try to put together a similar run starting Sunday against the visiting Denver Broncos.

"I don't have any magic formula to go back to," Cowher said. "I don't care what people have done in the past or their potential for the future. What I want to see is who we are right now."

The Steelers have been a turnover-plagued team that also has been prone to physical and mental breakdowns at inopportune times.

"There has been a lot of frustration that has taken place through the course of these games in terms of the different ways we have found to lose them," Cowher said, "and the bottom line is that we have lost."

The collection of losses has left the Steelers in last place with the Browns in the AFC North and almost out of the playoff race before it even starts.

Speculation is rampant that the inconsistent play and concentration lapses are symptoms of larger problems, such as Cowher's murky future with the team -- his contract expires after next season and it is far from certain that he will return in 2007 -- and Roethlisberger's medical travails.

"What happens when you lose is a lot of things come under the microscope, like they should," Cowher said. "All the speculation about (Roethlisberger) and me, you have to deal with it. We're in the public eye, and we've had a few bad days at the office.

"All I can tell you is I'm going to deal with it and hopefully, with the quality of the people we have, they will make the same decision."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_477600.html

83-Steelers-43
11-01-2006, 05:28 AM
After listening to his PC twice yesterday, I couldn't help but come away with the feeling that Cowher has absolutely no answers to this team's woe's. This quote in particular led me to believe this: "I don't have any magic formula to go back to,"

Doesn't sound good.