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HEADLINE NEWS - Team Notebook

Team Notebook


Thursday - 11/1/2001

Q: As far as matchups go, it doesn�t get any better than your defense against their running game.

That�s what they�re built for; it�s what we�re built for. Very, very similar in terms of mentality. It ought to be a great game.

Q: Does Kordell Stewart look like he has more confidence?

I think so. I think they�ve really tailored the offense around what he does well. He understands their philosophy. It�s clear cut. You�re seeing it on the film. They want to run the ball. They want to make enough plays on the outside to keep you honest. They want to make big plays off the fact that they are running the ball, and he�s capable of doing that. When we have faced them and he has played, we have played the run very well. And Jerome Bettis is at the top of his game. He is a load. He is a huge reason why they lead the league in rushing. But when we have played them, up until now, we have played fairly well against the run. We�ve kept Jerome pretty much in check. But when they�ve had good running games, it�s been Kordell Stewart with the 40 yards and 50 yards on top of what Jerome Bettis gets. That has put them over 100 yards rushing, so they�re orchestrating to their talent very, very well right now.

Q: I�m sure with where they are and where you are in the standings, that has to be very much on the minds of the guys.

It has to be. We�re getting to the point in the season where there is a little more clarity as to the urgency of the game. This is the division leader. This is a team as I look at their schedule, I�m not sure who is going to beat them. So, it�s our job to go in and beat them if we have any chance of closing that gap with the division leader. We�ve got two shots at it and we�re going to give it our best shot.

Q: Can you compare their defense to yours?

They are playing very well defensively. And along with their running game, their forte is to play great defense and run the ball very well. And they are running that combination very well.

Q: Can this defense still get geared up for a team they know isn�t going to send in three and four wideouts?

Our defense and their offense both very clearly understand what this game is about for them. There is no mistake about it, they both know what they are going to have to do.

Q: Can you talk about the quarterback situation?
We�ll get as much rotation as we can to make sure that both Elvis and Randall get enough reps to be comfortable with what we are doing.

Q: Why do you think teams have gone away from 3-4 defenses? Is it personnel?

To a degree. They have geared their personnel towards that for a long time. It�s hard to just all of a sudden change. They are comfortable with it. They are successful with it. There are a few teams that still work with it to a degree. Belichick still works with it in New England to a degree, as he did in New York. But their personnel are geared for it and they�re successful with it.

Q: Pittsbugh is one of the biggest surprises in the league at 5-1. Are they the team to beat in the AFC Central right now?

They are 5-1. That says it right there. We are 4-3. You look at it at face value, they have five wins, we have four wins. We have three losses, they have one. There is a big difference. We haven�t had our bye yet so that is a factor clearly, but they are 5-1. Enough said.

Q: Can you give us Terry Allen�s status?

Terry I think will be able to go maybe a little less today then he will tomorrow, but he is very confident that he�ll be able to progress through the week to where he�ll be able to get enough reps to where he is going to be comfortable playing.

Q: Did Jason Brookins give you more confidence to use him?

Yeah, right up to the point he batted the ball up for an interception. And right up to the point where he talked to you all after the game. So if I can get him to shut up and not bat the ball up in the game, we are going to have a hell of a back.

Q: Bruener their tight end�

Maybe the best blocking tight end in the game right now. He�s a big, big part of why they are running the ball so well. And OK so he is a great blocking tight end, and maybe his numbers aren�t great, but all of a sudden every game he has one or two catches that converts a third down or is a big play to give you a boost right when you need it. Everybody focuses on that aspect of it, the fact that he is such a great blocking tight end, but he is a sneaky little devil because all of a sudden he reaches up and those one or two aren�t great numbers but they always seem to be one or two that hurt you.

Q: With the signing of Randall Cunningham, you hope that you don�t have to use him but I�m sure his teammates are real pleased that he can still produce.

Having a presence like Randall gives your team confidence that from the day you open camp, if the situation should arise, having a guy like that in a pivotal time of the season, yeah that was a pivotal game. When we signed Randall it was just what we said. As much as we think Chris Redman is developing into a fine quarterback, I�d hate to have a playoff run, a division title on the line and have to put that kind of pressure on a young man like Chris Redman. Not that he wouldn�t step up to it, but to have someone of Randall�s experience and proven ability lets us all sleep a lot better.

Q: Going into a new stadium in Heinz Field, are you upset that you aren�t going to be able to play at Three Rivers anymore?

To a degree, but we seem to do pretty good with new stadiums too so we are looking forward to that as well. I saw the stadium this summer when I passed through Pittsburgh. It is beautiful. I am really looking forward to getting in that stadium and all of the energy that goes with it. I�ll miss the old Three Rivers. There are a lot of fond memories there. Not the turf, but other than that�

Q: Kipp Vickers started at right tackle the other day. Is that likely to happen again?

Possibly. He could be at right guard. We are just all sorts of enigmas around here, aren�t we? We don�t know who is going to be where. How about that.

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