IX - No need to link to the TV Distribution Map this week, as all four wild card round games are broadcast to the entire country on network television. So instead, here's the official injury and status reports for both the Steelers and the Broncos. The two squads meet Sunday afternoon in Denver to conclude the opening weekend of the 2011 NFL Playoffs.
X - Great piece about Isaac Redman on Yahoo! today titled 'Isaac Redman's faced tougher tests than the Denver Broncos.' Lots of tidbits in there I had no idea about, including Redman's upbringing, why he wound up at Bowie State, why Mike Tomlin gave him a particular nickname, to name but a few. Good stuff. Quite the opportunity for Redman this weekend.
XIII - John Fox, like so many coaches around the NFL, got his start in the National Football League under Chuck Noll. Fox was a defensive backs coach from 1989-1991 after a successful stint as a defensive coach at the University of Pittsburgh from '86-'88. Anyway, on Thursday, Fox joined 102.3 The Ticket in Denver (link to transcription) to talk about the Broncos' upcoming wild card matchup with the Steelers. In addition to commenting on Noll and the Rooneys, Fox answered questions about Sunday's game. One noteworthy comment concerned how the Broncos would not try to throw the ball much against Pittsburgh's defense. Obviously his words to the media should be taken with a beach's worth of salt, but I bring it up to ask you whether you think Denver will try to throw on the Steelers' depleted secondary. I kind of think they will, at least early in the game in an attempt to strike first and get the Steelers on their heels a bit.
XIV - Jerricho Cotchery commented on Santonio Holmes during an interview on WFAN in New York on Thursday. In the interview, Cotchery said that Holmes was a well-respected, hard-working teammate during his first season in New York last year. Apparently though something changed in year two, as Holmes was called out by his teammates during the Jets' late-season collapse. Cotchery, of course, also fielded questions about his role with the Steelers and the playoff tilt with Denver this weekend.
XL - Sticking with the interview theme, Maurkice Pouncey didn't appreciate all the Tim Tebow questions asked of him during his Friday interview on The Fan. The second-year center, who was named a first team All Pro for the second time in as many seasons, will unfortunately not get to take his frustration out on the Broncos this weekend, as he's been ruled out with a nagging ankle injury. On the other side of the matchup, Erick Dekker, who's been Tebow's favorite target this season, also joined The Fan this week to talk about backing into the playoffs and squaring off against the mighty Steelers in round one.
XLIII - Dale Lolley recaps the week's news and makes his prediction for Sunday's game in his latest Friday blog post.