(On his seasonal overview of Brandon Weeden and where he thinks he's headed)- "It feels kind of like unfinished business right here. I know I'll have to sit down and write reports for personnel people here toward the end of it. Just like the season, some good some bad. I wish I could tell you that it ended on a real high note. I sure wouldn't characterize last week as a real high note for any of us."
(On if Montario Hardesty starts would the game plan be different based on his running style and how it differs from Trent Richardson)- "No, we really design the game plan to attack the Steelers brand of defense. Just the same as I would say, when Trent (Richardson) was carrying the ball before, Montario happened to come in, those plays are all designed to attack the defense that you're trying to attack. We probably won't do anything out of the ordinary with Montario that we wouldn't do with Trent."
(On what he expects from Hardesty)- "Trent could be the spot player this week if he can make it back, because I don't think Pat's (Shurmur) ruled him out quite yet. With that in mind, we're still trying to attack Pittsburgh's brand of defense. We know it's the number one defense in the National Football League, so not too bad a defense to be trying to attack."
(On how difficult it is to prepare Thaddeus Lewis to play at Pittsburgh after being on the practice squad last week)- "It's a tall mountain, but a guy like Thad, who's been in this system, has played in the preseason, we watch him every day. He's running the card team, but he gets to sit in all those meetings. He does run a portion of practice, our run game portion of practice at times down with George Warhop and Gary Brown. It's not daunting to him, is the point. I think he's actually kind of looking forward to maybe the opportunity to play."
(On what Lewis' best quality is)- "He's not too high, not too low. He's a flat line guy. I think that's what you look for with quarterbacks. You don't want them up ready to jump off the building, or have to dig them out of a hole."
(On if he feels like they got as much as they could out of this group)- "I think as a coach, you always think you can get more. You can get more, you can get more, and you can get more. I certainly would never in any of my comments, talk about the undercurrent of change being the reason that we did or we didn't get anything. I would never ever characterize it. I don't feel that way."
(On if he's seen things from Richardson that says he is what he was drafted to be)- "I have. I've seen bursts of that. I don't think he's had all of his faculties completely all year long, whether you start in training camp spending time out with that knee or the ongoing rib issue. It's funny, I just saw him start to get a little of that spark, really in the last couple weeks. In terms of his practice reps to the point where you'd end up commenting on it and say ‘33 looks like he's freshening up here.'"
(On how he deals with the uncertainty of what could happen next week)- "We don't even spend time worrying about it. What will end up happening is what will end up happening. I know since the Mayan calendar has proved to be false, I think we'll make it to next Monday, and we'll make it to next Tuesday and next Wednesday. What will be, will be. "
(On his thoughts on how the end of the game went against Denver)- "Would you like me to wax like Herman Edwards right now? Perhaps? That would encapsulate my thoughts that you play to win the game. You do everything you can to win the game."
(On if the players buy into that when they are down)- "I certainly think players would think less of us as coaches if we weren't still trying to scrape and scramble and call and try to make the next first down and the next first down."
(On if there are key points they tell Lewis about the Steelers defense)- "He has probably sat in more Pittsburgh Steelers meetings than I have, having been here last year and playing them twice. Then this year, playing them within a month, so that's two year's worth of experience. I think he knows their base tenants in that defense. What you don't want to do is give him a litany of, remember this, look for this, don't forget this, what about that, or you tend to make a guy unbelievably tentative. What you want him to do is you want his God-given athletic ability to come out. There are not one or two things that we're telling him to focus on and this is the secret of the universe."
(On what kind of jump he sees the offense making next year)- "I think I said it last week, I think there's a continuity portion that gets thrown out the window sometimes. If things are able to stay static, I think my comment was last week, I'd expect the quarterback and everybody else to make a huge jump in year two."
(On what indications he has to say that the offense will make a big jump)- "Just because I've seen glimmers of what can be with the quarterback, with the offensive line, with a couple of the wide receivers, the younger wide receiver kids and with the running back. I think it's probably not as hard as catching lightning in a bottle, but just getting all those factors and making sure all those things meet up; everybody's healthy, everybody's in the offseason program, some of the coaching stays the same. Those things are important factors, I think, in the National Football League."
(On if he participates in a conversation to bring a guy like Josh Johnson in)- "You just talk about who's available out there, and there were a couple different arms that were available. Basically, you're going back and looking through those which Pat and Tom (Heckert) did and decided on which flavor they were looking for."
(On if continuity is the only way it works in this league)- "I think it is. We're in such an immediate gratification world that we live in right now, that it's hard to preach patience. Nobody wants to hear patience. They want what they want right now, whether it's connectivity or whatever it is. I recognize that. That's in the end, ends up being the owners choice on deciding how he wants to do things. He certainly has that prerogative when you own a football team."
(On what he saw from Mike Tomlin when they coached together in Minnesota)- "He's a great communicator. I bumped into him on the road working athletes out over the course of the years that I was in the NFL, and I knew that I wanted that scheme of defense that he would bring, which was the Tampa 2 style at that time. I just thought he was a great communicator when I watched him work out kids and talk to kids. He wouldn't have any trouble standing in a room of men and running the room, which is what you want from a defensive coordinator when you spend time as an offensive coach on the offensive side. I didn't have any bones about him being able to do that. He's done a tremendous job there at the Steelers."
(On Tomlin making the transition to head coach)- "I don't think I could be prophetic about that because I knew he could make the next step to the coordinator level. He was only a coordinator for one year and then he became the head coach. For me to say that I thought he was ready for that after one year as a coordinator, I'd be lying to you."
(On Richardson being 50 yards away from a 1,000-yard season factor into the decision making for this game)- "No, that would never be the case. He would never do that and we would never do that. Again, that's that immediate gratification. We're looking for can we plug another 50 yards on there. It's not like a road runner where you can put a crutch on the thing and all of a sudden it runs. If he can move, he can move. If he can't, he doesn't get that 1,000 yards."
(On Joe Thomas making the Pro Bowl for the sixth year and who does he put him in mind of)- "I can remember being at the NFC Championship game, and being at the podium and speaking after New Orleans game, and somebody said this era, this game will be an epic. I said, ‘How do you know that? Who does that?' One of the guys sitting right here goes, ‘We do.' When you say a great tackle of an era, I'm going to say it's probably back to you. You're writing about the era. I don't know that I'm qualified to comment on it. He's a good player and six years as an All-Pro is pretty doggone good. I told him this morning that it's better for a player to know than for a coach to know the directions out of the Honolulu airport and to the west side of the island very well. Unfortunately, we did it three years in a row to where the car kind of led the way. For him it's a good thing, for coaches not so good."