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fordfixer
01-27-2009, 02:16 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers update

By Joe Smith, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Tuesday, January 27, 2009

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football ... 970824.ece (http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/article970824.ece)

Been there, done that

Several Steelers admitted it could be a little advantage that 20 players have Super Bowl experience including a victory three years ago in Detroit over Seattle. Coach Mike Tomlin pointed out that they've also been able to have "normalcy" with the extra week of preparation, and the timing of their media obligations gives them an opening for their routine 9 a.m. meeting. "I think it definitely helps," DE Brett Keisel said about the big-game experience. "To have a familiarity with everything including the media and certain things that go on during the week. It definitely helps if you know what to expect."

Injury Ward report

WR Hines Ward, above, says he's ahead of schedule in rehabilitating his slightly sprained right knee and expects to be in good shape Sunday. "I trust my medical staff I've been here 11 years and had the same trainers, the same doctors and as far as I know, they say it looks good," said Ward, who is listed as questionable after injuring his knee against the Ravens early in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 18. "I'm well ahead of schedule." Asked about whether he thought Ward would be okay come game time, QB Ben Roethlisberger had a quick answer. "You know what, people ask me that question and I want to smack 'em," he said. "Because it's Hines Ward. First of all, it's the Super Bowl. Second of all, it's Hines Ward and he's going to be out there and he's going to be just fine."

Childhood influences

Ben Roethlisberger had four quarterbacks he idolized as a kid and one of them inspired his jersey number. "I wear 7 because of (Denver's John) Elway. I was a Joe Montana guy growing up and Jim Kelly and Dan Marino those were my four that I just really idolized, watch and enjoyed having their posters on my wall. It makes them so mad when I tell them that now."

Numbers of the day

28 Countries providing on-site Super Bowl coverage, the most ever, including 22 outlets apiece from Mexico and Japan.

6-0 Steelers record in playoff games in which RB Willie Parker is a starter.

20.6 Yards per catch for WR Santonio Holmes in three playoff games.

3.9 Yards per play allowed by defense, the lowest tally since 1979.

Quotable

"There are 30 other teams that would sure love to have the burden we have this week. So from that standpoint, we're going to embrace it. I've encouraged the guys, not only this week, but last week in preparation for us coming down here, that we were going to have that mentality."

Coach Mike Tomlin, on the mind-set he tried to create with his team

History lesson

In 1974, the team put together arguably the best draft class of all time: Hall of Famers Lynn Swann (first round), Jack Lambert (second), John Stallworth (fourth) and Mike Webster (fifth). Then they signed free agent Donnie Shell, who became one of their best safeties.

Uptons admit Steeler allegiance

Rays CF B.J. Upton and his younger brother, Justin, were featured guests Monday morning on ESPN's First Take, live from Cotanchobee Park in Tampa.

And both admitted they had early allegiances to the Steelers. Growing up in Virginia, Upton said, it was "ingrained" from his father that they would be Pittsburgh fans, and they made trips to Three Rivers Stadium.

They made no predictions about the game. But B.J. said he planned on trying to convert Rays manager Joe Maddon, a huge Cardinals fan, before the big game.

Comeback kid

FS Ryan Clark is hyped about the Super Bowl, but even happier to be alive. Clark, the Steelers' second-leading tackler, survived a huge scare in 2007 when a rare and serious infection led him to have his spleen and gall bladder removed. Clark lost 30 pounds and took time to recover before rejoining his teammates last spring.

"I've come a long way," Clark told the Washington Times. "It's an awesome feeling. Seven years (in the NFL) and I had never played in a championship game, so to get this opportunity to play in the Super Bowl is truly a blessing. You talk about the undrafted part. I think about the almost dying part."

Times staff writer Dave Scheiber contributed to this report. Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

The Steelers are known for their passionate and sometimes fanatical fan base. Add crafty to that list. Sarasota residents John Johnson and Troy Spencer were among the mere handful that greeted the AFC champions when they got off their plane Monday at Tampa International Airport. Since the arrival runway wasn't publicized, they had to sneakily ask around through the airport. They got lucky. "Big Ben (Roethlisberger) was pointing a camera at us," Johnson said. "There were five of us. but two were employees." Then there were those who left too late. "I saw them (coming off the plane) on TV," said Henry Walls, a Sarasota truck driver. "So I left my fiancee in the shower and came out here. I'm going to be in an argument when I get home.

Hey, Pops!

S Troy Polamalu shed some light Monday on the family atmosphere engendered by franchise owner Dan Rooney. It seems Rooney encourages his players to stay in touch beyond saying hello in the hallways at team headquarters. "I think it's cool that Mr. Rooney gives out his cell phone number to players," Polamalu said. "People call him Pops. We dap him up (with the fist-bump greeting). It's cool. He's really down to earth and humble. And I think that family atmosphere really has permeated the whole team." Has anyone actually taken Rooney up and called him on his cell? "Oh yeah, guys call him all the time," he said. How nice would it be to deliver a record sixth Super Bowl title to the Rooney family? "It would very special," he said.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-27-2009, 11:28 AM
How nice would it be to deliver a record sixth Super Bowl title to the Rooney family? "It would very special," he said.

This was a theme last time around too. Can you think of any other team that has such reverence for the owner? Think about Tom Brady saying "Bob Kraft is such a role model, we want so badly to win it just for him" :lol:

Iron Shiek
01-27-2009, 12:52 PM
That was just an awesome read. From Big Ben's quotes about Hines, to those awesome Numbers (3.9 yards per play allowed by D? and Willie being 6-0 as a starter in Playoffs), to the part about Rooney (he is the best). Great read!!

proudpittsburgher
01-28-2009, 07:15 AM
How nice would it be to deliver a record sixth Super Bowl title to the Rooney family? "It would very special," he said.

This was a theme last time around too. Can you think of any other team that has such reverence for the owner? Think about Tom Brady saying "Bob Kraft is such a role model, we want so badly to win it just for him" :lol:


Yea, but Rooney can't dump millions more into this team, so he should be gone, yes? :roll:

BURGH86STEEL
01-28-2009, 09:08 AM
The league will surely miss Rooney when he is gone.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-28-2009, 10:58 AM
How nice would it be to deliver a record sixth Super Bowl title to the Rooney family? "It would very special," he said.

This was a theme last time around too. Can you think of any other team that has such reverence for the owner? Think about Tom Brady saying "Bob Kraft is such a role model, we want so badly to win it just for him" :lol:


Yea, but Rooney can't dump millions more into this team, so he should be gone, yes? :roll:

Of course...that is assumed.