Hope everybody's first few days of the week have been enjoyable and productive. Outside of the greatness that is being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan right now, of course. I've got other stuff to get to including the first of what seems like 900 radio or podcast appearances this next few days, but let's get in a quick six pack of links as we inch ever closer to Sunday's AFC Championship Game between the Steelers and Jets.
Update: Just filed by Jim Wexell on Steel City Insider, a great (and free!) read on Ben Roethlisberger. Good stuff by Wex as always.
IX - Let's start with the latest blog post from linebacker sensation, Lawrence Timmons. No. 94 doesn't write too, too regularly. But he's stuck with his blog for a couple of years now, which I find impressive. Here's a short excerpt from the post titled 'Back in the AFC Title Game'.
Our key is definitely to stop the running game. They’re not really going to let Sanchez do too much. He’ll get the ball out of his hands quick, throw screens, pitches and short routes. Their offense depends on the running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, we have to shut those guys down. If we shut them down, we should win the game. We know that if everyone just does their job and nobody tries to do too much, we’ll be fine.
X - Tim Gleason (aka maryrose) was asked to contribute articles throughout this year's NFL Playoffs for At The 50 Yard Line. The site features a collection of articles by fans, journalists, and even legendary former players such as Ronnie Lott. Here was Gleason's latest offering for them, a recap of the Steelers' thrilling win over Baltimore last Saturday.
XII - And how about a few Jets-centric links....FIrst, if you're like me, you missed HBO's Hard KNocks this summer, which of course highlighted the ins and outs of the Jets' 2010 training camp. This is where all the talking and bravado really started, so perhaps I'll try to catch some of the marathon that HBO is scheduled to show this coming Saturday..... Jon B. of Gang Green Nation writes about Troy Polamalu and the Jets having to find a way to be similarly efficient with the All Pro safety in the lineup this time around....Solid analysis by John in this article about how the Jets' outside linebackers, Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace, need to do a better job of setting the edge defensively against the running plays that worked well for the Steelers in Week 15.
XIV - And for your audio pleasure....Bill Cowher previews the game with Boomer & Carton on WFAN in New York....Andy Russell, legendary linebacker for the Steelers, reminisces about the championship teams he was a part of, as well as previews the game with Joe & Evan on WFAN in New York......Chris Hoke talks title game with Vinnie & Cook on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.....
XL - Santonio Holmes, who said earlier this week that Sunday's win over the Patriots was more rewarding than winning the Super Bowl, talks about Troy Polmalu in the most glowing of terms. Fans across the country agree. According to SportsNation's Wednesday poll, most feel that Polamalu is the best defensive player remaining in the postseason beating out Darrelle Revis, Clay Matthews, James Harrison and Brian Urlacher who rounded out the Top 5.
XLIII - And finally, James Walker of the ESPN AFC North blog, ponders how much Aaron Smith will be able to contribute this coming Sunday. Well, the Steelers Wednesday injury report just came out, and Smith practiced again on a limited basis, but it doesn't sound like he's -quite- as far along as he had hoped. In his Wednesday session with the media (which I'll try to provide a link to soon), Smith didn't sound too hopeful about playing on Sunday. Players who sat out today were: S Will Allen (knee), WR Arnaz Battle (illness), CB Bryant McFadden (abdomen), S Troy Polamalu (achilles)
Bonus: Ever heard of Ashley Madison, that website devoted to connecting cheating folks with one another? Pretty awful, but I suppose the site is just serving a market that's already there. Anyway, Ashley Madison had their Super Bowl ad rejected by Fox. If you're so inclined, take a look at it below.
Pretty sad. And I'm not surprised that Fox nixed this one. Hopefully it has nothing to do with the ad and everything to do with the product. Anyhow...catch y'all in a bit.