HEAD COACH CHAN GAILEYConference Call w/ Pittsburgh Steelers On his thoughts about getting back-to-back wins:Well, you go out every week trying to win the game. Our guys have continued to work and continued to get better, but didn't have anything to show for it. It was great for them to be able to have something to show for and get that monkey off their back of not having a win. Then, to come back the way they did last week, it was a testament to the character of our football team.
On what happened at halftime to come out firing the way they did:Well, we didn't make any real adjustment offensively. We made a few defensively. We were able to slow them down and actually shut them out in the second half which was amazing in itself. I think our players were extremely upset with the way the first half ended and they wanted to go out and win the game. We talked about finding a way to win and they said let's make a way to win, don't find a way to win.
On if the Steelers defense looks any different to him than when he was in Pittsburgh:The result is the same. Yeah, it looks a lot different as far as personnel. They have a few more wrinkles than they've had in the past, but the result is the same. That's a dominating defense and they'll suffocate you if you're not careful.
On if the wrinkles include S Troy Polamalu:No, it goes beyond him. The things they're doing with all those linebackers and the third down packages are so much more intricate than what we had.
On how to handle the Steelers running game to go along with their passing attack:That's a tough one to be honest with you. I know this, if you don't stop the run, you're not going to beat them. You've got to go out there and stop the run. If you can let them get off on the right foot running the football, slowing them down is going to be a hard thing. They're a very physical football team. Then, you have to hope you can get enough pressure or get somebody back there that's even with [Mike] Wallace to take away that deep threat because they're going to put it down there two or three times a game and you better prevent the big play.
On what kind of leader has LB Paul Posluszny been on the defense:Well, he's really come on. The last three or four weeks has been a big jump for him. He was kind of feeling his way around and he missed some of camp. So, he didn't work there and was just feeling his way around earlier in the year with exactly what was expected of him defensively. I think we were trying to find who did what best and then we started to hone in on what everybody could do well. Paul has really taken off. I think he's had double digit tackles for the last three, maybe four weeks. He's done a great job. He's a very good leader for us.
On what differences he sees in QB Ben Roethlisberger:Probably, he's doing a better job of managing the game. At times he would get wild and now he'll dump the ball off and he won't make the wild throw. I see him a lot more under control.
On if he is more dangerous of a runner than as he was a few years ago:Probably not, but the thing about it is he's so hard to tackle. If he runs, you just have a hard time tackling him and he's not a prone to run as he was before, but he understands all the weapons that are around him and he's trying to get it in their hands. That's a smart quarterback.
On if he thinks he will be able to run the ball against the Steelers:Nobody else has.
On if it's worth even trying:You've got to try. You've got to go out and try to run the football and be effective. You may not run it for 150 [yards], but you've got to try to be effective.
On his memories of his time in Pittsburgh:There's so many great times that we had there. I think three of the four years I was there we were able to go to the AFC Championship game. We just had some great years and we love living there. My son went to North Allegheny High School and played football and baseball up there. We had a lot of great memories being involved with the Steelers.
On if he realized the Steelers went five-wide last Sunday:Yes, I saw that. That's amazing. They're trying to create a lot of different wrinkles now and I think it's helping them.
On if he went with five wide receivers during his time in Pittsburgh as offensive coordinator:We had five receivers in the game, but one of them was Kordell [Stewart].
On how much of an innovative move that was at the time:I don't know. I can't remember.
On if spreading the field was new to the Steelers before he got there:Well, I don't think very many Steelers fans knew there was five [wide receivers] on a team. They realized there might be two or three, but to split five guys out at that time when it was a, I don't want to say run-oriented only, but it had been pretty heavy [on the] run and that's how we made our mark. The good thing is even when we did that it was kind of a novelty. We still won games running the football and playing defense.
On Bill Cowher's reaction when he proposed the five-wide set:He was excited – ecstatic. He was. He loves that stuff. He is an innovative guy himself, defensively, so he loved that stuff.
On what it's like having a Harvard Grad as his QB:Well, we don't have many off-field conversations. (Laughter)
On if he had any trouble picking up his offense:Oh no, I'm learning stuff from him about it.
On his thoughts on the Georgia vs. Georgia Tech:
When do they play?
On his thoughts on the job head coach Mike Tomlin's done in Pittsburgh:
He's done a great job. He's fortunate to work, in my opinion, in a great organization. The Rooney's have a great idea about the direction a team should go and they stayed with that and remained focused on the task at hand for all these years. I know Mike feels the same way and he's done a great job of keeping the team at the top all these years.
On the relationship that's developed recently between QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and WR Steve Johnson:
I guess, and this probably comes from a comment I heard Fitz make; they worked on scout team quite a bit the previous year and I think they developed something then where they knew each other, what they were thinking and had a feel for things and I think that just carried over into this season.
On if he had any inclination that they could be as successful as they have been:
Nope. I had no clue. I'd like to tell you I could see that and I was that smart, but I'm not.
On if Johnson has a different t-shirt message each week:
I don't know. I didn't know about the last one until I heard about it.
[Sounds like you don't want to see the next one]
Nope, I hope there's not another one.
On Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris:
He's a typical Pittsburgh guy. He's hard-nosed, tough, no nonsense, he goes to work every day and he plays till he quits I think. He knows what the game's all about. It's about being tough and hard-nosed and getting after it every day.
Buffalo Bills Linebacker Paul Posluszny
November 24, 2010
On the team's confidence after winning two straight:
Obviously we started off in a tough situation, losing our first eight and not playing well at all. Towards the end of that we started to play a little bit better. We were in games in the fourth quarter and overtime and we felt like we could've pulled those games out so we started to play better. Finally we were able to win a couple of games which has been great for us because we've been fighting and struggling all along to win a game and we finally got a couple under our belt so that was big for our confidence. We obviously know that we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do but that was big for our confidence just to be able to win a couple of games.
On the difference between winning those two games and losing the close games before that:
I really think that in the past couple of games we've learned how to win. In those couple of games that we lost, especially down to the wire, we had been losing so much that you kind of don't have that confidence. When the game is on the line and it's the fourth quarter we didn't have the confidence to win the game. Now that we've won a couple we're starting to build that. Like I said we still have a long way to go. We're still 2-8, there is no hiding that but we feel like we're headed in the right direction.
On what changed at halftime in last week's Bengals game:
We felt like even regardless of the score, we felt like we had been playing solid and we just needed to continue fighting throughout the whole game. Coming into that game we felt confident that we could play well against Cincinnati. It wasn't working out the way we planned in the first half, but we knew if we stuck together, stuck to the game plan and continued to fight for four quarters then we would have a good chance. That's what ended up happening.
On what Coach Gailey has done to keep the team's morale up:
He's done a great job of having a plan for us. Regardless of the situation even though we're losing games, nothing changed. We continued to come in on Monday's, break down the film and learn. Come back on Wednesday's and practice hard, nothing changed. We stayed the course regardless of our record and that was big, that was big for us. Coach proved to us that as long as you continue to work hard good things will happen.
On Coach Gailey's changes at halftime:
Coach was pretty fiery at halftime. I mean he was definitely excited and he had us going because like I said we felt like we had opportunities to win that game and we knew we had the ability to do it. We just had to go out and finish the game. Coach was definitely excited at halftime and that got us going.
On how it feels to be injury free:
It's unbelievable, especially in the first couple of years, banged up a little bit and things like that so it's great to finally be healthy and to be able to help this team out.
On how much of the 3-4 defense the Bills are playing:
We've been going back and forth now between the 3-4 and 4-3 and it depends on each game. We're going to use whatever is most beneficial in that particular game based on our personnel and how we match up. In the beginning it was a tough change for us and it showed. We didn't play as well as we wanted to defensively but now we're starting to play better. We're starting to feel more comfortable in the 3-4 and even though like I said we'll go back in forth between different packages but we're definitely starting to feel more comfortable in our defense.
On how the changes from 3-4 to 4-3 affects him personally:
Just learning different jobs and different responsibilities. The good thing about it, going back and forth, we tried to keep as many things similar as we could to make an easy transition between going back and forth. We were able to do that pretty well. Thankfully for me, my job responsibilities change at times but we also had a lot of carry-over between the two.
On if he stays on the field in the 4-3:
Yeah, when we're in our 3-4 set I'm one of the inside linebackers, especially in nickel situations where we want to go to a four down lineman look I stay on the field I just bump over and play middle.
On if it's still a big deal for him to suit up against the Steelers:
It's always exciting to play them just because of how good they are. They're always a successful team, they always have a good record and they always have big time players. Anytime you get in that situation whether it's the Steelers, the Patriots, you're always excited to play teams like that because they're the best in the league and you want to be able to compete against them.
On if the Bills need to be more prepared to stop the run or the throw:
Definitely both, when you think about the traditional Pittsburgh Steelers goal number one is always stop the run. They're running the ball well; they've got a good back and a good offensive line so that's always goal number one to stop the run. Then they have a dynamic quarterback who is throwing the ball really well too so they do both well. Like I said goal number one is always to stop the run.
On Maurkice Pouncey:
He's playing well especially for a rookie center. He moves really well and it seems like he's doing a great job of commanding the offensive line and getting everyone lined up.
On if there are any parallels to his time at Penn State
Just the fact that when I was at Penn State, early in my career we were very bad. We always felt like we had the people to be successful. We had the talent, we just had to go out and get that winning feeling. And learn how to win football games. That is similar to this because that is the same situation. We have started off rough, but we feel like we have all the right people in place. We have the ability to win games. We just have to go out and play with a lot of confidence and be able to win those games.
On Joe Paterno saying he will be back next year to coach at Penn State
I feel like it has been the last 15 years that he has been saying he'll be back for one more year. When that is going to change, I wish I could tell you guys.
On his thoughts on Paterno's situation
The thing is, it's Joe Paterno, and he has built Penn State football to what it is. So, I think he has earned the right to go out on his own. I feel like if it ever got to the point where his being there was detrimental to the program, he would do what is best for the program. I think he would have what is best for the program first in his heart. As long as he is an asset to the program, which he is, then I think he has the right to stay.
On this being the last year of his contract and if he wants to stay in Buffalo
That sounds like a great plan to me. As long as they want me around, I want to be here.
On the balance of stopping the run and the deep threat
That's going to be the tough part for us, because we have to have an awareness of him at all times. Especially with how well he is playing and his ability to stretch the field. Our corners are going to have to do a great job of matching up on him. Whether we have seven or eight guys in the box, we are going to have to make sure we control the line of scrimmage and control the run game. It is going to be a good challenge for us.