Thursday, December 7, 2000

Q- How did Ike look today?

KC- I think heís practiced well the last couple of days. As far as running around he looks great and he looks fresh and a couple of weeks off might have done his legs some good. He looks fresh and healthy. I donít know what the doctors are saying but I think he looks good out there. If we do get him back, youíll have to ask Jim about that.

Q- How important will it be to get him back. And now that Joe is stepping up what will it be like to have all three of those guys.

KC- Itís great, Joe got some real valuable experience the past couple of weeks. Heís playing out of position but he still filled in and did a real good job for us. That kind of experience is going to be invaluable. Weíre going to need all three of those guys down the stretch here to be on top of their game. Certainly I think Joe getting in there and playing the past couple of weeks really helped him out.

Q-Can you talk about the Steelers defense?

KC- No, there really isnít. Theyíre big and tough up front, theyíve got a good secondary, their aggressive, they blitz and they do a bunch of different things. Itís going be a real big challenge for us. A different kind of challenge than last week but certainly the same kind of defense and weíre going to have our hands full.

Q- More on Steelers defenseÖ

KC- Yeah, itís just different. You donít see it for fourteen weeks, we saw it from the Jets in preseason, and then you come back to it. It just takes a little bit more awareness and studying on it but itís something hopefully weíll get used to.

Q- Is there anything that needs to be said about emotion this week because it is not a team that you ordinarily face?

KC- Itís hard to ignore the playoff picture but we just realize from here on out that we need to play our best. That starts this week because itís going to be a tough one. Pittsburgh is playing great, itís going to be a tough game and weíre coming off of a tough game. So weíre going to need to play well and coming into the home stretch weíre going to need to play well week in and week out.

Q- You know what itís like to have serious run at the playoffs and put yourself in good playoff position. Can you tell the younger guys how important it is?

KC- Yeah I think I could shed a little bit of light on what happened with me in 1996. The run that we got on. We werenít even thinking we were just playing. The weeks were just coming and coming and we just kept winning games. But at the same I think it takes a certain amount of awareness and certainly have to play well in big games. Certainly this week is a big game. Hopefully we can just continue the momentum that we have.

Q- Does it feel at all like that (playing and winning)Ö

KC- A little bit but itís different. At week fourteen in Carolina we had won four five straight already. So there are some similarities but I donít think you can really compare the two. Hopefully we can just continue the trend that we set the past couple of weeks. I think when a team gets on a roll it seems like the weeks go fast and youíre practicing really well. Youíve got how you practice down, youíve really kind of just let it happen and itís really good. You get to almost an unconscious state of mind where you just go out there and good things are happening and youíre confidence is real high. Hopefully weíll get to that point. We were at that point a few years back and it certainly is a good feeling to have.

Q-So you donít think this team is at that point yet?

KC- I donít think you win two games and all that just comes. I think you need to put some games back-to-back and some weeks back to back. You have to remember at that point of the season we won seven straight. After you win five or six in a row you felt pretty good about yourself. Itís hard to get to that point but once you do it, its pretty good stuff.

Q- Talk about all the past issues of beating a good team and that stuff?

KC- Nobody is talking about it anymore and I said back then even when we were losing those games, one week itís going to happen. I think our confidence is going to take off. I hope that is what happens with this team. You kind of beat yourself up for it because you donít get it done for a few weeks and all of a sudden it happens. You just try carrying a good feeling into the next week into what you are doing.

Q-Do you sense that this is a similar situation and guys will recognize the importance of this gameÖ

KC- Yeah hopefully weíve grown up enough as a team where we realize what the ramifications are. The picture is a lot clearer now than it was and maybe that is good for us. I realize what we have to do and it starts this week and that is what we are concentrating on. Weíre coming into the home stretch and there is no reason why we shouldnít be ready to go and why we shouldnít approach this game like itís a playoff game.

Q- So youíve learned your lesson?

KC- I think we have. I think teams go through things where they have to mature. They have to go through games like that and stretches like that. It tough when we were going through it but we pulled through with a big win last week and we put all our fears aside and just be loose and have fun and go out and play hard.