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Old 10-04-2006, 07:23 AM   #1
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Default Cowher cryptic on personnel status

By Scott Brown
Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Ricardo Colclough is questionable for Sunday's game, and Steelers coach Bill Cowher is not planning on any changes with his personnel at wide receiver.
What those mean for Willie Reid is anybody's guess.

Cowher spoke at length at his weekly news conference Tuesday. However, he said little about his plans for the Steelers' game against the Chargers, particularly regarding the one question fans have been asking: When will Reid, the rookie from Florida State, finally get a chance to return punts?

The Steelers have been abysmal in that area, averaging just more than 3 yards per return, and Colclough's lost fumble against the Cincinnati Bengals proved to be the pivotal play in the Steelers' 28-20 loss.

If Colclough, who has a neck problem and has undergone tests, is unable to play against the Chargers, that does not necessarily mean Reid will be active for the first time this season. Cowher has been reluctant to have more than five wide receivers on his 45-man roster for games, and those spots have been occupied by starters Hines Ward and Cedrick Wilson as well as Santonio Holmes, Nate Washington and special teams ace Sean Morey.

Holmes has been alternating with Colclough on punt returns.

When asked if Reid will dress for Sunday's game, Cowher said, "I don't think that there was anything I was discussing that has any suggestions to that. We'll see how the week unfolds."

Answers like that may be a source of frustration to fans. They are consistent with the approach Cowher has taken toward a two-game losing streak. He has not given in to overreaction and instead cited the positive things his players have done while acknowledging they need to cut down on turnovers and tighten up on defense when the opponent is deep in Steelers territory.

He did tell his players after they returned from a three-day weekend to keep the focus on themselves even though the defending Super Bowl champions are 1-2 and in third place in the AFC North.

"I think the biggest thing, there is a lot of football left," Cowher said. "Don't get caught in worrying about what Baltimore or Cincinnati is doing. I think that is the biggest thing right now, getting better on a daily basis and consequently taking it onto the playing field."

The Steelers will need an inspired effort to beat the 2-1 Chargers in Sunday's nationally televised game.

The Chargers' defense has allowed just 23 points in three games. It can be rough on opposing quarterbacks, particularly ones who have been in a slump. The offense features LaDainian Tomlinson, perhaps the best all-around back in the NFL, though quarterback Philip Rivers will only be making his fourth career start against a defense that sacked Carson Palmer six times and picked off the Bengals' signal-caller twice.

The Steelers will be at almost full strength following the off week, rested and, Cowher is hoping, focused.

"I think we're fine," Cowher said. "There's been a better sense of urgency in practice."
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cowher cryptic on personnel status

Great article,
This is why I bleed black n gold, no sense of urgency, no panic just come from behind steeler football once again .

See you in Miami
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