Cowher: Steelers Seeking Redemption
(Nick Laham/Getty Images)
(Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Posted Dec 22, 2006


One of the great matchups of this NFL weekend is the Steelers and the Ravens. Pittsburgh head coach talked about his team's hot streak, a number of the Ravens players, and the chance for his team to redeem themselves after

On keeping the players focused given the Steelers' current hot streak:
"I think we've kept it all in perspective. I think we all recognize that we're kind of hanging onto the chance of getting into the playoffs and the right things have to happen. We recognize the only thing we can control is how we play in these last two games, and certainly, the biggest challenge is this weekend."

On whether his players have been motivated by their recent wins:
"I don't know if it's motivating. Certainly you'd like to make sure that your efforts show a little bit more than what happened last time. I think certainly we were, to a degree, embarrassed by what took place. But, it happened and the thing we've got to do now is try to prepare ourselves and seize the opportunity we have this weekend."

On telling RB Willie Parker he made the Pro Bowl:
"It was very nice to see a player like Willie Parker, how far he has come and how hard he has worked, to see him have the year he's had and to be recognized. He's special. He's a special kid and I think he's a special back. It couldn't happen to a better person. I couldn't be happier for him."

On whether he was surprised by the way the Ravens dominated Pittsburgh in Baltimore:
"We don't go into any game expecting to lose. Certainly they handled us very well and we would like to think that's not something we have happen to us on
a regular basis."

On the key to Pittsburgh's turnaround this season:
"[There's] not really [one thing]. I think we've played better. We haven't turned the football over as much. Like I said, the game we played against Baltimore, really within the last couple of months, has been the worst game we've played. They're a good football team. I give a lot of credit to them the last time we played them. The good thing about it is that we've got a chance to redeem ourselves this weekend."

On Ravens T Jonathan Ogden:
"He's an unbelievable athlete for a man of his size. He's a tough guy. I've had a chance to coach him a number of times at the Pro Bowl. He's got a great demeanor. He's unbelievably competitive. Just for a man of that size to have the athletic ability that he has is just so unique. He's certainly the best, if not one of the best, at his position and he's done that year-in and year-out."

On the difference QB Steve McNair has made for the Ravens:
"Confidence. I think the confidence that the players have in him. He's been there. He's won a lot of games in the National Football League. He's brought teams back. I think that he re-established that mindset with this new football team early in the season with some of his comeback wins. I think when he did that it instilled a confidence and a presence that he has in the huddle that they believe in."

On whether he was surprised Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs was chosen for the Pro Bowl:
"Not really. Their defense is awesome. When you look at their linebacking corps you can probably put them all in there. I think Ray Lewis is having a great year, Bart Scott has just kind of come into his own. Certainly the outside two guys made it, but I still say Kelly Gregg is one of the most underrated players in the National Football League. He is such a good down lineman. The year Trevor Pryce has had [is great]. The front seven has been solid. Then you look at the secondary; there's not a weak link with that group. Samari Rolle has been to a Pro Bowl, [Chris] McAlister is going, Ed Reed is going. Then they've got the young kid [Dawan Landry] around there, and he's just going to get good because of the people he's got around him."

On if he tries to prevent questions about his coaching future to avoid a distraction:
"I don't. I've answered them and it's all documented and it's pretty consistent. It's not a distraction; we're just getting ready to play the next game."

On his memories being teammates with Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome:
"[It seems] any time I come off the practice field, I either see the drive or the fumble on TV. It seems like they play that classic on ESPN quite often. I think that Ozzie was so good and I remember so many great catches that he made and playing with him on that 1980 team - the cardiac kids. He was such a big part of that. That was my first year in the National Football League and I thought that was how it always was going to be. I quickly learned that that wasn't. Ozzie is a special man. He has worked his way up and you can see the kind of work he's done. He's very well respected around the National Football League. He's played the game, he's been at every level and I think that he's a class act."

On the difficulty of his decision to continue to coach:
"It will be done after the season. We'll just leave it at that. I'm not ready to get into too much. I've talked already enough about that stuff."



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