Did injuring your finger hurt pretty bad?
Yeah. It did. It was kind of uncomfortable. It was pretty painful.
Re: Saying you might be the worst team in the league after Sunday’s loss:
I was talking record-wise. If you look record-wise, we are one of them. That’s coming at a time when you don’t know what happened in the rest of the games of the week. I still don’t know how many teams are winless but if you look at records, which I am always a big believer in wins and losses, not numbers, then I would say we are, record-wise, one of the worst teams in the NFL. I don’t think it’s a far stretch.
Does it hurt more as the QB of an 0-4 team?
Yeah, because I take pride in winning football games more than any numbers. That’s what I’ve based my career on so far, wins and losses. It definitely stings. Coach [Terry] Hoeppner always said that the quarterback takes too much credit in a win and too much blame in a loss. It’s painful to lose games, because I put it on myself.
Re: Throwing it well in the second half versus why that wasn’t done in the first half:
I don’t know. You might have to ask the people on the next level up. Looking back at the film, we have done some good things on offense. We have gotten better every week. We just have to continue to improve, not take any steps back and keep trying to get better, because we feel that we are close.
Did you see much you could have done differently?
There are some things here and there. Obviously, turning the ball over hurts. The last one, I don’t count that one, because time is going to run out. I was going to throw it over my head like a grenade if I had to, just to try to make a play. The interception early was just kind of a mishap between me and Emmanuel [Sanders]. It happens. You just can’t let it happen. We can clean up some things here and there. Like I said, we got better. There is still more [to do], because we will never be perfect. We try to strive for that but we will never be there.
I guess. I don’t know what they are going to do. I don’t know. Is it adding another blocker? Is it changing the protection altogether? Is it putting a running back there to chip? I obviously don’t know yet what the thought is. I’ve heard talks about that this morning. I just don’t know what the final product is. I don’t know if we even know what the final product is yet.
Re: Interception on the play to Sanders:
It was a scramble type of situation. I thought he was going to cut. When he saw the defender, he tried to go behind him. It was kind of a fluky thing. The guy made a play and we didn’t.
Any long-term effects from the injured finger?
I don’t anticipate it. I told Coach Tomlin I would practice today if he let me. I don’t know if he is going to let me. I’d go, because I want to be out there.
Re: The possible horse-collar that wasn’t called:
What happened on that particular play, I got up. That’s the hard part. Everyone talks about don’t take a sack. Well, when a guy grabs you from behind, you don’t know a sack is coming. It’s not like there was much I could do. He grabbed me and got me down. I got up and looked at the referee, and I kind of motioned for a horse-collar. He told me I was in the pocket and there is no horse-collar. He is correct. That’s been brought up to me in the past, because it has happened to me before. He was correct. Yes, the guy grabbed me by the collar, and outside the pocket it would have been a flag. In the pocket, the rule is correct.
What makes you still optimistic this can be turned around?
The people we have in here.
They’ve been here. They are good players. We trust in each other.
What about the guys that haven’t been here? What do you say to those that don’t know what it feels like to win a game?
Let’s find out what it feels like. Let’s give it everything we got. Get some rest coming up and get our bodies healthy for a 12-game stretch.
So the confidence level hasn’t taken a hit?
Not if you ask me. Just being around guys for a couple of hours this morning so far, it doesn’t seem to be that way. Obviously, we are down and disappointed. It hurts, but confidence, I don’t think it’s low.
How do you feel physically?
Pretty beat up. But I think that’s typical for a Tuesday. Normally I talk to you guys on a Wednesday. But for a couple days after, [I feel like this] almost every week, because it’s the game and the position.
What do you tell the Pirates tonight for their playoff game?
Just win. Find whatever it takes to win. Baseball is obviously different, but just find a way to win.
Should they embrace the craziness that will be at the ballpark tonight?
They need to. All the hype and the fun, I know the fans are excited, we are excited and they will be exited. It’s probably different in baseball compared to football, because going into a Super Bowl or a game like this, you tell guys not to get over-excited, because your adrenaline can get the best of you. In baseball, I don’t know if that is the same philosophy or not. Maybe you want that adrenaline.
Are you going to the game?
I am leaning towards it.
Re: Running game issues the same for all four games:
I think it’s gotten better every week. Therefore, I think we’ve cleaned things up and we’ve gotten better. I thought the young fellow [Le’Veon Bell] did a good job of showing glimpses at times of what he can do. I am excited. I was happy for him. I told him on the plane home that I thought he did a good job. Just keep going, because he showed some really good things.