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hawaiiansteel
09-27-2010, 02:56 PM
Steelers are Super Bowl material

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, September 27, 2010

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1084154/31777484E.jpg


TAMPA, Fla. They've whipped a good team at home, a good team on the road, and an allegedly good one away from Heinz Field. Thanks to more lights-out defense, playing without their franchise quarterback isn't the end of the world for the Steelers.

One thing's certain: It isn't too early to start mentioning the Steelers and legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the same sentence.

Charlie Batch turned back the clock Sunday, passing and running the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crazy. It was all coach Mike Tomlin could do not to sprint on the field and shake some sense into Batch following a 24-yard scramble in the second quarter of the Steelers' easy 38-13 win at Raymond James Stadium.

Batch wasn't injured on the play, and even if he had been, it wouldn't have mattered. The Steelers won their first two games with a struggling Dennis Dixon, and they won yesterday with Batch on top of his game.

Batch was feeling spry for a 35-year-old quarterback making his first start in three years. Who could blame him? The defense, as expected, held the Buccaneers in check. If the Steelers shut down Chris Johnson and Michael Turner the first two weeks, how hard could it be stopping Cadillac Williams? The Steelers turned him into Pinto Williams (six carries, 13 yards).

Ah, that defense.

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Everyone was so mesmerized by Roethlisberger's four-game suspension that we totally overlooked Dick LeBeau's wrecking crew.

"That might be the perception we changed for ya'll," said Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison. "But we had a perception that we're going to be the team we're used to being, and that's what we're doing right now."

Yes, these Steelers are definitely Super Bowl material. Name a better 3-0 team.

"Of course we did," Steelers receiver Mike Wallace said when asked if the Steelers players believed they would be 3-0. "We never worry about what nobody says. We know what type of team we have." This is the same team whose iffy quarterback situation was enough to give Tomlin heartburn until a solution presented itself when Dixon re-injured his left knee last week at Tennessee and forced Batch into the starting lineup.

It isn't a stretch to point out the Steelers' defense is playing with angry intentions. Their players feel slighted because fans and media paid more attention to Roethlisberger's suspension than to their high level of play. They've taken out that anger on Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Atlanta, limiting them to a total of two touchdowns and 33 points.

Statistically, the Steelers' defense ranked No. 6 before yesterday's game. Physically, the Steelers' defense is No. 1. I don't care what the numbers say.

"We want to be the most physical team out there. We want to be the ones making all the hits," defensive captain James Farrior said. "Somebody told me a long time ago, the most physical team usually wins."

The best thing about yesterday's performance is the Steelers took the fight out of a young Tampa Bay team still finding its way. After the Steelers rang up 21 second-quarter points, the Buccaneers, who also were 2-0 entering the game, lost their swagger.

"It's a testament to the Steelers' defense," Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman said. "They put pressure on us and limited what we could do in the running game. They do a great job of communicating. I don't know if it was recognition, but that's what a veteran defense does to you."

The Steelers, meanwhile, are taking nothing for granted.

"If (we were) 12-0, then it will be a lot to talk about," outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "Last year, we got off to a pretty good start, but we didn't finish. We're off to a good start. We have to continue to play at a high level like this not just the first few weeks, but every week." Next up is a visit from Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens.

"Obviously, we will try to enjoy this win, but we're already looking forward to next week," free safety Ryan Clark said. "I'm proud we didn't overlook this game, trying to get to next week."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 01492.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_701492.html)

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1084154/31777555E.jpg

SteelAbility
09-27-2010, 04:24 PM
That first photo ... I'm seeing lots of :tt2 in the background. :wink:

Oh, yeah. And I agree. The Steelers are SB material.

Flasteel
09-27-2010, 05:32 PM
That first photo ... I'm seeing lots of :tt2 in the background. :wink:

Oh, yeah. And I agree. The Steelers are SB material.

I'd say it was a 50-50 split with the crowd. That TD happened right in front of me and I remember looking around at all of the towels. I did an inventory throughout the game, and by the middle of the 4th quarter, spotting a Bucs fan in the stadium was akin to a game of Where's Waldo.

Down the ramp it was constant cheers of "here we go Steelers, here we go!", which could be heard for blocks as I walked back to my Jeep. It's always a big showing by the Nation, especially in the several games I've attended here, but I don't think I've ever seen it this proportionate.

hawaiiansteel
09-27-2010, 09:20 PM
That first photo ... I'm seeing lots of :tt2 in the background. :wink:





looks like Steeler Nation was well represented... :tt2

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1084154/31777497E.jpg