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Old 11-29-2006, 06:57 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

Steelers Notebook: Cowher says loss doesn't define team
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bill Cowher challenged his team and lightly chided the news media two days after the Baltimore Ravens drove the Steelers' record down to 4-7 with a dominant 27-0 victory.

"I'm not going to let one game define who we are," Cowher said during his weekly news conference. "Many people in here would like to do that, so be it. You're entitled to make whatever judgments you want to make.

"In my mind, one game does not define this football team and its ability to persevere through this. And that's what we're in the process of doing."

Cowher noted that his team was involved in close games in every loss except the last one.

"I've said it before, you're never as good as you think you are or as bad as they say you are. Right now, they're saying a lot of things that aren't too positive. You don't get caught up in that, just like you don't get caught up in it when they're giving you all the accolades."

He talked to his team Monday about its position heading into the final five games and repeated some of it yesterday at his news conference.

"Nobody likes the situation. Deal with it. The best thing we can do right now is to take advantage of our opportunity and go out and win a football game on Sunday. This team has won two of the last three games."

He even held out hope for the slightest of chances for ... a playoff spot?

"Right now, we have five games left and we have to win every one of them and let the chips fall where they may."


Trying times


Cowher acknowledged that entering the season as defending Super Bowl champions makes a 4-7 record tougher to accept.

"It does become difficult. Certainly, for our football team and the expectations that we had, it becomes trying. It tests you.

"I think it becomes very revealing as well. You find out about yourself and the people around you as well. It has a way of separating the conditional friend from the unconditional. It reveals a lot about yourself.

"I'd like to think that last weekend was not representative of our football team. We did play that way. I'd like to think it was an aberration. It's something that won't take place again, but we have to validate that statement on Sunday."


Ward, Polamalu out


Cowher confirmed that Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu will miss Sunday's game against Tampa Bay at Heinz Field. Ward had surgery Monday to remove two "loose bodies" from his knee, and Polamalu has a second-degree tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Cowher said they could miss the Thursday night game Dec. 7 against Cleveland, but he won't know until next week.

Nate Washington will start at flanker for Ward but rookie Santonio Holmes also will get work there, Cowher said. Holmes has played at split end, alternating every third series with starter Cedrick Wilson.

Tyrone Carter or Mike Logan will start at strong safety for Polamalu, Cowher said, and rookie safety Anthony Smith will play in the dime passing defense.

Also, Cowher said he's unsure if Ike Taylor will return to start at cornerback after he was demoted for the game in Baltimore.

"That's kind of a week-to-week decision."


Injury report


The rest of the Steelers injury report issued by Cowher:

Punt returner/wide receiver Willie Reid (foot) and linebacker Clark Haggans (hip) are questionable. Linebacker Joey Porter (elbow), center Jeff Hartings (knee), linebacker James Harrison (ankle), special teams co-captain Sean Morey (toe), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (chest) nd Taylor (concussion) are probable.

Reid could replace Holmes returning punts if he's healthy enough.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06333/741973-66.stm
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

Steelers notebook

By The Tribune-Review
Wednesday, November 29, 2006


His desire to stay in a game in which he played a dual role of quarterback/pinata makes Ben Roethlisberger a leader or a masochist. Or perhaps something in between. Coach Bill Cowher said he didn't take the Steelers' franchise quarterback out of Sunday's game in Baltimore essentially because Roethlisberger didn't want to bail on his teammates.

"There's a lot to be said for that," Cowher said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "Quarterbacks like him look at that as being part of the team. Why should he not be out there and the other players are out there?"

Roethlisberger was sacked nine times in the Steelers' 27-0 loss. One of those came on a blind-side shot by Ravens linebacker Bart Scott, which knocked Roethlisberger out of the game temporarily. Roethlisberger later said it was the hardest he had ever been hit in a game. Comments like that made Steelers fans wonder even more why Roethlisberger stayed in the game when it was out of reach.

"He wanted to finish," Cowher said. "Certainly I was not going to put him out there if there was a medical risk. That was not the case. He fought through like everybody else."

? Cowher made a change in the secondary for last week's game and could stick with veteran Deshea Townsend and second-year pro Bryant McFadden as his starting cornerbacks when the Steelers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Townsend moved over from right cornerback and started in place of Ike Taylor at left cornerback. McFadden started at right cornerback.

"That may be a week-to-week decision," Cowher said of the situation at cornerback.

McFadden made nine solo stops in the game, indicating that the Ravens threw his way a lot. Taylor, who signed a four-year contract extension for $22.5 million during the offseason, has struggled in recent weeks.

? Rookie Willie Reid could play Sunday for the first time in almost two months.

The wide receiver, who is listed as questionable because of a foot sprain, has missed the past seven games. A dynamic return man at Florida State, Reid could return punts with rookie Santonio Holmes if he plays against the Buccaneers, Cowher said. Reid has returned one punt for 11 yards this season.

"I'd love to put him back there," Cowher said. "We'll see how he is."

? Safety Troy Polamalu (knee)and Hines Ward (knee) won't play Sunday and outside linebacker Clark Haggans (hip) is questionable. A host of Steelers are probable for the game, including Roethlisberger (chest), Taylor (concussion) outside linebacker Joey Porter (elbow), center Jeff Hartings (knee), outside linebacker James Harrison (ankle) and wide receiver Sean Morey (toe).


Digits

4 - Steelers' NFL rank in passing offense.

18 - Takeaways the Steelers have recorded this season.

30 - Turnovers the Steelers have had this season.

32 - Steelers rank (out of 32 NFL teams) in turnover margin.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_481819.html
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

Quote:
"I'd like to think that last weekend was not representative of our football team. We did play that way. I'd like to think it was an aberration. It's something that won't take place again, but we have to validate that statement on Sunday."
I think its fair to assume that this whole season will be an 'abberation' - but to call last weeks humiliation by the Ravens one seems a little delusional.

The Steelers have been playing mostly awful football, sprinkled with some great plays - this means the 'good football' is the abberation - not the bad stuff.

Have any of the reporters asked why he seems so passive on the sidelines?

The lack of discipline penalties surely have to be driving a guy like Cowher mad dont they?

He seems to have saved most of his anger for the local media.

Cowher is making some truly awful decisions specifically regarding Ben - to play him against Oakland after the concussion was a huge mistake and to let your franchise guy take 9 sacks in a game that was lost well before the end is mind boggling.

I hate coaches saying that the player, be it a QB or whatever, 'wanted to be out there' and thats why he played them - as the coach you take the responsibility - most players always want to be out there.

Cowher has regressed to a rookie level coach this year.

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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

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Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post

I hate coaches saying that the player, be it a QB or whatever, 'wanted to be out there' and thats why he played them - as the coach you take the responsibility - most players always want to be out there.



NM
"He wanted to finish," Cowher said. "Certainly I was not going to put him out there if there was a medical risk. That was not the case. He fought through like everybody else."

how many times do you see a coach pull a player for just 1 game or a partial game because they are losing or getting sacked? hardly ever. they only get pulled if they have a huge lead, are obviously are injured or if a permanent change is taking place. gruden didnt pull c. simms. fisher didnt pull v. young when they were down by 21 points in the 4th last weekend. brett farve doesnt ride the pine till they can find him some adequate protection.

so out of about 160 games this year i can think of 1 qb who was pulled in the manner you suggest. david carr was pulled so s. rosenfels could come in and kill time.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

and Polamalu has a second-degree tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

So it went from a simple sprained knee to a second-degree tear of his left MCL.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

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and Polamalu has a second-degree tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

So it went from a simple sprained knee to a second-degree tear of his left MCL.
Do we have any orthopedic people here? That sounds really bad. Anyone know what kind of healing timeline he's looking at?
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Old 11-29-2006, 11:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

Quote:
Right winger MIKE GARTNER of the Rangers and Team Canada announced Friday that a knee injury would keep him out of the Canada Cup tournament.

Gartner, an integral part of Canada's 1983 and 1987 Canada Cup tournament championship teams, suffered a second-degree tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee a week ago, but had skated daily on his own trying to convince himself he could still play in the six-country tournament.

"We were going to try to squeeze what should normally be four to six weeks of recovery into one or two weeks, and it just wouldn't work," Gartner said. (AP)
Quote:
A second-degree, or moderate, sprain is due to a greater ligament disruption, but one that is not yet a complete rupture. Pain, tenderness, swelling, and bleeding are more evident, but the key feature is the presence of some instability or laxity of the joint. The amount of laxity depends on the amount of ligament that has been torn. Treatment ranges from that for a first-degree sprain to cast immobilization for 4 to 5 weeks. You may be out of action for 8 weeks or more. During this time it is important to maintain aerobic fitness by doing activities which don't stress the leg and knee, such as upper body exercises and, perhaps, swimming.
From the little I have read about MCL's there are 3 degree's of strain - 1st which is minor, 2nd which is more serious but not fully ruptured or torn, and 3rd which is a complete rupture.

I would question the use of the term '2nd degree tear' as only 3rd degree sprains can be defined as 'tears or ruptures', but I only have a very layman-esque understanding of the subject

Thats my very basic understanding of it - that the injury is still a sprain but a relatively serious one and bearing in mind the state of the Steelers season I dont think he'll be back on the field before the pre-season.

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The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

I recall Farrior having the same injury last season and I believe he missed two games.
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: 11/29/06

2 games sounds alot better than the rest of the season. Let's hope that's right. Thanks for the responses.
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