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Coach Munchak's Nov. 29 Practice Report

Posted Nov 29, 2013

HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK

(on players’ statuses heading into Sunday)

(Craig) Stevens will be out and so will Damian (Williams). Other than that I think we’re in good shape. (David) Stewart was limited today. He’ll be questionable, but we assume he’ll play. Sammie Hill practiced, he’s questionable. The last three, (Bernard) Pollard, Brian (Schwenke), and (Kendall) Wright, are all probable.

(on whether David Stewart made it through practice)

He didn’t do everything—that’s why we listed him as questionable—but we assume he’ll be OK.

(on whether Craig Stevens’ absence limits certain offensive packages)

No it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t unless we have another injury—that’s when it would get more limiting if we lost another tight end. But, going in we should be OK.

(on whether the team considered adding another tight end)

We looked at it, but we didn’t think there was anyone that was going to be able to come in that we’d actually activate and play. Like I said, there may be situations where we put a tackle in there.

(on filling Michael Griffin’s void on Sunday)

There will be different combinations of that depending on what packages we’re in, what we’re calling. I’m sure you’ll see him (George Wilson) playing both, those guys interchanging, doing things like that in the base package.

(on not having Michael Griffin in the lineup Sunday)

We’ve been through it a few weeks ago when Griff (Michael Griffin) was hurt, so we went through a couple games there without him. We’d rather have him, but we’ll be OK. The whole thing is when you go lean in certain spots or you lack experience, it’s all about not picking up an injury early in the game where it becomes more affected than it is right now.

(on Leon Washington’s week at practice)

He did well. It’s good to have someone like him here. He’s a true professional in how he approaches the game, how he prepares for a guy that’s been in that position for a lot of years. He’s a guy that some of our guys can learn from how he handles, approaches that position. At some point he can probably help us in other areas, but for this week it’s mainly going to be taking care of the ball for us.

(on his biggest football influence growing up)

As a youngster, I’d go with the conventional—my dad. For me that would be my father growing up because he’s the one that coached me during my early years back when I was eight, nine, 10, 11, and 12. He was the guy. After that, it was (Joe) Paterno…going to Penn State he probably affected me more long-term coaching and playing. Dick Anderson taught me the position, so I’d say those two guys at Penn State were the two that meant the biggest influence because obviously I’ve used those talents they taught me playing the position and coaching the position.

(on whether he can imagine a scenario where a coach would not be aware of his surroundings on the sideline)

I didn’t see (Mike Tomlin), but I heard about it. He was watching the screen I guess. I guess it’s happened. If these screens are getting so good, they can see more clear than if they’re looking on the field I guess. I don’t know why he was looking the way he was looking. I heard he almost got run into.

(on whether he is conscious of his surroundings during games)

Yeah. I think the scariest time is on punts; sometimes you forget because of those jammers right there, the gunners. Those guys are going to come out of bounds a lot of times, so thank god someone reminds me. Coach (Steve) Watterson reminds me that, ‘Hey, get back.’ That’s where you could really get run over. Usually on kickoff returns it’s not as much of a threat, but you have to be aware of it. It’s amazing how fast it gets on top of you. I think there’s another example of it happening last week. There’s actually a penalty on someone for a coach that got run over on the sidelines. As soon as you run into one of those it’s 15 yards, so we talk about it all the time. There’s a lot of close calls on the sideline, and the league is really firm on that. They want to keep guys protected, so I’m sure there will be two examples we’ll hear about.

(on whether he saw the play where Le’Veon Bell’s helmet flew off during last night’s game)

Down by the goal line? I didn’t see it live, but I saw a clip of it… I saw the shot of it without volume up, and I assumed it was a score. He fell forward. It wasn’t like it advanced after the fact. That was like a natural spot to fall, so I would think that those rules are things they’re going to have to look at in the offseason. The things that are coming up now like the Griff (Michael Griffin) thing and how to handle that, and I think there’s going to be a lot of different things they’re going to have to look at in the league that decide..the quarterback on the sidelines, when he was running toward the sidelines, how they want to handle that. I think that has become a big issue this year that quarterbacks are taking advantage of. That’s an advantage for a quarterback when he’s going to the sidelines. I mean, you do the old bluff, step out, hopefully he touches you, and you get 15 yards. I think there’s going to be a handful of issues like that because of the safety rules that they’re going to have to help the defense a little bit.

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