Shurmur press conf. transcript - 11/23

Posted Nov 23, 2012

The transcript of coach Pat Shurmur's Friday afternoon post-practice press conference.

(Opening statement)- “Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving. With that being said, I’ll take your questions.”

(On how Joe Haden has looked this week)- “He practiced all the way through the week and didn’t miss any time. He’s fine.”

(On if Haden is good to go Sunday)- “We’ll see, but I think so.”

(On the Steelers run offense and what makes them be able to have success with three different guys)- “They’ve got a good rotation of guys. Their run scheme is good and their backs are very similar in a lot of ways. They don’t really have to change what they do on offense. They can put a guy in there and he can have the same success as the next guy.”

(On how well his defense is playing in relation to having so many injuries this year)- “I think our guys are battling. I think we’re getting about as healthy as we can be, especially at this point in the season. Our guys have been battling hard. I don’t know how to generalize it more than that.”

(On allowing an average of less than 300 yards over the last four games and what that means)- “That means we’re having more good plays. I think it’s important that you minimize the long gains. Then you need to try to be efficient on first and second down. Then you have to do a good job of getting off the field on third down. I think ranking defenses purely on yards can be a little bit deceiving when you say a team is a top whatever defense. You’ve got to dig a little bit deeper. You’ve got to look at red zone. You’ve got to look at short yardage. You’ve got to look at third downs. You’ve got to look at points allowed. Defenses throughout the league, some are excellent in all categories. When you look at other defenses, you see mixed good results.”

(On Brandon Weeden saying they only practice certain plays one time a week)- “I disagree with some of that because I do think that we make an effort of the ones we’re going to call we practice. A lot of the plays that we practice, we’ve been running all year and you run them in training camp. It’s nearly impossible with the amount of time and then the length of the season to practice every single thing multiple times. You see it going on behind me right now, they spend extra time working on the individual routes. That’s what you’ve got to do.”

(On how he condensed practice time after the new CBA last year)- “The way I’ve learned to practice, there wasn’t a huge amount of adjustments. The hardest part was in the first practice or your other practice, you just had to walk through instead of jog through. That was a big adjustment. I think we get a chance to practice everything.”

(On if he watched any football yesterday)- “I did.”

(On Jim Schwartz throwing the challenge flag yesterday against the Texans)- “I did see a lot of that game. I actually did not see that play. I’d be the last one to be critical of another coach. We do know that when there is a scoring play or there is a turnover, it automatically gets challenged. I’m not going to be critical of it.”

(On if it’s difficult to not throw the red flag in the heat of the moment at the wrong time)- “Let’s take the heat of the moment out of it. It made the rules a little bit easier by saying that every time it’s a scoring play, quite frankly that’s how I view it, because it takes it out of my hands once they’ve decided it’s a touchdown. That doesn’t take away the human element of the game. That’s why I would never be critical of another coach. I don’t know exactly what was going on on his sideline. I don’t know what was being said. Those kinds of questions are better for him.”

(On if Schwartz should have received just a penalty and the play still reviewed)- “I don’t really have any strong feelings on that. I would have to sit down and think about that a little bit more. I understand the rules as they are. As I just mentioned with Mary Kay (Cabot), I understand why things happen also.”

(On if the officials in the Detroit-Houston game should have told Schwartz the play is going to be reviewed and just give him back the challenge flag)- “There are times when challenge flags are thrown, but they’ve been very distinct about the process involving a scoring play. I just think that’s the way it is. We all know how games go sometimes.”

(On if the Steelers are using Mike Wallace differently this year)- “I think their system is a little bit different than last year. You’re seeing more quick timed throws, where the ball gets out quicker. That happens a little bit. They still use him and he can still run and get in the back end pretty good.”

(On what he credits their pass rush against Dallas to)- “I think the guys that were in there cranked up some good rushes. I think that’s number one. They threw the ball quite a bit. I think when you get more good players in the game and you get a rotation, then it helps the rushes that the guys have be more meaningful. It’s like if you had to play four guys the whole game, by the end they would be pretty worn down. If you can a rotation of seven or eight of them, then as the game goes on they stay a little bit fresher. I would attribute it to that some.”

(On what he’s emphasizing to his players about Charlie Batch so the players don’t think they are on easy street with Roethlisberger out)- “We know in general when we’re playing the Steelers we’re not to use your words, ‘easy street.’ This is going to be a battle. I’ve seen it before. I know it’s the case. Veteran quarterbacks that have been in the league a long time find a way to come in and be very efficient. He’s a veteran player amongst a very veteran team. That’s what we’re anticipating. There’s enough previous film on Charlie where you can see how he functions. We’ve got to try to piece it together with how they play offense now, which is a little bit different. You basically get ready to play the Steelers, and just know that they’ve got a veteran leader behind center.”

(On if he thinks Batch will be getting rid of the ball quicker than Tony Romo did last week)- “I don’t know that. I think generally speaking, they have a quick passing game. They like to run the football. I think we’ll see that. I’m sure Charlie’s going to understand the timing of the routes that they’re running for him. They are a different offensive scheme, obviously, than we played in Dallas so we have to approach it a little differently.”

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