Opening Comments: We got beat by Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh was the better team today. They were able to establish the run, to say the least, and I mean that was the key I think. In the game, they clearly ran the ball more effectively than we did and I think that was the difference in the game. So with that, I’ll open it up for questions.

Q: Rex, there was a report pre-game that said you could get fired as early as tomorrow. Do you have any comment on that?

A: I got no comment. I don’t know anything about that.

Q: Rex, your team looked like they were not really there to start the game. How do you explain that?

A: I mean we were there. I think they just made some great plays on us. Obviously we knew we were going to be really challenged. Ben (Roethlisberger) had a great pass on one but (LeVeon) Bell’s a hell of a running back obviously. They out-executed us and they deserved the game.

Q: You haven’t heard anything, not one word, about the possibility that you’ll get fired? You haven’t discussed it with them?

A: No. I’m focused on the team, that’s about the whole thing. I’m trying to win a game, obviously it didn’t go our way, and that’s where my focus is.

Q: Is there a chance people in the locker room heard the report?

A: Guys, I’ll promise you one thing, it’s the first I’ve heard about a rumor about it or whatever.

Q: How is this going around and you haven’t heard of it?

A: Well I never did until you guys just said something about it so that’ll probably tell you how true it is.

Q: Rex, is there a reason why Jerry Hughes didn’t play a lot of the first series in the first half and again in the second half?

A: No, we were rotating our guys, rotating all three of those guys and that’s probably just the way it was. I would think if you go back and look he played just as much as anybody.

Q: Defensively, your run defense has struggled…

A: Yeah, to say the least.

Q:…Why so much today? What were they doing?

A: Well no I mean, you got a choice here and I mean eight-man spacing or seven-man spacing and we did a lot of seven-man spacing to help in pass defense against Roethlisberger and company. We did go to some eight-man and quite honestly he burned us quite a few times when we did that but that’s kind of it. You’re playing a chess match with him and that’s what you did. Obviously it’s disappointing when you get the ball run at you like that, there’s no question about it, but you’re sitting back and that’s a tough offense. I mean they got a lot of weapons and they did a really nice job obviously.

Q: You’re 13 games into this thing. Would you say your defense has failed you this year?

A: No, I wouldn’t say that. I mean there’s a lot of things into it but no. I get it, we had a bad day today. The kid did have a 37 quarterback rating. I think we would have signed up for that at the start of the game. However, we wouldn’t have signed up for 230 yards rushing by a back so that was it. I think we dropped two other balls in the red-zone that we could have had as well but obviously it wasn’t a good day but I’m not going to say that. We’re trying every day, we hit the field with a purpose, we’re trying to get better and that’s what we’ll do these final three weeks.

Q: Rex, do you think you’re qualified to still coach this team?

A: What do you think I’m going to say? You’re dang right I do. I mean I’m giving everything I have, that’s just the way it is. It hasn’t gone exactly the way I want it to go, that’s obvious, but we’ve got three games left and we’ll try to win every one of them.

Q: Along those lines, do you think that there’s any reason to question your future coaching this team and talking with ownership, have you gotten any indication from them that all is fine?

A: Well first off, I’ve never had any conversation like that, with Terry or Kim (Pegula). No conversations like that. Does everybody have a right to say things? Sure, it’s a free country. Absolutely. You have a right to question anything. We all get it, we lost the game today and that’s two in a row that we had to have and we lost both of them.

Q: You say the defense hasn’t failed you. This is five losses where they were rolled over for large stretches of the game.

A: I don’t think—we never rolled over. We’re still competing…

Q: I’m not talking about quitting.

A: Well no, we gave up the run today. There’s no question.

Q: How is that not failure? You’ve had five losses where your defense…

A: Well I’m saying as a football team we failed. We lost games, but you’re never going to say it’s just the defense or it’s ‘this’ side of the ball or whatever. It wasn’t good enough on either side of the ball today.

Q: Will Tyrod Taylor be your starting quarterback going forward?

A: We’ll see.

Q: Why will we see?

A: What’s that?

Q: Why will we see that?

A: I don’t have any idea, guys. I mean I just got through putting everything into a game where we just got beat and we’ll put in everything we have moving forward. But to answer questions about anything else, about rumors or anything else, I think is ridiculous.

Q: Have you put thought into the concept of playing Cardale (Jones) or looking at other options?

A: I’ll do whatever I think’s best for the team.

Q: After the media storm of Tyrod last week, this loss and the rumors today, how do you get the best out of the locker room?

A: Well we’ll find out, but I’m confident in my locker room and I expect to get great effort. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

Q: Following the first quarter against the Raiders, it’s almost as if Tyrod’s a different guy, like he’s disappeared at times. What has led him to struggle as much as he has?

A: Well I think there’s a lot of things but for me to go into specifics—I haven’t even seen the tape or anything else so we’ll look. Obviously (I) know that that team was selling out a lot of different blitzes and things. They got to the quarterback five times today, so that probably has something to do with it.

Q: How’s your relationship at this point with Doug Whaley and the front office?

A: We’re all in this thing together so my relationship with Doug is just as it always is; just fine.

Q: Do you feel like you’re coaching for your job?

A: Again, I’m just coaching to give our team the best chance to win and I’m going to put everything in. You can’t expect your players to put everything in if you’re not willing to do the same thing as a coach. So that’s all I’m going to do.

Q: Do you feel that players are putting everything in?

A: I do, I do. I just think it never went our way today but I do feel that our guys are giving what we have.

Q: How much of a movement has there been in the front office, not necessarily the coaching staff, to play Cardale Jones?

A: There’s been no movement like that.

Q: Did they give you an explanation about the turf issue after halftime?

A: I guess what happened (was) they never wanted to start the game because our sideline was covered in all those rubber things or whatever it is on the white part and that’s why we had the thing (tractor) come back out and Zamboni the thing off.

Q: Could you tell any difference or get any reports from the players about traction or anything with the pellets removed from the field?

A: No. I mean not that I’m aware of.


Q: Is this your first time playing in snowy conditions?

A: Yes.

Q: How did it feel?

A: We lost.

Q: Rex was out here and said that you might not be the starter for the remaining weeks of the season, do you know anything about that?

A: No. That’s his decision.

Q: Do you feel you’ve done enough to remain a starter?

A: That’s coach’s decision.

Q: I’m not asking you whose decision it is, I’m asking you if you feel you should remain the starter?

A: It’s the coach’s decision.

Q: How do you feel you played?

A: Left some plays out there. Definitely didn’t play my best. I let the team down a couple plays, but gotta move forward. I was about to put some points up in the fourth quarter, but it was just too late.

Q: You had Sammy (Watkins) and Shady (LeSean McCoy) out there, but how did it feels having Charles Clay out there basically the whole game?

A: It was definitely different. I was able the get to multiple personnel, ultimately it just wasn’t enough to win.

Q: Tyrod, were they spying on Shady (LeSean McCoy) or were they just run blitzing? How did they slow down the run?

A: Run blitzing, that’s pretty much it.

Q: How do you feel about the reports released about Rex possibly getting fired?

A: That’s the first time I’m hearing about it. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Q: There was a report before the game saying he (Rex Ryan) could be fired as early as tomorrow. Had you had any indication of that?

A: I definitely didn’t know about that. Those decisions don’t come from me. Definitely bigger, that comes from the top. Definitely don’t want to hear news like that, like I said it’s my first time hearing it.

Q: Do you believe the coaching staff in the front office are behind you as a quarterback?

A: Yes. To my knowledge.

Q: Can you put in to words what the difference was from the first half to the second half with a lot of the pellets being taken off the field. Did it affect you?

A: No it didn’t. As far as the field, the pellets being taken out didn’t change any footing or anything.

Q: Was there any question coming out of the locker room when you guys had to walk over those mound as to how safe it was going to be?

A: *Shakes head no*

Q: On that interception in the second half, what happened there?

A: Yeah bad play on my behalf. I was trying to force a play that definitely wasn’t there. Yeah, bad play.

Q: Was there miscommunication on that play? It looked like Shady (LeSean McCoy) was running a different route.

A: It was a conversion route, but it was also me trying to force something that wasn’t there on that. I guess it was just a bad play on my behalf.

Q: There has been a lot of spot light on you guys with what went around about you last week and then the headlines that were released about Rex today, how much of an affect is that having on you as a player?

A: I just have to continue to keep playing week-to week. Trying to get better from the things that we put on the field the week before. I don’t think it affects me. As far as the team, I can’t speak for everybody, but the main thing is that we don’t point fingers after all our mistakes and continue to keep getting better.

Q: Tyrod early on in the game, things really weren’t going well. Was it more of a pass rush or coverage?

A: It was a combination of both. Pass rush, we did a good job of protecting, but a couple of times they were able to get home. Coverage, they were definitely able to take away some schemes sometimes. I can’t pin point one particular thing that it was, just didn’t execute well.

Q: Is the talk about your contract, I know you said you don’t want to talk about it, does that serve as a distraction at all for you?

A: No.

Q: Doug Whaley said the determinant was how you played all 16 games this year. How does that affect how you play the last few games?

A: We haven’t discussed contracts.

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