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    Default Key word is physical

    Key word is physical
    1-11-2011
    By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com

    If you had to use just one word to describe what Saturday’s Steelers-Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field is going to be like, it would be an easy choice.

    Physical.

    “The team that wins this game is going to be the most violent team, the team that is most physical,” said defensive lineman Chris Hoke. “It’s the team that goes out there to push the other team around. That is who wins. When we play the Ravens, it is whoever can be the most physical team that wins.”

    The Steelers-Ravens match-up has become one of the premiere rivalries in the NFL and every time these two teams meet, it’s definitely a battle.

    “You do love it. That is what football is all about,” said safety Ryan Clark. “You know it’s a physical battle any time these two teams meet. The teams are built alike, tough attacking defenses. It’s going to be fun. I am sure the people are going to be happy to watch on Saturday.”

    These are two teams that don’t like each other, and neither one will hold back on Saturday with a trip to the AFC Championship game on the line.

    “There is going to be a lot of hard-hitting going on,” said wide receiver Hines Ward. “They know it, we know it.”

    Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs even referred to the game as “Armageddon,” and explained a little bit more about what he meant.

    “It’s about what is on the line,” said Suggs. “They call it Armageddon as the fight between good and evil. I am a big Star Wars fan and the emperor said, ‘Evil is only a point of view.’ I guess it is from whose point of view it’s coming from.”

    When asked who was good and who was evil, Suggs said it’s all about perspective.

    “I guess from your point of view I am definitely evil,” said Suggs. “This is a great game. I love this game and I am sure they do too.”

    Nose tackle Casey Hampton is at the epicenter of where the battle begins and loves bringing the physical aspect to the game.

    “That is our type of game,” said Hampton. “We are a physical team. We try to impose our will on people. We are carbon copies of each other.

    “The fans, and TV, that is what everybody wants to see. They know what kind of games we have, the physical nature of it. I think that is what people want to see.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]* * *[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Steelers and Ravens are meeting for the third time and it comes as no surprise to some of the Steelers players that this match-up is taking place.

    “We knew they were a good team, we knew they were going to be in the playoffs,” said tight end Heath Miller. “I didn’t think about us playing them again, but it doesn’t surprise me.”

    Mike Wallace expected both teams in the post-season, something that has been commonplace even before the second-year receiver entered the NFL.

    “There are always going to be those guys, the Steelers and the Ravens,” said Wallace. “Some type of way they are going to meet up. Before I got here I always saw them in the playoffs. We knew it, they know it. It’s time, put up or shut up.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]* * *[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Defensive end Aaron Smith continues to work on making a post-season comeback, but is still waiting to hear what the doctors after to say.

    “We’ll see what the doctors say and go from there,” said Smith, who was waiting on results of a scan on his triceps. “It’s hard to say. Until I get all of the information in and evaluate it, I won’t know.

    “It’s been a long journey up to this point. When the opportunity comes I would just like to get out there and contribute. It would be nice to be able to play.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]* * *[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Suggs was asked during a conference call with the Pittsburgh media why he thinks the two franchises have so much success and he had words of praise for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

    “You look at this defense and the defensive coordinator,” said Suggs. “I never even met the guy, but I spoke to him. I must say that I am amazed. I am impressed. That Dick LeBeau is something.”

    [HIGH-LIGHT]* * *[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    Hines Ward stated it best when talking about what is at stake on Saturday at Heinz Field.

    “We know what’s at stake,” said Ward. “Whoever wins this game, that other team has to think about the loss all offseason.”

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...c-0a44d9bc3882
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    Default Re: Key word is physical

    Win or lose, this one is going to hurt
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011
    By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    That the Steelers' postseason will begin and possibly end with still another lowbrow argument with the Baltimore Ravens isn't terribly surprising, nor should it in any way be disappointing.

    But in one not terribly significant way, I think it is.

    It's like finding out after months of planning and too many hours of anticipatory speculation that, oh yeah, you're going to the prom but the first thing on the program is an alley fight out back.

    What, again?

    There goes that deposit on the tux.

    We've pretty much established that the Steelers-Ravens matchup presents its own hyper-violent genre of competition, football on the far edges of sanity. Modern writers have taken their shots at describing it, but none probably came as close as Mark Twain describing a thunder storm just 127 years ago, or as they like to say, before the merger.

    "WHACK -- Bum! Bum! Bumble-umble-um-bum-bum-bum-bum -- and the thunder would go rumbling and grumbling away, and quit -- and then RIP comes another flash and another sockdolager!"

    The first sockdolager of the most recent episode, Dec. 5 at Baltimore, arrived on the flying left paw of Ravens defensive tackle Haloti (Say Haloti to my little friend) Ngata, with which he rearranged Big Bloody Ben's nose so that the end pointed toward Annapolis. The last came via the hurtling 250-pound missile of a linebacker named Jameel McClain, whose collision with tight end Heath Miller left Miller in a mental place well over the state line.

    It's all part of why Steelers safety Ryan Clark, among the hardest hitters on either roster, said he much appreciated getting last weekend off.

    "I like the hitting part, but not the soreness [afterward]," Clark said before Tuesday's practice. "I got to wake up with no pain."

    That won't be the situation Sunday morning. Win or lose, this is gonna hurt.

    "It's like the old West," said Steelers corner Bryant McFadden. "It's like two gunfighters. You're looking at two teams with the same mindset, the same kind of approach."

    All football considerations aside, you know that Heinz Field at dusk Saturday will be a big bowl of nasty, and you get the feeling sometimes that it has to be that way just to "honor" Steelers-Ravens traditions.

    "They're a really salty group," was one of Mike Tomlin's primary descriptions for this week's opponent.

    Tomlin has got more than enough chops with the language for anyone to second-guess that adjective, so I would presume he's indicating flavorful or zesty rather than that the Ravens are comprised of a chemical compound formed by replacing all or part of the hydrogen ions of an acid with metal ions or electropositive radicals.

    Yes, I think that's safe, especially since Ravens safety Ed Reed is clearly zesty with those eight interceptions.

    But even as the Steelers quite evidently match the Ravens salt for salt, rock for rock, salt is still no synonym for psychosis, which too often seems closer to the predominant mental state of the people between the sidelines.

    There's little use in rifling through the atrocities associated with this series. From Joey Porter's cheap shot on a hurting Todd Heap all the way back in '04 to McClain's $40,000 helmet-to-helmet thunderbolt on Miller, the two teams have always appeared as intent on proving that this ain't no boat race as they are with winning.

    Asked for a specific memory of the series he walked into as Tommy Maddox was getting pounded out of Steelers history one day near the Inner Harbor, the first one that came to Ben Roethlisberger's mind wasn't pleasant. "I remember Bart Scott putting me on my back," he said.

    This time there's little likelihood of any variation on the theme. Five of the past six regular-season games between these teams were decided by three points, the other by four. The AFC championship two years ago looks like a romp on history's surface, but the Steelers' 23-14 victory was a two-point affair until Troy Polamalu won it with a 40-yard interception return with 4:34 left.

    Miller said Tuesday this is all a result of how remarkably similar the teams are, and doesn't regard the Ravens as any more or less violent than his typical assignment. But Saturday brings his first venture into an unkindness of ravens since he was separated from coherence for the better part of three weeks in December.

    "In my mind that's behind me; I've crossed that hurdle," Miller said. "It's free from my mind right now."

    Miller said he couldn't avoid the video of McClain drilling him, of his body going limp near the sideline. It was sickening. At that moment, missing a couple of games seemed like a miracle.

    "It gives you time to reflect on some things," Miller said, "but it's natural for a football player to compete. Once you're ready, that's what you do."

    So that's what we'll have Saturday, a competition.

    That's a nicely as I can put it.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11012/1117235-150.stm
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    Default Re: Key word is physical

    Quote Originally Posted by DBinAL View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Kipper should love this... LoL...
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Key word is physical

    For Steelers, it's the same as it ever was

    By Brian Carson
    Special to CBSSports.com




    PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- It's almost a cliché to say the Pittsburgh Steelers are the embodiment of the city they live and play in. But it's undeniable.

    Against a backdrop of steel, rough-hewn, weather-beaten streets, and gun metal gray skies, the Steelers are a blue collar, no-nonsense, tough-as-nails bunch, much like many of the people who make the Steel City their home.

    This is a populace -- and a team -- about work ethic and physicality, not glitz and glamour.

    "You're never going to see us on Hard Knocks,'" said safety Ryan Clark, referring to the HBO show that featured the Jets before the start of the season. "We're not going to be the team that's seen. We have a team of football players.

    "There's no TV stars here. We have one guy in here with a commercial (Troy Polamalu), and that's just because he has nice hair. This organization is about winning championships."

    The core philosophy and personality of the organization began in earnest when Art Rooney hired Chuck Noll in 1969. Noll, who was selected after Penn State coach Joe Paterno turned down the job, brought toughness, tenacity and attitude to a franchise that sorely needed it. His first order of business was to draft Joe Greene out of North Texas State in the first round.

    Neither the team nor the city would ever be the same. Four Super Bowl championships in six years redefined both the place and its team.

    Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin, cut from the same cloth as Noll, continued and built upon what he left, each winning a Super Bowl title.

    No team, with the exception of the New England Patriots, has managed the salary cap/free agency era of professional football better. The franchise has laid the blueprint for success others can only hope to duplicate.

    Since the 1970 merger the Steelers have won six Super Bowls in seven appearances, played in seven AFC championship games, won 20 divisional titles, and made the playoffs 26 times. The franchise has won the most total games (415), the most divisional titles, has the best winning percentage (.611), earned the most All-Pro nominations (64), and has accumulated the most Super Bowl wins.

    It's a formula that's seems simple in design but has proven difficult in execution:

    Draft or sign the best available players that fit the personality and system of the team; don't overspend on high priced free agents; sign key veterans before they test the free agent waters; replace the aging veterans with hungry youngsters they apprenticed.

    The 2010 team, and all others before it, was built this way.

    Of course, the emphasis has always been on a strong defense, and with the return of Polamalu, who missed most of the 2009 season with a knee injury, the unit has once again played at a high level.

    Pittsburgh led the league in rushing defense (62.8) and was second in total defense (276.8) with Polamalu single-handedly winning two games. His absence in 2009 was a big reason the team went 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

    "He's Superman, and we like to keep him as Clark Kent and on Sundays he goes into his phone booth and comes out and he's just Superman," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said. "So we expect him to be out there, continuing being Superman for us."

    Add to the mix quality linebackers like James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, and LaMarr Woodley, it's easy to see why the Steelers went 12-4 and captured their second AFC North crown in three years.

    With the No. 2 seed in its back pocket, Pittsburgh is well positioned in its quest for seven rings. The first hurdle is the Baltimore Ravens (13-4), the one team in the league most like the Steelers, and their biggest rival to boot.

    "That is our type of game," Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton said. "We are a physical team. We try to impose our will on people. We are carbon copies of each other. The fans, and TV, that is what everybody wants to see. They know what kind of games we have, the physical nature of it. I think that is what people want to see."

    The Ravens are fast, physical and love to inflict pain. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger how his cornflake-like busted nose felt, or ask Heath Miller about the concussion he suffered in a 13-10 Steelers win back in December.

    How brutal can this rivalry get?

    Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs referred to this game as "Armageddon."

    "It's about what is on the line," Suggs said. "They call it Armageddon as the fight between good and evil. I am a big Star Wars fan and the emperor said, 'Evil is only a point of view.' I guess it is from whose point of view it's coming from."

    A Steelers-Ravens matchup presents its own form of violent ballet you can't see anywhere else in the NFL. This is old-school football at its finest.

    This Saturday's divisional playoff game is Round 3 in the Steelers-Ravens war of attrition for 2010. It won't be pretty. It won't be flashy and there won't be a ton of points scored, but if hardcore football is your game, don't miss this one.

    "The team that wins this game is going to be the most violent team, the team that is most physical," Steelers defensive lineman Chris Hoke said. "It's the team that goes out there to push the other team around. That is who wins. When we play the Ravens, it's whoever can be the most physical team that wins."

    It will be a brutal, bloody, physical contest.

    Just the way the Steelers and the Steeler Nation like it.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/1...as-it-ever-was

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    Default Re: Key word is physical

    Anyone that doesn't know by now that Steelers vs Ravens game isn't the most physical among football or all sports maybe is a dweeb.

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    Default Re: Key word is physical

    Ravens bracing for Steelers pass rush

    Ravens have allowed 44 sacks

    by Aaron Wilson
    JANUARY 13, 2011


    OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Troy Polamalu is unlikely to be ignored this time, not after the way he bolted into the Baltimore Ravens’ backfield to deck quarterback Joe Flacco for a costly sack and forced fumble.

    It was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ gifted strong safety who set up a game-winning touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to fullback Isaac Redman with this pivotal turnover late in the fourth quarter during the Ravens’ 13-10 loss at M&T Bank Stadium.

    Now, the Ravens have made new contingency plans to account for Polamalu as they prepare for Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Steelers at Heinz Field.

    “You’ve got to know where he is at all times,” left offensive tackle Michael Oher said. “He’s a game-changer, so do not let him loose next time is what we’re thinking. He’s won a lot of games on his own.”

    It was Oher who didn’t shift over to block Polamalu during the last game against Pittsburgh, reacting to a defensive lineman that lined up across his face.

    The communication breakdown ultimately led to no one blocking arguably the Steelers’ most dangerous defender.

    “I think when you look back on it, we could have handled it a little bit differently,” Flacco said. “If that same situation comes up this game, I’m pretty sure that we’re going to handle it, and we’re going to be disappointed if we don’t. Yeah, great play by him. At the same time, it’s something that we probably should have handled.”

    Blocking Polamalu wouldn’t earn the Ravens a checkmate against the Steelers’ confusing pass rush that’s built on the hallmarks of legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s innovative zone-blitz schemes.

    That’s not even half the battle.

    The Ravens also have to stonewall Pro Bowl outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, who combined for 20 ½ sacks this season.

    They play with outstanding leverage, closing speed and a mean streak that seems to be innate to Steelers linebackers over the years going back to the Jack Lambert and Jack Ham era to Greg Lloyd, Kevin Greene and this modern day vintage of havoc-causers.

    “They're both two great players, great athletes,” offensive tackle Marshal Yanda said. “Woodley's got a bull rush and he's really strong and he can work the edge, too. He kind of lulls you to sleep by trying to bull you, bull you, bull you and if you can't stop the bull then he's going to run you over all day. When you get him stopped a little bit, then he's going to work his hands.

    “He's a football player he's an athlete he's got more than one move. The good defensive ends have more than one move just like Harrison has got a spin move and the speed upfield. Some guys only have a bull rush or can only work the edge and can't run you over so you set the edge and if he tries to run you over you gather and stop him. If you set for the edge and Woodley gets under your pads, then you're going back."

    Neither Woodley or Harrison is classically big for the position, at least not in terms of stature.

    Harrison is generously listed at 6-foot, but is a sculpted 242 pounds.

    He’s built like a fire hydrant, bull-necked with massive arms and a wide lower body. He’s explosive running into the backfield.

    Woodley is 6-foot-2 and a stocky 265 pounds. A lot of his mass is in his lower body.

    It’s a tough assignment for any pass blocker.

    “They have leverage, especially Harrison,” Yanda said. “They're built for leverage, power and speed. They're probably the best tandem in the league, no doubt.”

    A former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Harrison was named to the Pro Bowl for a fourth consecutive year.

    He registered 100 tackles, six forced fumble and two interceptions.

    Two years ago, he broke the franchise record with 16 sacks.

    Woodley and Harrison combined for 23 ½ sacks last year after piling up 27 ½ sacks two years ago to break the record of 24 previously held by Jason Gildon and Joey Porter.

    Woodley posted 10 sacks this season, intercepting two passes with one returned for a touchdown as he forced three fumbles and recovered two more.

    “You kind of know their game, you understand the way they rush the passer,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “They both have an array of pass-rush moves, but they start with power. When you start with power and explosiveness, they both have a tremendous take-off. They time up the snap, those kinds of things.

    “That makes it tough on tackles as far as the pass rush. They both can play the run very well. They’re both very strong, heavy-handed guys, but there’s always something different. They put them in some different spot; they bring them in from some different place every single game. We’ll have to see what the plan is this week.”

    The Ravens allowed 40 sacks during the regular season and gave up another four during last week’s 30-7 wild-card win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Oher had trouble blocking outside linebacker Tamba Hali, who’s essentially a bigger version of Harrison and Woodley.

    Respect for the Steelers’ pass rushing tandem extends to the defensive side of the football.

    “I’ve got a lot of respect for them,” outside linebacker Jarret Johnson said. “I play the same position as they do, so I understand what’s going on with it and they’re really good. They’re probably, as a tandem, they’re probably best in the league.

    “They’re both bigger, more muscular, stocky guys, so yeah. Their technique sets them apart also. They’re pretty legit guys.”

    http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/...pass-rush.html

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