Steelers conference calls vs. Redskins

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STEELERS at REDSKINS MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2008 KICKOFF -- 8:30 P.M.  STEELERS CONFERENCE CALLS

**HEAD COACH MIKE TOMLIN

On whether injuries are affecting the team:
"Injuries and things of that nature are a part of the game. I think that good teams find ways to overcome it and we've shown times that we are capable of doing that. If we want to be where we'd like to be then we need to continue to do that and do it better."

*On the 23 sacks on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger:

"It's a combination of things. We have to do a better job of protecting, recognizing how to get the ball out of our hands and running those plays. Its something we are working on a daily basis, we are in year two of our offensive system, we have had some changes, but we accept that and that s apart of the game. We will just continue to work and hopefully alleviate that problem. That can't be a factor this week I in this game."

On the status of Steelers running back Willie Parker:
"He is scheduled to practice today and we will see where he is, we are optimistic at this point."

On whether the offense misses running back Willie Parker:
"What he brings to us and what he is capable of doing on the field, he is a big part of this thing, but I think Mewelde (Moore) has performed admirable in his absence."

On the performance of Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger:
"He has performed well at times. We are 5-2 and he is a big reason why. He is his toughest critic and he would like to be perfect and we would like for him to be. But we are what we are and we have a big game on Monday."

On his thoughts about the standing of the team:
"We are just trying to win each and every time out and some of those things will take care of themselves. Make no mistake, we understand what the bigger races and competition is about, but at the same time if we just focus on what's in front of us the big picture will take care of itself. That's the kind of the philosophy that we've tried to follow all year."


**WIDE RECEIVER HINES WARD

On how much he has helped Redskins' wide receiver Antwaan Randle El become a better player:
"As far as route running and understanding coverage or what not, I think by him playing quarterback, it helped make the transition a little easier than it did when I was making the transition. I've tried to lead by example. Any time I see those guys go out, have some success and make some great plays I just get a big smile on my face. Him and I talk constantly and probably every other week we call and text each other. He is definitely missed around here."

On what the year has been like with all of the injuries:
"It's a little adversity, guys have to step up and the guys who have filled in, have stepped up tremendously. The two games that we lost, from looking at the stats, were really something that we did and really wasn't what the opponent did. We had a lot of turnovers and really weren't good on third downs. Those close games that come down to the fourth quarter is about who's going to make more plays and we haven't don't that yet."

On whether he thinks the team is in good shape and whether he likes how the defense is playing:
"That's always been our strength here (defense). Our defense has always been top five ever since I've been here and if our defense continues to keep playing the way we've been playing, we will be fine. Our goal is to be a better road team and right now we are 3-1 on the road. The NFC East has a tough conference and unfortunately we're 0-2 against those conference teams and it is going to be another tough one in Washington."

On Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin:
"He is a straight shooter who tells it like it is. In this league you can't dwell on the past, you've got to go game to game, week to week, and continue to get better. Washington is our next opponent and we are just going to concentrate on Washington."

On whether the offense is different now that Steelers' running back Willie Parker is not at halfback:
"I don't know if there is any difference. Mewelde (Moore) is playing tremendously and Willie (Parker) hasn't lost a beat. Willie Parker is definitely a phenomenal running back, but I think that Mewelde came in and did an excellent job. It's great to have two running backs. You are going to need two running backs in this league."





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