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12-15-2009, 04:10 AM
Farrior speaks
December 14th, 2009
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The Steelers' locker room was open today for the first time since their 13-6 loss to the Browns. Surprise, surprise players weren't exactly waiting at their locker for the media.

James Farrior, who has remained a stand-up guy in the midst of this lost season, did talk extensively about where the Steelers go from here and what motivation the defending Super Bowl champions have with playoffs likely beyond their reach.

Here is a partial transcript of what Farrior, a defensive co-captain, had to say:

Q: What did you come up with as far as what has gone wrong and where how do you get out of this?

A: “Did a lot of soul searching this weekend. You try to put your finger on it and you really can’t do it. The one thing you’ve got to come back to is you’ve just got to look at yourself individually and make the plays you’re supposed to make. That’s basically what I came up with.”

Q: Is it too simplistic to say a lot of the defense's struggles stem from not having Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith?

A: “That’s an easy out. We’ve had our top players out plenty of times and we’ve never playd like this so that’s the easy way out, just blaming it on those two guys.”

Q: There has been talk about the Steelers getting older on defense, yourself included. Do you have any thoughts on that?

A: “We really don’t think about that and I definitely don’t think about that. I’m getting older but I don’t think I’m slowing down too much. Four or five weeks ago we were doing pretty good and nobody was thinking we were too old so I don’t think five weeks should make that argument.”

Q: Have you ever experienced anything like what has gone in the last five weeks?

A: “It’s been tough. I don’t think I’ve really been through anything like this. It’s definitely testing everybody’s character. It’s a tough position we’re in and we have nobody to blame but ourselves so we’ve just got to look within.”

Q: Do you think coach Mike Tomlin will make changes to the starting lineup?

A: “That’s not my job. I’m not even looking into that. I’m just concentrating on everything I can do to help this team out and try to win our next game. That’s got to be everybody’s focus, just worrying about what they can do to help this team win a game and not looking at anybody else.”

Q: James Harrison talked about players trying to do too much at times, which has led to people getting out of position on defense. Did you see any of that after watching tape of the loss to the Browns?

A: “Sometimes, not a lot of time. It’s just a natural response to try a little bit more than you’re supposed to be doing when things aren’t going your way. Sometimes I think guys try to do things to press a little bit more than we usually do. Sometimes that can hurt us more than it helps us.”

Q: Have the players done anything as far as a meeting to emphasize staying focused and staying together?

A: “I think we have enough guys around here that talk about it enough that we don’t need to have a team meeting or a players-only meeting. I hate those types of meetings anyway. I feel when we have those types of meetings it’s pretty much over with and you’re searching for any type of answers. Those are not good meetings.”

Q: Is there any doubt among the players in the locker room because of the five-game losing streak?

A: “There could be. We’re doing everything we can to fight it because we’ve got to go out and play these next three games and (not) have anybody doubting that we can win these games. We definitely have the athletes in here that can do it. We’ve proven it in the past. We’ve just got to go out and prove it again.”

Q: What is the motivation with the playoffs a remote possibility?

A: “You’re playing for your job. Basically when you’re in this situation, when you’re on a team where the playoffs are looking bad and you’ve got more games to play you’re really playing just to solidify your job and making sure you’re doing everything you can do to be around next year.”

Q: Has effort been a problem?

A: “I think the effort could probably be better on some plays but I think the overall effort is there. (There has been a) lack of focus, lack of concentration, just a basic lack of making the fundamental plays that we normally make. I know that in a situation like this I’ve been searching for answers just like everybody else. I feel a special responsibility because I’m a captain. I feel like it’s more on the older guys that have been in this locker room. We may not have been in this situation but we’ve been playing football long enough that we can get out of something like this.”
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