Whisenhunt awaiting call


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Jan 22, 2006
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Whisenhunt awaiting call
Steelers offensive coordinator is interested in Raiders' vacancy
By Cam Inman

DETROIT - No one hung out longer in the postgame interview room than Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt following the Steelers' Super Bowl XL victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

He had a lot to talk about, more so about his winning calls rather than his candidacy to become the next Raiders coach.

Speaking of calls, he'd be interested if the Raiders gave him a jingle for a post that's been vacant since Norv Turner's firing Jan. 3.

"I've not been contacted by them. But I'd be honored to be considered for it, if something came up," Whisenhunt said.

Honored, fine. But would he actually pursue it and interview for the job?

"If they did (call), I'd listen. I can't say I wouldn't," he replied.

It's a good thing the Steelers listened to some of his calls in their 21-10 win.

His best one came with just over nine minutes left in the game. On first-and-10 from the Seahawks 43, he called for wide receiver Antwaan Randle El to take a reverse and throw to Hines Ward. Randle El did just that, finding an open Ward for a 43-yard touchdown and a 21-10 advantage.

"Ken and my coach (Bill Cowher) called the great play at the right time," Ward said.

"The guys get tired of practicing those plays because we never call them," Whisenhunt said. "They were in the right defense, and it felt like the right time.

"Our guys don't even think of them as gadget plays. We run those plays in practice so often, they feel they're just part of our offense."

More conventional calls resulted in the Steelers' other two touchdowns.

Whisenhunt said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 1-yard plunge into the end zone for a 7-3 lead was a designed play, and that running back Jerome Bettis fulfilled his duties as the lead blocker.

Willie Parker's 75-yard touchdown run in the third quarter also worked to perfection, and into the record book as the longest in Super Bowl history, eclipsing Marcus Allen's 74-yard run for the Raiders in their Super Bowl XVIII win over the Washington Redskins.

"We caught them in the right defense, and he made the safety miss," Whisenhunt said. "... That's why Willie is 'Fast Willie.'"

Said Parker of the counter play: "I just read it and ran it out."

Whisenhunt cut Roethlisberger some slack for "not having his best game." Whisenhunt said Roethlisberger set his standard so high during the seven-game winning streak that put the Steelers into the Super Bowl.

Whisenhunt's standard is pretty high now, too, even though he just finished only his second season as the offensive coordinator ... and possibly entering his first as the Raiders coach.

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