Jeff Fisher's Friday Press Conference


(on if the film revealed anything new from the game)

Basically, what we saw was what I thought happened and it was many opportunities, many subtle things. A game in which when you're playing a quality opponent like the Steelers in a close game, a play here or there can make a difference in a game. There might have been a dozen of opportunities, subtle things, but a dozen of opportunities that could have changed the outcome of the game. Offensively, defensively, special teams, even officiating, there were just a number of little things that could have changed the course of the game. With that being said, there was a lot of mistakes that we made, minor mistakes. Had the game gone the other way, the Steelers would be saying the same thing. They made some mistakes and the game was close. They're all correctable and that's what we're dwelling on right now. We've got to somehow turn this into a positive experience and the only way to do that is to correct the mistakes.

(on Chris Johnson having 15 touches)

It was the way the game goes. I thought Mike (Heimerdinger) did a nice job of play calling, play selection. We had them on their heels, we were making plays down the field. Unfortunately, we had some significant gains called back because of a five-yard penalty here or there. We tried to get the ball in C.J.'s hands. He had some opportunities too, we had a screen set up and he didn't execute the block right or he might still be running. We all took our turns making mistakes.

(on how to turn the loss into a positive)

Nobody likes to lose, especially the opener. Considering the circumstances, this team does not. You have to lay before them the reasons why it happened and the examples throughout the game that could have changed the course of the game.

(on the penalties committed by David Stewart)

Dave was back a little deep. Basically, what happens and I hope this is called consistently, but when the visiting team is on offense and it's loud and you're in passing situations and you can't hear, that's a natural tendency to back up just a little bit especially when you got wide linebackers, and that's what happened. Dave was warned early, I talked to Dave, talked to the officials, next series he got back a little bit and he was called for it and then called for it one more time. We had another one where they said Kenny Britt was not on the line of scrimmage, and if it's going to be called it needs to be called consistently that way.

(on the current mood of the team)

They're not pleased with it. We expected to go up there and play well and play hard, have a chance to win and we didn't. This team needs to learn from it and move on. You can't dwell on it, you just have to move on. We've got, as I told them, we have work to get done in the classrooms and grading the tape in all three phases and then when it's done, it's done. We'll correct some things next week, we'll emphasis some things next week but we need to also take advantage of the two days off, the Saturday and Sunday. We see this as almost as if we're experiencing an early bye week. We got to get our legs back. We've been on the road four out of the last six weeks so we got to rest up and get ready to play a real solid team in the division.

(on if the blocked field goal was because of the Steelers penetration or low trajectory)

It was a combination of both, shouldn't happen. It was just execution.

(on the missed field goal)

The snap was not a good snap. Ken (Amato) didn't make a good snap. The ball was behind Craig (Hentrich) and he had to get it down quick and you know it was an errant snap.

(on Bo Scaife's status)

We did the MRI and the results came back good. He doesn't have an awful lot of swelling and we'll just list him as day-to-day right now.

(on if James Harrison's hit on Bo Scaife was a cheap shot)

No, when the ball carriers got the ball, the defender can tackle any way he wants. I think the defender was driving and he was already driving low and it was just a strange set of circumstances. If Bo catches the ball and turns up the sideline then he's tackled low and gets up and we've got a first down. Bo tried to make the catch and come back underneath him to keep things alive and try to run after the catch and got his leg planted.

(on Bo Scaife returning soon from injury)

He'll be day-to-day, we're going to see how he is.

(on hoping Nate Washington will benefit from extra time before the next game)


We wouldn't have played Nate had he been unable to play. He played 26 plays. That's what we expected to get out of him, and he was fine.

(on sticking with Cortland Finnegan at punt returner)


Well, Ryan (Mouton) I thought did a good job for us in the preseason. He'll be back, so we'll be able to use Cortland and/or Ryan when he comes back. He'll be 100 percent this week.

(on if he still believes the team's returner is currently on the roster)


I thought Javon (Ringer), the ball was moving around a little bit. Had he caught the ball moving forward, we had some creases. The difference between catching a kickoff moving back, taking a step back, and moving through the kick is the difference in timing it up and the timing and everything. And the ball was moving. So, you saw what he did during the preseason. He can do that, and I also feel like Ryan can do it. At this point, I'm not looking around.

(on if Craig Hentrich's final punt having to do with an injury on the play)


No, that bad punt had nothing to do with … He didn't hurt himself on that punt, no.

(on Pittsburgh's success passing in the latter part of the game)


Well, they are the world champs. The quarterback is very talented. He stays alive, and he makes plays. That's what he did, he made some plays. We worked all week. We knew that that's where the plays were going to come. I thought, overall, I thought the defense with a few exceptions … Everyone's got a chance to make a play, but I'll credit Ben for making the plays down the field.

(on if the defensive line was tired at the end of the game)


Well, we kept a rotation going, but they also were blocking with six and seven at times during that last drive. We pressured, and the ball was out, we make a tackle and it's second and three. The field was getting shorter and shorter. Ben was not going to take a sack. He was going to cut the ball loose.

(on being encouraged by Kenny Britt's performance)


Robbie (Bohren) told me, we haven't had a receiver in an opener, a draft pick in an opener in his rookie year, play like he played – years and years and years. The good thing about that experience for Kenny was that game was not too big for him. He was focused, he was having fun, he was doing the right things, and he made plays. So Kenny is going to be just fine.

(on Britt's maturity and ability being different from other rookies the team has had)


It's just the ability to run the routes and understand the concepts. That's why we drafted him. We knew that that type of ability was there. We knew mentally he could handle things like that, and he did. That was a good effort. He's got a lot of room for improvement, as everybody on the team does, but I'd say it's fair to say he got off to a good start.

(on Stephen Tulloch's play and why he stayed in the game in the nickel defense)


Tully stayed in the nickel because D.T. (David Thornton) was banged up for a few series, so he stayed in. Tully is instrumental in the run stopping early and did a nice job in his pass drops. He's our starting middle linebacker, and he's productive.

(on what happened to David Thornton)


He's OK, he just was banged up momentarily in the game.

(on Britt's play on the interception by Troy Polamalu)


Yeah, that will come from experience. He's just got to make the decision. He got caught between strides, and if he goes up and times it up, the ball lands incomplete. If he's caught between strides like that, he's got to make sure the ball's not caught.

(on if he is encouraged even though the offensive drives didn't produce many points)

Yes. It started with protection and the threat of the run game and then the design of the things that we designed during the week and the fact that Kerry (Collins) understands the concepts and we protected him and he got the ball out down the field. It was a good game plan. I'm just disappointed that we didn't get more points and we ended our own drives and then the two field goal opportunities obviously were difference makers in the game.

(on if Kerry Collins was on target throughout the game)

Yeah. He made good decisions and threw on time. He threw with people in his face. The touchdown pass that he threw to Justin (Gage), he didn't see it caught. That is part of playing the Steelers; you are not always going to see those balls caught.

(on focusing on the little things in the offseason and whether the team learned from that last night)

I think what happens is when you lose a ball game there is a need to provide an explanation and this explanation involves little things because that is what it was. We didn't go out there and get our rear ends kicked and give up 40 points. We lost in overtime in a close game. They scored, we answered, they scored, we answered. It was a field position thing. Again it was little things and we all have to understand, I'm talking about players, that when you play close games the difference in close games are the little things.

(on if he's worried with the state of the tight end position)


(on how long Jared Cook is out)

I would expect Jared to play this week.

(on if he has to make an effort this week to get the team mentally up after a tough loss)

No. This team is mature enough. The challenge in the National Football League is keeping wins and losses in perspective and putting losses behind you as quickly as you can, appropriately. This team understands that.

(on the player confidence that they are still one of the best teams)

As a said numerous times this was a privilege for us to go up there. We were excited about the fact that the league chose us to go up there and participate in this game and open the season against the World Champs. They are a good football team. We went in there expecting to win, it didn't happen. We feel like we have a good team and we are just going to move on. I think the difference between good teams and average teams in this league is how quickly you can bounce back and how you keep this kind of things in perspective and move on. You have to have a sense of confidence, not overconfident, but a sense about yourselves that you can go in and win every day and that is what this team feels it can do. It didn't happen last night, so we move on.

(on the overtime rules)

I don't see it changing. Thanks for bringing it up; I knew it would come up. To be honest with you, I was kind of hoping that we would lose the toss last night. I thought we took the wind, kicked the ball off, go three and out, get good field position and win the ball game. I certainly didn't think we wouldn't get the ball back, but everyone understands overtime. We all understand how it works. To tweak it, we have looked at it for years and years and we just feel like this is the best system.

(on if Ryan Mouton could have played)

He could have played, but his recovery was such that we came to the conclusion that he was going to be able to play a little late in the week and he didn't get the reps in the special teams areas that he needed.

(on the potential to make roster moves before the next game)

No. We are correcting what we are doing and are happy with where the roster is right now. That doesn't mean to say if somebody pops up that we look at or work out. Just because we work them out doesn't mean we are going to sign them.

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