IRVING, Texas – To get up to date with the Pittsburgh Steelers, we talk to Ed Bouchette, the long-time beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Todd Archer - What's the state of the mind of this team after the loss to San Diego?
Ed Bouchette - Don't know because I'm no psychologist. Brett Keisel did say after Sunday's loss to San Diego that the team wasn't ready to play and on Tuesday Mike Tomlin agreed with him.
TA - Is Ben Roethlisberger OK and is it just a matter of him getting used to playing again?
EB - He's fine. If Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown had hung onto a few deep passes, he would have had over 300 yards and 4 or 5 TDs instead of 3. He also was a yard from being their leading rusher with 31 yards on 5 scrambles.
TA - How big of a loss is Rashard Mendenhall? He's been hurt. They have other backs. Is he being phased out?
EB - He's been hurt, rehabbing from ACL for the first three games and then after playing in two, hurt his Achilles. As you know, he's suspended for this game because he did not show up for last Sunday after they told him he would be inactive. He's a big loss but only in the sense they could use the Mendenhall of 2009 or 2010.
TA - The defense is still at the top of the league, but it just seems different this year. Am I wrong? Still feared?
EB - They don't sack anyone or create turnovers, and that's been an issue since the start of 2011. They had just 15 turnovers last season and this one they have 12 (although one fumble came on a muffed punt). Injuries to James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley hurt this year and last.
TA - Todd Haley was a Dallas assistant for a few years so we know his, ummm, intensity. How are things going for him as the Steelers OC and how is the relationship with Roethlisberger?
EB - There's been not one hint of trouble and Haley is on the sideline for games. If he did not have that reputation, no one in Pittsburgh would know anything about it based on his behavior and relationships since he's been here.