We got it handed to us pretty good today. The first half, I thought we were headed for a zero-zero tie, and I thought it was going to be whoever caught the first big play would have a huge advantage in the game, and they did. Davenport – we had a lot of missed tackles on that play.
Offensively, we were not very good today. Give the Steelers credit. Our defense had to be on the field too long. Couple that with when we had a couple chances to get off the field we couldn't get off the field. The time of possession had to be ridiculous, and typically you lose a game like that.
I thought they played a very sound football game. There wasn't much room for error with us today, and we lost a couple guys that are key to us. We juggled things around a little bit, and we had to play a better football game to compete today, and they got us.
This reminded me of last year, going against Chicago and getting it handed to us. For those guys on the team that didn't realize what you need to do to compete against a team like this, a good football team, they learned it today. We were able to leave that game last year in a positive way, and we're going to attempt to do that this year. But give the Steelers credit, they played a heck of a game.
How is Deion Branch?
He has a foot injury, and we'll know more tomorrow.
How is Mack Strong?
Matt has a stinger. We're going to do some tests and see what it is, and we'll know more tomorrow.
You've said that some of the offensive problems the past few weeks have been assignment errors. Was that the case today?
I have to wait to give you an honest answer until I see the film. My feeling is…let me wait on that.
The Steelers were without Casey Hampton and Troy Polamalu today. Given that, did you expect more offensively?
Yes, I did. We didn't play a very good game offensively, in my opinion. Hampton and Polamalu are excellent football players. The guys who replaced them are good football players. They're a good defensive team. But at the same time, we take a lot of pride in our offense, and today we didn't play very well.
It seemed as though you ran the ball better in the first quarter than in previous games. What happened to the running game after that? Did the situation force you away from that?
I don't know. I have to look at it. We weren't very good at anything, to be honest. We had that little spark at the end of the first half, and we had a chance to score. Had we scored, it would've been 7-7 at halftime and it's a little different feeling for the football team, but they made a play there right near the end. But I don't know. I'm going to reserve comment until I see the film.
You had three time outs left on that last drive. Did you consider using them?
He could call time outs. The clock stopped a couple of times. We lost a few seconds there, there's no question about it, but we got it down, and we had the play we wanted. We were prepared to call a time out right after that. We didn't do a great job right there of using our time outs.
Did Matt make a bad throw on the interception, or did you go to that play too many times?
That was the only time we called that play.
Is there added significance to a loss when it's a shut out loss?
No. I don't like to lose any game.
Discuss the heat – did the guys make it through ok?
For the most part. We had some cramping. It was warm. A lot of guys played. I don't think that was a big factor in the game. We may have worn down just a little bit at the end I suppose. They were on the field a long time. If you're on the field for 10 minutes of the third quarter, (even) when it's 30 degrees you're going to be tired.
Discuss the third down conversions that they had, especially on the first drive of the second half.
When you can convert those, it's a big uplift obviously for the offense, and kind of a downer for the defense. The emotions of third down conversions are tough to overcome at times, and they didn't have one, they had three I think. Give them credit for doing a nice job. I thought they played a good football game, and they converted those. We didn't, and that was the game.
Did you expect a mistake from Roethlisberger, and has he matured since the last time you saw him?
I thought he played a very fine game. I thought he was very good with his throws. He buys himself a lot of time in the pocket because he's so big and strong. He had good vision down the field after he broke the pocket, so I thought he had a really fine game.
Did Leroy Hill get hurt?
That was a heat-related thing.
Did he get an IV?
I suppose he is getting an IV, I don't know. But he had cramps.
Were you surprised that they could stay on the field so long without their top two receivers?
I was a little disappointed, let me put it that way. Not much surprises me any more. But I was disappointed in our ability to handle some of those third down conversions.
Did you consider a field goal at the end of the first half?
I thought about it for a second, and I thought we had time for that play. I think we had time for a play if we dropped back and threw it. We thought about it, and I said, 'I think we have time for one, and we'll kick the field goal if we don't get it.'
In that last drive of the first half, Hasselbeck got sacked at midfield. The play ate up about 30 seconds. Did you consider a time out there?
I'm trying to remember the play. Was there a roughing on that? (No). Well, if I didn't call it, I didn't think about it.