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Rapid Reports : Super Edition

Cherish this moment my friends.  Cherish it.  That is one thing I have learned from our last Super Bowl appearances.  These moments just don't happen every year, and if you lived long enough, every decade.  The accomplishment of having this opportunity before the team is so great that I am stepping back just to soak it all in.  The Steelers are in the Super Bowl.  There are few 'top of the mountain' feelings in life and even fewer for that feeling to occur three times in six years.  If we win the super bowl this year, we as fans will fit the definition of spoiled.  I'm not talking about the Lebron James ' I spoiled Cleveland with my talents'.  I'm talking about spoiled in a sense that we have witnessed success in its zenith.  There is no other franchise that can give you what the Steelers give, achievement, a sense of family, and stability.  We are witnessing a run that has only been matched 4 previous times in a span of over 40 years.  A win here is truly historical.  

Our Steelers have come off of two games of two halves.  We hope that the two better halves can be concatenated into one game this Sunday.  I'll make a bold prediction and say we'll see that to a degree.  I'm not trying to say that we will blow out Green Bay.  I am merely saying that we will play good clean executed football for 60 mins.  That should net us a win but I think Green Bay can and will play with us.  I have a lot of respect for the Packers and as stated in previous threads they are a very likable team and franchise.  So much so, that Mechem had to do an entire poast creating ways to hate this team and I still can't bring myself to do it.  

The fast track of dallas will help the packers.  Their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th receivers have a lot of speed and BMac and Gay aren't exactly burners.  That is where I think GB will try to attack, those corners using seam routes and quick passes with the occasional try for the deep ball.  I expect Dick to implement a plan similar to the one displayed in the Cardinals game where our D slowed down Kurt Warner, Larry F, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breasten.  You can argue that they were a better team of QB & WR from top to bottom but none of that matters now.  We will need to execute again.  Another note is that when we get our hands on AR12 we must bring him down.  He is just as good at breaking tackles and finding open WRs down field as Ben.  If we can sack him and hit him that will bode well for the defense.  

Our offense has to establish the running game.  That will help the passing game and keep the pressure off of Ben.  The Packers like to send DBs in on blitzes also and that is where strip sacks can occur as we well know.  I don't think anyone on the field has the speed Mike Wallace has so look for him to get a couple of looks deep.  If Ben doesn't under throw him, its six.  Also look for the rest of our 'Young Money' crew to come up big also.  Ward, Heath and Wallace get all the attention from opposing defense.  Sanders and Brown are not well known, even though they are making a name for themselves, and they can make big plays.  GB hasn't had a great special teams returner so we might be safe there.  Like Tomlin said this will be a game of execution.  In each of the previous two super bowls he has had a pick, its time to break that  streak.  I hope you are ready, this one is basically for the hall of fame, for Ben, for Troy, for Ward, for Tomlin.  Win this game and putting them the Hall becomes especially easy.  I'm so ready.

 Steelers WR Hines Ward said he wouldn't mind be reunited with former teammate Plaxico Burress upon his release from prison. "If ... the Pittsburgh Steelers did bring Plaxico back, I'd give him a big hug, and we'd be right out there playing together," Ward told reporters

What I want to take from this is that this doesn't sound like a man thinking of retirement.  I think we'll Hines for at least one more year, he'll get his 1,000 catches then retire.  On the Plaxico note, I don't think thats a good investment.  I'm not saying the guy would still be a head case but he'll be 34 before any games start and it took Mike Vick a year before you saw him back to his normal self.  So we're talking Burress being 35 as a WR?  Not the long term solution and whos to say that he'll ever be his old self again catching TD passes?  I'll pass, give Sweed one last chance or draft someone.

 Steelers ILB James Farrior disputed a claim by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that no teammates defended QB Ben Roethlisberger when Goodell interviewed them following Roethlisberger's sexual assault allegations. "That’s not true," he said. "We've always been behind Ben. We all love the guy."

This was a huge story which Peter King should get all of the blame for says Art Rooney.  I agree with him too, Goodell was misquoted and had no control over when that story was released.  But I do think this will continue the us vs the world mentality for the Steelers.  I don't think it matters that much, especially to a veteran team that has been here and won twice before, but like Mechem said, anything helps.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger said he's a better man and teammate than he was a year ago, but he declined to discuss specifics of his past, including sexual assault allegations. "It's not time to reflect because really it's about this game," he said

Really not a time to reflect.  We can get into details after the game, the last thing you want is breaking news about your story before the Super Bowl.  Smart here by Ben.  Is he a changed man?  For his sake, I hope so.  But I do here him talk more about his faith, family, and team than he did in the past.  I don't know the man so I just hope they aren't hollow words as it seems that they are for a lot of other people.

Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey still hopes to play in the Super Bowl despite a high left ankle sprain. Pouncey was off crutches at the team's media day on Tuesday, but he's still wearing a walking boot "to protect it." 

75%.  It'll probably be 100% come saturday.  I told you, he is Wolverine's twin brother - he's already healed he just doesn't want to expose the fact that he is a mutant.  I think you'll see Maurkice give it a go Sunday.  Just a gut feeling.

Steelers special teams coach Al Everest on K Shaun Suisham: "When (former K) Jeff Reed was let go we knew what we were getting because he had done some good things. You never know for sure, of course, but he's done a great job."

Biggest gamble of the year.  If Shaun Suisham comes in and doesn't perform then there are tons of people out there second guessing tomlin.  You could argue we'd be 13-3 at least if Reed doesn't miss two FGs vs Baltimore.  Lets hope Everest has his Special Teams unit playing mistake free football Sunday night.

Steelers LB James Harrison on the league's policy on devastating hits: "I just want to tackle them softly on the ground. Can you lay a pillow down where I'm going to tackle them so they don't hit the ground too hard, Mr. (Commissioner Roger) Goodell?"  

I had to take this quote because its so funny.  James was hilarious yesterday and if you didn't catch it you can watch part of it here.  He also said that, "We try to hit hard, we don't want to be fined."  James took direct shots at Goodell.  I probably won't get fined either because that would paint Goodell in a bad light and he needs good publicity right now dealing with the labor issues.  If Goodell took action then it would really look like he is singling James out.

- Steelers DC Dick LeBeau was asked if winning one more Super Bowl ring would satisfy his thirst. "I still have plenty of fingers left (for Super Bowl rings)," he said.  

Its about being driven, not being thirsty.  I don't know how long Coach Dad is going to stay around but definitely not counting the days.  He is a great coach and even when the defense seems to struggle a bit, he always seems to know the right buttons to push to get it back on track.  Shame to all of us who had any ponderings to if the game had passed him by midseason.

Steelers DBs coach Ray Horton on S Troy Polamalu: "He's probably the best defensive player of all time."

My dad puts him number 1 at all positions of all time.  I really can't argue with him.

Steelers DBs coach Ray Horton on possibly becoming the Cards' DC: "I can envision a defensive coordinator opportunity somewhere in the league. There's only three left, but if you know somebody, there's a rapport there and a familiarity. I'd love to get a phone call."

Steelers LBs coach Keith Butler has one year remaining on his contract, but Pittsburgh could give him permission to talk to the Cards and could allow him to vacate his contract if the Cards offer him the DC job

Why do the Cards want to take our players and coaches too?  I love for guys to get a chance at promotion but it just seem like the Cardinals are swagger jackin'.  

Former Cowboy and current TV analyst Daryl Johnston is picking the Packers: "The defenses will even each other out but Green Bay's ability to spread the ball around with (QB) Aaron Rodgers will be the difference," he said. 

This is it right here.  If Ben wants to be included with Brady, Peyton, and Brees by the national media he must out play Rodgers Sunday.  If he does then you will see a lot of people include him in that group more often.  He's done it before and I think he'll do it again.  And by the way, the defenses don't even each other out, ours is better period.  Our secondary is so underrated and I think Troy will make his presence known in this game.

 Steelers RT Flozell Adams on facing Green Bay’s OLB Clay Matthews: “Clay’s a great player, so it’ll be a great matchup whoever he goes against because he flops sides and everything, and I’m just looking forward to the challenge.” 

I think he is going to have a great game, Adams that is.  There is a chance that he may want it too much.  Hopefully the rest of the team will keep him from being too excited.

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