Coach Todd HaleyWhat are your thoughts on the Steelers' offense?I think they are still here in the stretch of throwing it more than running it but I've been a part of that too. When you can really throw it good, that's a little easier to do. I think a lot of Rashard Mendenhall. He's a hard, physical runner that you have to be ready for at all times. Coach Arians does a great job of staying balanced when he needs to be balanced. Ben Roethlisberger is just playing at a high level. They've done a terrific job of developing their young receivers. A couple of these young guys look like they are playing faster than everybody else. When you have Ben back there, and he's able to extend plays and keep things alive, and then you got a couple of guys that can run 100 yards in what looks like under 10 seconds, that creates big issues. I think they are dangerous and they'll always be the Steelers. They will always be working hard, trying at the end of the game to pound it down your throat. This will be a great test for us and our team. We have to take another step here.
Can you talk about Tyler Palko's first start at New England?To draw your first start on Monday Night Football, on the road, and oh, by the way it's against the New England Patriots, that was a major test. I thought Tyler, overall, for a guy making his first start, I was very encouraged. He handled it, really from the start of the week. There was no doubt that he was running the team. I think the guys felt that and bought into it. They knew that they had somebody back there that was going to make pretty good decisions all night. And he did. He had one really, that I think he would take back. He wanted to take it back the minute it came off of his hands. There were a couple tipped balls and a couple of dropped balls. He completed 67% of his passes. I thought that was an encouraging start. Now he has to face the Steelers' defense:Yeah, and oh, by the way, your second one, you have to play Dick LeBeau, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison. He's a Pittsburgh guy, so much like myself, playing against the Steelers will be a big moment for him. He understands the seriousness of the moment and what we need to do as a team. That's to play more consistent across the board. And we feel if we can do that, we will be able to get a couple wins here and get back on track. With how our division is shaping up, we have a chance. We just don't have much margin for error. It's always a great test to play this Steelers' team.Quarterback Tyler PalkoHow strange is this experience for you preparing for a team that you are quite familiar with?Just knowing the history of the Steelers, and knowing how good of a football team they are. Coach (Dick) LeBeau, knowing him, we have a very good relationship. I met him when I was in college, and ran into him a bunch over in the lunch room, and he has always been very good to me, along with a lot of the other coaches over there, Coach (Mike) Tomlin. Coach LeBeau may be the best defensive mind in football and it is going to be a big challenge for us. Those guys are really good on the defensive side of the ball. So it is going to be an interesting experience. They are going to play well on defense so we have to do our job on offense and execute and try not to turn the ball over.How much more comfortable will you be having got that first start under your belt and playing at home?I don't know. I think I will feel a little bit more comfortable, but I can't answer that question, obviously until after the game. I hope I feel a little bit more comfortable, but all-in-all, last week I felt pretty comfortable in the pocket. It was just a couple of plays that I would like to have back. I watched the tape again today. Again, just a couple of plays Id' like to have back, so we will see.You get your first career start against the Patriots, now you play the Steelers. Can you think of two tougher teams to face in your first two NFL starts?I guess if I thought about it like that, then I would probably sit here and feel sorry for myself. But it is football. You can't pick the schedule. You have to play every week. I don't know really any defenses that you are going to face in the NFL that are bad. You have good ones and you have great ones. It just so happens the last two weeks we face two great defensive minds, as far as coordinators, so it is going to be a challenge for us. I don't really think of it in those terms. I think about is as I know Coach LeBeau personally, and I know he is one of the best, if not the best, defensive minds in all of football. They have a lot of really good players on that side of the ball and they have been there a long time. When you are together like they are, for a long time, they know where each other is going to be, they are a very cohesive unit and they play well together. You see that by the rankings, rushing and total in pass and sacks and all of those things. So it is going to be a challenge for us.When you were on the Steelers roster, what was that like and what do you recall?It was weird, and interesting, and awesome all at the same time. You go to college there with those guys across the street, and you see them, guys like Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis, guys you watched growing up. Then you are in the building with Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace, and next thing you know, you are in the same locker room with them. So it was interesting. They have always been great to me. I have a lot of great relationships with a lot of those guys. I know one thing, I know Coach Tomlin has done a great job of continuing the Pittsburgh tradition. Those guys are tough and they play physical. They are a good football team. We are going to have our hands full. But it was a great opportunity.