Coach Munchak's Wednesday Practice Report



(on what the history lesson is this week)

Beat Pittsburgh, they beat us the last two times we played them. We didn't play well last year at all, as we know, so that's easy history to let them know about from week two when they came in here and we turned the ball over seven times and gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff. We know we can play a lot better than that.

(on having Ahmard Hall back and how he looked)

It's good to have him back, he can do a lot of things for us. He is familiar with our offense. Obviously it was just nice to get him on the field again, get him loose again, and get him back in football shape. He looked good so far from what I can tell. We will watch the tape and see how he does after today and tomorrow and make our decision by the end of the week.

(on if it is a bigger issue for the offense or special teams if Craig Stevens can't play on Sunday)

Well definitely the offense, he is such a big part of our offense and has been catching the ball the last few games, been going to him on some big catches, especially in a game like this where you need somebody that can handle those outside linebackers in the run game. So it would definitely be a big loss to not have him for both ends, he helps with both but definitely the offensive side.

(on Craig Stevens' health)

He is sore, ribs are just something with tolerating the pain. He didn't do anything today, he probably won't do a whole lot tomorrow, and then hopefully by Friday he will feel like he can get out there and do some things.

(on what Ahmard Hall brings to the running game that might have been missing)

I don't know, I don't know if it will be anything different than what you have seen. Like I have said, I don't think you can blame anything on one person or that one person is going to make a difference or not having one person made a difference. You hope that whenever you have someone back that Chris (Johnson) is familiar with, it's a plus hopefully and we will just see how it plays out on Sunday.

(on if this is a game that could put the Titans on the national radar and give them respect that they haven't gotten yet this year)

That really doesn't matter to me a whole lot, we just want to win. We have a game every Sunday, that's how we look at it. This is a big game for us playing in Pittsburgh, our second game in a row on the road and if you win games all of that will come.

(on what will happen with the roster to add Ahmard Hall)

We have to make a decision on the roster spot with somebody. If we put him up, then obviously we have to let someone go, so that's what I'm saying. We have to do something there, it's just a matter of what we decide to do. 

(on if keeping two fullbacks would be unusual)

Yeah, it would be hard to do, but like I said we need to see if we have a spot to be able to do that than we would consider it. It's more or less seeing what our options are before we make our decision.

(on what not having James Harrison does to the Titans game plan and how will it affect the Steelers)

Well it's not going to change anything we do, they will fill in with another guy. They have good football players on that team. It seems like they lose a lot of linebackers over the years and they have guys that fill in and do a great job. They have a great scheme, they train them well, and they draft them well. I'm sure for them, losing a guy who has obviously been as productive as he has been is a loss, no doubt. When you have a guy that is experienced playing and has made plays, especially in big games and at home, they will miss that in him and the confidence. But like I said, once they decide who is playing where, it won't change a whole lot on how we prepare for who is playing.

(on how he will address the players about not looking at the Steelers record and their injuries when mentally preparing for this game)

I think just because we have played them so much, we know them, it's almost like a division opponent. They used to be in our division years ago, we have played them four times in the last three years I think, so we are familiar with them and we are not looking at the past and who beat them or who didn't beat them. We know every Sunday is different, we have all learned that already in four weeks how different one Sunday is to the next. We know what we are going to have, they have only had one home game and they won 24-0. I think they have the best home record in the last seven or eight years, I think they have sold out the last 300 games or something so that's a tough place to go in and play no matter what their record is. They are 2-2 and this is still early in the season and we know we are going to have to play our best to win.

(on if they will make more of an effort to get to Ben Roethlisberger since his mobility may be limited on Sunday)

I don't think we will change anything. I think he has been amazing how he has handled the multiple injuries he has had and has played well with them, credit to him for that. We all know how he extends plays when plays break down or he is holding the ball to wait on the play and he is willing to take the hit. I don't know how much it will slow him down at all, we will find out on Sunday. We will try to get after him if we force him to pass the ball and the big thing is we have to get him down when we have that opportunity.

(on if the Steelers struggles on their offensive line may allow them to get pressure on Roethlisberger)

You hope so, but that's another thing that they have been good at, they have done a great job with injuries over the years. They have had trouble on the offensive line it seems like the last few years, but they were in the Super Bowl. They seem to find a way to win, they find a way to make plays and that's why they have been to more Super Bowls as Dallas. They have won the most Super Bowls that anyone has ever won because of the way they adjust when they do have injuries. They overcome those things and still win football games. There is no doubt that they may not be as healthy as they would like to be, but they do a good job of filling in with other people.

(on if there is any chance that the team looks ahead to their bye week)

With this opponent, I don't think there is any way you let up at all in this case, we know what can happen in Pittsburgh and all the things I just mentioned. I think that's the last thing on our mind, I don't think anyone is even thinking about the fact that we are off next week. I think we know what a great opportunity we have coming this weekend. I think we all know how hard we have to work to prepare for this game. If not, then it's not going to work out the way we hoped.

(on Fernando Velasco's development)

When he played last year, he had a start in the Dallas game early in the season, I think it was week three or four, and he played really well at guard. We have a lot of confidence in him and I think he has shown it last year when he stepped up. He has gotten better every year that he has been here and I think when Leroy (Harris) did get hurt, I don't think anyone felt that we couldn't win or keep it going with him going in there. I think that's a credit to him and how hard he has worked to create that confidence that he has in himself and the players have in him and Matt (Hasselbeck) has in him and so on. That's a good thing for us to have.

(on what he likes about Fernando Velasco)

He has that nice build, he has natural leverage kind of like Leroy (Harris) and (Eugene) Amano have. He is very strong, nice center of gravity, good base, very hard to push him back, he creates a nice pocket for the quarterback because of his strength. He is a smart player, he can play all three positions inside and he has the demeanor where he is calm, he doesn't get real panicky if things don't go his way or you need to move him around. We saw that early in him and the good news is he worked hard enough to develop all of that.

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