Boy I tell you, it’s a fine line between winning and losing in this league. You’ve got to give credit to the Colts. They made the plays necessary to win the football game. They took advantage of minute opportunities and made significant plays. We did not. It’s the difference between catching interception opportunities and not. They did, thus they had turnovers; we didn’t. We’ve got to do a better job taking care of the ball and we’ve got to do a better job of getting the ball. When you play good on good – and make no mistake, that team was better than their 4-4 record – games come down to that. We take responsibility for it. Hopefully we’ll learn from it, because we’re going to be into more games like that that’s going to come down to minute details and executing in those moments. That’ll be the difference in the outcome of those games. Hopefully we’ll come back on the winning side of it.
Can you evaluate Ben Roethlisberger’s performance?
Well, you know, not up to snuff because we lost. That’s how I evaluate everyone’s play. The quarterback position of course is in line with that. Sometimes they get a little bit too much credit when you win, and a little bit too much blame when you lose. We’re looking to win. That’s how he looks at it. That’s how I look at it. That’s how the rest of those guys in that locker room look at it.
How restricted was his ability to throw deep?
You’d have to ask him that.
What happened on the first interception?
I don’t have the details of it at this point. It was a nice catch by (Keiwan) Rat(liff).
How’s the moral of the defense, coach, after playing so hard?
Hey, we are a football team. We don’t play the moral-victory game and we don’t point fingers. They’re just like everybody else in this locker room. We lost this game today. You won’t find that in our locker room.
How would you estimate Ben’s health on a percentage basis?
I wouldn’t. But I’m not going to make that the story and neither is he. He was well enough to play today. The standard is the standard of expectation.
How bad is Deshea Townsend’s injury?
It’s a hamstring. I think in the next couple of days we’ll get some clarity about the severity of it, but when you play corner and you see a guy go down like that it’s generally not good. We’ll cross our fingers.
What’s your take on the two balls that Ike Taylor tipped?
He didn’t catch them and they did. It’s the difference in the outcome of games at times when you’ve got closely matched football teams. Their guys pulled them in; our guys didn’t.
What’s Willie Parker’s situation?
He’s got a shoulder injury. Mewelde Moore played this week. We’re hopeful he’s well enough to play next week. We’ll see where he is.
How about LaMarr Woodley?
Same thing. That calf injury he’s been battling a little bit, it didn’t come around enough for him to participate. Again, LaMarr is a young guy, he’s a second-year guy, he’s not the kind of guy who can miss quality practice reps and show up at a stadium and play winning football. We’ve got enough quality depth that we felt we could play healthy football. He wasn’t able to practice this week, so we went with Lawrence Timmons.
Ben threw a lot of short ones. Were they just giving those to him?
When you play the Colts, they’re going to build an umbrella defense and they’re going to invite you to throw the short ones, if you will, and they’re going to bank on you being impatient and try to test them vertically. When you do that, you get sacked and you throw picks. Our game plan was we were going to take what they gave to us. We were able to convert third downs checking the ball down to Mewelde Moore and Matt Spaeth. That is how you play when you play the Colts. Games dome down to finishes and they specialize in finishes. They played their game.
Did you think about going for a touchdown when you kicked the last field goal?
There was a thought. It was obvious that we lost some grass on the third-down attempt. We only had two tight ends. Max Starks had declared himself eligible. In order for us to take a shot at it, he would have had to come out of the game. Semantics. When you lose ground like that on third down, you do not want to leave there with a negative taste in your mouth. We took the points.
Why did you have so much trouble running the ball against their small front?
They are very good at moving. That is how they offset their size. Their movement is exceptional with their front. They stunt. They shoot gaps. They have a guy who plays strong safety who is going to be around the line of scrimmage. He is pretty good so they move him around. Sometimes he is on the tight end side. Sometimes he’s on the open side. They deserve credit for that.
Why did Troy Polamalu played Timmons’ linebacker spot in the dime all second half?
Because when they go three wideouts and a tight end, they are throwing the ball. If you want to play some man concepts, then you want to have Troy on a guy like Dallas Clark. We thought that was an advantageous matchup as opposed to having Lawrence on a guy like him. Not that Lawrence is incapable of doing those things. That is just the route that we went in the second half trying to contain No. 44.
Was Troy expecting help on the Colts’ last touchdown?
I think that was not Troy’s man. There was a little miscommunication there. That is why you win and why you lose sometimes. They executed and we didn’t.
Are you concerned about Ben’s confidence?
No. I am not concerned about his confidence. He is our quarterback because he is. If you play that position in this league, you have to remain unwavered. I expect him to, and I’m sure that he will.