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Old 11-08-2006, 07:29 AM   #1
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Default Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start
Wednesday, November 08, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Losing too many games often means a loss of jobs, and that is what coach Bill Cowher suggested will happen when the Steelers take the field again Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

"There could be some lineup changes," Cowher said without being prompted near the start of his weekly news conference yesterday, "but it will be something that won't be discussed. Some of those decisions could be game-day decisions, for obvious reasons."

Those reasons include a 2-6 record and individual performance, although Cowher said he won't make lineup changes merely to send his under-performing team a message.

"I don't send messages,'' Cowher said. "I deliver them. I try to talk to the team very openly. It's about accountability. I do things that are in the best interest of this football team to win a game.

"If changes are made, it's for that purpose only."

During his 15 seasons as the Steelers' coach, Cowher has been reluctant to make changes for change's sake during his team's down times.

Speculation centered on one possible change, that of starting flanker, especially in light of two comments Cowher made during his news conference.

Cedrick Wilson, who signed as a free agent last year, moved into the starting lineup this season after splitting time at flanker with Antwaan Randle El last season. Wilson has not scored a regular-season touchdown. Sunday, he caught a 35-yard pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the first period. He ran to the Denver 6, carrying the ball in one hand extended in front of him. Safety Sam Brandon knocked the ball loose and the Broncos recovered.

Wilson has been instructed many times to protect the ball better, and Cowher said he had no idea why he carried it that way Sunday.

"You need to ask him that question," Cowher said.

Wilson is third on the team with 21 receptions for 310 yards. Rookie Santonio Holmes has alternated with him every third series since the fourth game in San Diego. Holmes is second with 22 receptions for 323 yards and came in for some praise from his head coach yesterday.

"He's a young player, and I believe that Santonio Holmes is going to be a really good football player in this league," Cowher said, while acknowledging disappointment in his fumbles as a return man.

"In terms of a receiver and picking up this offense, I think he's gotten more comfortable and I think he'll continue to get better."

It's possible Cowher also could make a move at cornerback, promoting Bryant McFadden.

Max Starks did not play well at right tackle two games ago in Oakland, but Cowher expressed satisfaction with his play Sunday against Denver except for one sack he allowed.

"Outside of that, I thought Max played a much better game than the week before. The line in general did a good job. We got beat a couple of times, but that's a pretty good defensive line, too. We did a pretty good job for the most part."

There are not many other changes Cowher could make -- or would be willing to -- this week because of injuries. He might keep Holmes off punt and kickoff returns, but rookie Willie Reid was declared out again with a foot sprain, leaving only Wilson or Deshea Townsend as possible punt-returners. After Cowher benched Holmes, he inserted Wilson and had Ike Taylor take his place on kickoff returns.

James Harrison, the team's No. 3 outside linebacker, also was declared out again this week with a high ankle sprain. Unless Cowher wants to try one of two outside linebackers who weren't on the team until recently (Chad Brown and Marquis Cooper), the status quo will remain there.

Chukky Okobi already is playing center for injured Jeff Hartings and Kendall Simmons and Chris Kemoeatu have alternated at right guard lately.

Rookie Anthony Smith has played well on special teams and performed well at free safety in the preseason, but the coaching staff generally is satisfied with starter Ryan Clark.

Not much is left to change. Cowher already emphatically said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would remain put, and he bounced back with a good game Sunday.

"Everybody's going to be held accountable, and they know that," Cowher said.

"This is new territory for this group of players, and nobody is asking for self-pity. You find out a lot about people. It reveals a lot. And at this time, that's the approach that we're taking."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06312/736467-66.stm
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

[QUOTE=83-Steelers-43;173341]Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start
Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Losing too many games often means a loss of jobs, and that is what coach Bill Cowher suggested will happen when the Steelers take the field again Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
how about the loss of his own job. If i have to see that ugly mug every sunday I want to at least see the chin and spit flying. If we lose this sunday I think more drastic change needs to take place
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:12 AM   #3
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

Should be interesting!!

-Mike
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Old 11-08-2006, 08:27 AM   #4
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

Shouldn't the changes have taken place when all the stupid penalties started re-occuring?
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Old 11-08-2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

Too little , too late.
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

I don't think they should change anything - keep playing hard - stop making stupid mistakes/turnovers -- a huge win will change everybody's attitude
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

He should take a good hard look at himself first!
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

THE ONLY THING THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE IS TURNOVERS. THE LAST 5 GAMES WE HAVE BETTER STATS THAN THE OTHER TEAMS IF WE DONT TURN THE BALL OVER WE WIN
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

Quote:
Originally Posted by VASTEELER View Post
THE ONLY THING THAT NEEDS TO CHANGE IS TURNOVERS. THE LAST 5 GAMES WE HAVE BETTER STATS THAN THE OTHER TEAMS IF WE DONT TURN THE BALL OVER WE WIN
The question you need to ask is WHY the ball was turned over. It was turned over because the O-line couldn't block a wheelchair-bound grandmother rolling uphill.

Pull Holmes off the special teams. He CAN NOT CATCH A BALL on special teams.

And as to why Townsend plays and Ike sits? Who knows. Maybe Cowher knows Townsend is getting cut in the offseason?
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Old 11-09-2006, 06:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Change is order of the day in wake of 2-6 start

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Originally Posted by sumo View Post
I don't think they should change anything - keep playing hard - stop making stupid mistakes/turnovers -- a huge win will change everybody's attitude
This makes more sense than anything at this point! Look at how we lost those games...here is the answer.
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