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Old 11-22-2005, 07:30 PM   #1
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Exclamation Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5...40813162&ATT=5

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return Monday night in Indianapolis, a big lift for a Pittsburgh Steelers offense that didn't run well, complete many passes or put much pressure in losing to Baltimore last weekend.

The downside for the Steelers in one of their biggest games of the season: Peyton Manning will be at quarterback for the other team.
No wonder coach Bill Cowher said Tuesday the Steelers (7-3) can't begin to play at the level they did in a 16-13 overtime loss in Baltimore and hope to be competitive against a Colts offense that scored touchdowns on its first five possessions in beating Cincinnati 45-37. The Colts (10-0) had more offense in half a quarter than either the Steelers or Ravens did in 4 1/2 quarters.

That's why, perhaps for the first time in his 14 seasons as the Steelers' coach, Cowher conceded his team will be challenged merely to keep this game close, in a stadium that can be the NFL's loudest when the Colts offense is rolling.

Which, this season, has been about 90 percent of the time.

"That's the most important thing in my mind, to keep this game within striking distance," Cowher said, a more candid than usual comment for a coach who rarely concedes anything to any opponent. "If we can do that and not beat ourselves and not give up some of the big plays, make them do things methodically and slowly, the longer we can keep this thing going into the fourth quarter. Then it becomes a play here or a play there."


The Colts haven't scored fewer than 31 points in their last five games but, earlier this season, won successive close games against Jacksonville (10-3) and Cleveland (13-6). Manning also did little in a 28-10 loss to Pittsburgh in a 2002 Monday night game, though Cowher said the Colts have upgraded themselves on both sides of the ball.

If the Steelers dig deep into their history books, they can find some precedent for beating an unbeaten team that was considered a Super Bowl favorite, much like these Colts.

They dealt the eventual Super Bowl champion 49ers their only loss in 1984, during a season in which the Steelers unexpectedly reached the AFC championship game.

The Steelers also came close to upsetting the NFL's only unbeaten Super Bowl champions, the 1972 Miami Dolphins. They led much of the AFC title game before losing 21-17, in a game that turned on a long run by Dolphins punter Larry Seiple off a fake punt.

These Steelers should get a confidence boost from the return of Roethlisberger, who is 18-1 as an NFL starter but has missed three consecutive games and four of six with knee injuries. He is listed as probable.

However, Cowher said Roethlisberger needs to get back to game speed in a hurry after not playing since Oct. 31, a difficult challenge since two or three failed drives early in a game can allow the Colts' offense to build up a big lead.

"You watch that game last week, there were a number of third-and-9s, third-and-10s that they converted in the first couple of drives," Cowher said. "It can get demoralizing for a defense. And you keep giving them snaps with the playmakers they have, and a defense will eventually break down and they will make a big play."

To Cowher, the key is to consistently give Manning different looks defensively, never allowing him to determine in advance where the pressure is coming from or where the defense will be vulnerable on that play. The Patriots did exactly that in beating the Colts during each of their last two Super Bowl runs.

"Every defense you have, there is a void in there somewhere. He finds it," Cowher said. "The thing we've got to do is make the time for him to process all that a little shorter and to try to confuse him a little bit. You're not going to confuse him for a long period of time, but maybe just long enough to disrupt their passing game."
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

I noticed that too. I just think it's a motivation tactic by Cowher. Hopefully it works.
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

I sure hope its a motivating factor cuz its depressing the hell outta me...
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

we need the BUS, PARKER and STALEY to be active this monday, they should be our 3 backs......let Parker start it off. Bettis tire them out and then let Duce pla more later in the game
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

It seems that the chin has sunk in a little bit. If I was him I would be loving the media on this matchup. I would be backing my team to the death. It seems that he has crawled under a shell right now.
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

Sounds like he knows there is no use. Smart MAN!
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

The important thing is to bury Tommy on the bench...as deeply as possible...like on the bench in Heinz field for this game.

Our chances of winning with Ben are about even...the chances of the Steelers beating the Colts with Maddox are about as good as a meteor striking the person next to you and them dropping the winning mega millions lottery ticket.
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

I'm sure he knows its going to take everything the team has to beat the Colts and it did sound like he was not blowing a lot of smoke. I like it. Doesn't offer a lot of bulletin board material.

If you listen to a lot of the top coaches w/ the best teams, especially in college ball, you would think they couldn't beat the local Community College.

I'd bet its a different Cowher behind the scenes.
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

i think we should be worried about our secondary with the way we blitz leaving corners one on one manning is going to beat us up if we dont pick up people quick enough
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cowher not sounding too confident for this weeks game

I think the Steelers will not try to out-Colt the Colts, which is basically what Cincinnati tried to do.

Even thought it has underperformed this year for the most part - the Steelers D is capable of raising its game and intensity to suit this occasion - a genuine pass rush will cause problems for the Colts O-Line - and with a bit of luck they may get called for 5% of their blatant offensive holding this game.

Defensively the Colts are just as bad as I (and many others) have been saying from the start of the season - if Big Ben is playing I really think that he can offer enough of a threat that the Colts wont be able to keep 8-in-the-box which is where the Steelers triple backfield threat comes in.

The Colts O is just as awesome in the regular season as it has always been - the key will be stopping Manning through the air - I believe that the Colts wont overpower the Steelers on the ground - this will be a great test for the young Steeler secondary.

Looking forward to a top-notch match up.

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