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Steelers-Panthers Post-Game Quotes


Head Coach Mike Tomlin

Good evening. It's good to bring the preseason to a close on a positive in terms of how we finished the football game. I appreciate the efforts of all the men. This process, it is the preseason and training camp, of course is a tough one. We got some tough decisions, but that's also a part of the process. I like the way the men represented themselves with their efforts. It's definitely noteworthy. The big story on the injury front, Byron Leftwich has a knee sprain of some description. He's getting an MRI, and we'll have further information in terms of the extent of that injury. That's unfortunate, but it's football. We understand that, and based on the information we receive we'll respond accordingly in the best interest of our football team.

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Is the injury to Leftwich the basis on why we only saw Dennis Dixon for one series?

Yes. I didn't know exactly the extent of what Byron's injury was. I am just interested in keeping them all clean from that juncture on.

Did anyone else in the game get nicked-up?

Jonathan Scott had an ankle injury. I don't think that it's serious. He potentially could have been able to come back, but we chose not to bring him back in the game. Other than that it's the minor bumps and bruises that come with playing a football game to my knowledge at this point.

Are you going to make any of your cuts tomorrow, or will you wait until Saturday?

We'll have some discussions and see where the day takes us. We have a team meeting tomorrow; we'll meet with our guys in the afternoon. There's a possibility we could start the process.

If Byron is out for an extended period of time will you look at getting another QB?

I think the appropriate thing to do for us at this point is to wait to get the information on the extent of his injury before we talk about the possibilities. There are many possibilities based on the information that we'll receive. I think it's prudent just to wait until we get that information.

As far as you know, is there a chance he will not miss any games?

Again, I don't know. It's a knee sprain of some description. He's going to get an MRI and we'll see what that information tells us.

Steelers Players

WR Emmanuel Sanders

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Re: touchdown reception

"If a player is going to be good or not, it's how he reacts in the red zone. I tried to prove my point tonight. I'm blessed with the opportunity. I think Dennis [Dixon] did a great job of scrambling around and getting the ball out."

How about the way he performed after Byron Leftwich went out?

"I think he performed very well. Dennis has been consistent with his play. I've been going with Dennis, so we've developed a little chemistry. I'm very comfortable with Dennis, and I think he's going to be a good quarterback one day."

There was a good chance for you to be featured tonight with [Antwaan Randle El] not playing. Can you talk about taking advantage of that opportunity?

"I don't really focus on that too much. Last week versus the Broncos, I really didn't have a very good game so I just tried to come out and put an exclamation mark on this preseason and do what I can do, and control what I can control."

Were you hoping on special teams that you could crack on and really open their eyes on that?

"Oh, yeah. As a returner, you always feel like that. But the coaches told me to catch every ball and get as much yards as I can. I felt like I did that."

After last week and some of your route running issues, did you want to focus on that a little more? And do you think you did that?

"I definitely wanted to focus on that. I didn't have a good game. The coaches moved me to the 'Z' position last week three days prior to the Broncos game. I got in my play book all this week and I made sure that I wasn't going to make the same mistakes twice. And I felt like I was very comfortable out there. I wasn't thinking anymore."

QB Dennis Dixon

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What are you hearing about Byron [Leftwich's] status, and what do you think of the opportunity?

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"It's an opportunity, I guess. It's unfortunate for Byron to go through what he went through. But this team has to continue to look forward. I know once he comes back, he's going to get tremendous support."

When you saw him go down, did you know right away that it was significant? And what was starting to go through your mind when you saw him injured?

"Honestly, I didn't know anything was significant. I knew he was taking a long time to get up. Once I saw that, I started warming up right away. Then my number was called and I wanted to go out there and do the best I could. But I didn't get anything until after halftime."

Did you talk to him? And, if so, what was he saying?

"I didn't really. I got in here and was getting treated by the doctors and the doctors were pretty intense [so] I didn't really want to get involved with it. I haven't talked to him yet."

You came up a little gimpy after that touchdown pass yourself. Did you get kicked or something?

"I got kicked. It felt weird, but it was nothing major. It was fine – just a minor kick."

Do you have any indication who is going to start if Byron can't?

"I have no idea. I'm just worried about practice come Monday and whoever's taking the helm, I know they'll be able to take control of the game."

You seem pretty subdued for a guy who might be getting a pretty big opportunity.

"That's just how I am, pretty much. Of course, I'll be excited if it does come my way. But, at the same time, I'm even keel. I never get too high and never get too low."


Head Coach John Fox

Was anyone injured?

Duke Robinson, knee.  Jordan Senn ankle, Jamie Petrowski, head.

What did you learn from this game?

I think the key was getting our starters ready and healthy.  We didn't get anybody nicked up, so we will be full speed ahead for New York.

Was it your intention to not play the starters?

No, I mentioned to you before we left that it would be a game time decision.  It was something that we decided, and we got out of the game primarily healthy.

If you would have played the starters more, do you think that you would have scored more touchdowns in the preseason?

I think we might have scored more touchdowns, there's no doubt.  Again, we're going to be at full strength as we approach preparation for New York.  I think that's what I was most concerned with, and we are able to do that, and get guys back out and be full go in preparation for the regular season.

How confident are you that Smith, Stewart and Otah will be ready for New York?

As confident as I can be.  Again, those are medical decisions.

How do you think missing them will affect the offense?

We will evaluate the tape and see where we are.  Again, we definitely struggled offensively, but I don't think it was all due to them.  We'll evaluate that and make those decisions later.

Re: Armanti Edwards getting a chance on special teams

I think it's something we wanted to take a look at.  It's an area that he's done before in the past and we wanted to take a peek at a few plays we put in this past week.

Re: Armanti Edwards's kick returns

I think again, it's really what he was drafted to do.  We'll look at him on kicks, punts, even a little bit at quarterback and again at wide receiver.  He gives us a lot of looks and opportunities to evaluate.

Did any players' performances help them in this game tonight?

I'm not going to banter with that.  We'll look at the tape and make those evaluations and choose the team in due time.


Armanti Edwards

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Re: Importance of getting onto the field and doing different things
I wouldn't classify it as important to do different things.  I just wanted the opportunity to get back on special teams and show what I can do. 

Re: Playing quarterback
Brought back old times.  They put in a couple plays this week for me.  We executed for the most part.

How much time as quarterback do you think you'll get this season?

We talked about it all throughout the summer, that sooner or later we were going to do a little bit of wildcat with me, but I didn't think it would be this early.

Assessing his performanceI was confident last time, but it was something – I just didn't concentrate when I was out there.  This time I just cleared my mind and did what I do in practice.

Steve Smith

On evaluating the team's preseason performance
In the preseason, you're evaluating a lot of things.  It's not necessarily one position – it's multiple positions.  At times, you do things that may not be exactly the way you want to look in the regular season.  You take chances, and you see how things look.  Sometimes it looks very ugly.  Sometimes it looks great, but that's what the preseason's for – it's for auditioning different styles of plays, and different styles of players.  Obviously, by the end result, it wasn't exactly what you would want.  Could we be better? Yeah, I would think so.  Not scoring – we don't want to stick on that note. 

Matt Moore

How important was it to get out there with the second team against their first team?
That's big.  You always want to play.  You practice, and you practice hard, but the way you get better in this league is to go out there and play against live bullets.  It's always a good thing to get out there and show what you can do.

Mike Goodson

What was the talk in the huddle as you went up against the first team?
Just make plays.  Everybody came out ready to go.  The offensive line, those guys were looking to make plays and they did a good job. 

Do you feel like you've turned the corner after a rough rookie season?
I guess you could say that.  I'm just still trying to work, whatever work I can get.  Still trying to do it.

Re: No offensive touchdowns during the preseasonWe know, as the offense, that we can score, so we'll come out against New York ready to go. 

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