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Thread: Steelers just fine as 2 1/2 pt Underdog to Packers in Superbowl

      
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    Default Steelers just fine as 2 1/2 pt Underdog to Packers in Superbowl

    Underdog role suits Steelers just fine

    By MIKE ZEISBERGER, Toronto Sun
    http://www.torontosun.com/sports/foo.../17016356.html
    January 24, 2011



    PITTSBURGH — When you walk past six shiny Lombardi trophies every day en route to team meetings, you are not accustomed to being underdogs.

    But that’s exactly how the Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves on Monday when they learned that Las Vegas has made the Green Bay Packers 21/2-point favourites for Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers on Feb. 6 in Dallas.

    The Steelers reaction: Bring it on.

    “I feel people don’t want us to win,” Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said Monday afternoon. “People don’t like seeing successful people. People get tired of seeing the same people over and over again.

    “We’ve been successful here. People can say what they want. They are very entitled to their opinions. But we believe. And we are happy to be Pittsburgh Steelers.”

    Taylor is one of 19 players on the Steelers roster who already won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh. So, too, is defensive lineman Chris Hoke, who agrees with Taylor that the Steelers will relish the position of not being favoured.

    “That’s fine,” Hoke said. “When you tell us we’re underdogs, that’s when we fight the best.

    “When you play for the Steelers, you respect the legacy of this franchise. You expect to win. When we went out against the Jets Sunday night, we expected to win. And that won’t change in two weeks.”

    Hoke insists playing in Super Bowls never gets old.

    “For some of us older guys, you don’t know how many more chances you’re going to get,” he said.

    “We’ve had a chip on our shoulders dating back to the beginning of the season when everyone counted us out because Ben (Roethlisberger) was suspended for four games.”

    The Packers potentially provide a nightmare for the Steelers secondary. With quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing to talented receivers like Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and James Jones, the vaunted Pittsburgh defence will have its hands full.

    “The receivers they have are as talented as anyone in the league,” Taylor said. “They could go eight wide if they wanted. Their receivers from one through four are so deep. And it all starts with Aaron Rodgers. He has been playing so well.

    “It’s going to be a great game.”

    With so many veterans having championship experience, they’ll be relied upon to help the younger players like receiver Mike Wallace, who will be playing in the Super Bowl for the first time.

    “I got so many texts Sunday night, I didn’t know who they were from,” said Wallace of the Steelers 24-19 victory over the Jets in the AFC championship game. “Everyone wants to go to the Super Bowl.”

    Told that he would be on the hook to pay for tickets for family and friends, Wallace’s eyes widened. At a face value of $900 a pop, that’s a lot of money, even for an NFL player.

    “My mom and dad are coming. That’s it,” laughed Wallace, implying everyone else can get their own ducats.

    This much is certain: Even as underdogs, they will be no shortage of support for the Steelers at Cowboys Stadium in two weeks.

    Terrible Towel, anyone?

    mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

    twitter.com/zeisberger

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    Default Re: Steelers just fine as 2 1/2 pt Underdog to Packers in Superbowl


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    Default Re: Steelers just fine as 2 1/2 pt Underdog to Packers in Superbowl

    Well, whats new.
    All the mediots still do mediate ****, because they usualy get to talk about mediocre teams anyway.
    However, we are playing for seven.

    Historically, I would like to mention.
    This will mean even more, because we get seven in Dallas.
    Viz-id/Vigilancer - Oct-18-2009 02:17 PM View Conversation Report

    I retired my silverhawk lance if you wish to use it, you're welcome to it.

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    Default Re: Steelers just fine as 2 1/2 pt Underdog to Packers in Superbowl

    No respect? Underdog status could benefit Steelers

    By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011



    Taylor sacks Sanchez
    Chaz Palla | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


    It remains to be seen whether Vegas oddsmakers did the Steelers a disservice by installing the Green Bay Packers as the favorites in Super Bowl XLV.

    They certainly did coach Mike Tomlin a favor by setting the early line at three points.

    That will serve as one of many rallying points for the Steelers as they prepare for a Super Bowl that pits two of the NFL's most storied franchises against one another Feb. 6 in Dallas.

    "I feel like we're always underdogs, even when they've got us covering the point spread," veteran cornerback Ike Taylor said Monday after team meetings at Steelers headquarters.

    The respect card is perhaps the most overplayed one in sports, but it has worked for the Steelers.

    In 2008, they took exception to the notion that a brutal regular-season schedule would be their undoing.

    They promptly went 12-4 and won three postseason games on the way to a sixth Super Bowl title.

    This season, they noticed when some pundits picked them to finish no better than third in the AFC North because of an aging defense and an absentee quarterback for the first four games.

    Now they are one victory away from winning a third Super Bowl title in six years.

    "I kind of don't understand what everybody sees that we won't see," Taylor said. "We talk about the local media having us going 8-8."

    Maybe Taylor and the Steelers should be thanking those who predicted they would finish no better than .500.

    They have not played particularly well in recent years when there have been high expectations -- or at least higher than usual for a franchise whose players walk past six Lombardi Trophies on a regular basis.

    Conversely, the Steelers have been at their best when few outside of the organization have given them a chance of making the kind of run that will extend this season into February.

    The Steelers, however, aren't underdogs any more than Bill Gates is.

    And Taylor even acknowledged that when talking about the us-versus-everybody-else mentality that the Steelers embraced this season.

    "People don't like successful people, regardless of how you make it. Just the tradition we have here, the success we have here, I just feel that a lot of people don't want us to succeed," Taylor said. "They're getting tired of seeing the same people over and over again. I guess they want to see somebody new."

    Looks like they'll have to wait at least one more year for that to happen.


    3 players to watch

    Clay Matthews

    Packers OLB

    Pedigreed player has been productive, as well as disruptive, since the Packers took him in first round of 2009 NFL Draft. The son and namesake of the former Browns linebacker, Matthews finished fourth in the NFL this season with 13 1/2 sacks.

    Bryant McFadden

    Steelers CB

    Off week will give McFadden, who has been hampered by abdominal and hip injuries, extra time to heal. McFadden was part of an Arizona Cardinals secondary that got torched in a wild-card playoff loss to the Packers last season.

    Aaron Rodgers

    Packers QB

    Has thrown 10 touchdown passes and just three interceptions in four career postseason games. He is one victory away from winning as many Super Bowls in Green Bay as Brett Favre.

    4 questions with Steelers nose tackle and Texas native Casey Hampton

    What are your early thoughts on playing the Green Bay Packers?

    "Their offense is real good; their defense is pretty much a mirror image of our defense. It's going to be a tough game, but at the end of the day, if we do what we're capable of doing, it's all about us. We should be OK."

    Do you consider the Super Bowl a homecoming despite Galveston's lack of proximity to Dallas?

    "Oh yeah, it's to the crib. Texas is my home. It's not the house-house but it is Texas, so it's going to be good."

    Do you think that would anger the Cowboys if you won another Super Bowl in their stadium?

    "Man, I ain't worried about what the Cowboys think, It's all about us. If they have a problem, they should have made it."

    Did you have any doubts going into the season that you could get this far?

    "No, because at the end of the day, we know we've got a veteran team, we've got a great defense. Our offense is young, but we knew as long as they came along, we'd be OK."

    QUOTABLE

    Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, on the decision to throw a pass on third-and-6 near the end of the AFC Championship Game:

    "Coach (Mike Tomlin) said 'Win the game.' We had a play set Thursday night, that that's the play we would use and Ben (Roethlisberger) made an unbelievable throw and Antonio (Brown) got open. You can always play safe and run, punt, put your defense back out there but it's not as nice as kneeling down."

    Right tackle Flozell Adams, on returning to Dallas where he played for 12 seasons before signing with the Steelers:

    "I keep saying I don't care about where the Super Bowl is as long as it's the Super Bowl. It's like a great goal of mine has been accomplished, not fully accomplished because we haven't won yet. Now, we've got to go out there and win it."

    Nose tackle Chris Hoke, on Mike Tomlin's imprint on the team when he took over as head coach in 2007

    "When he first came in, he was hard core. In camp, we were in pads a couple of times a day, we were getting after it. He wanted to see who would and who wouldn't. He wanted to see the personality of this team. And once he knew the personality of this team, he was able to work with us."

    BY THE NUMBERS

    6 -- Postseason games Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley needed to record 10 sacks, the fewest of any NFL player since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

    7 -- The previous record for fewest postseason games to reach 10 sacks, held by Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent, the MVP of Super Bowl XX

    100.4 -- Rushing yards per game the Packers averaged during the regular season, ranking 24th in the NFL

    503 -- Passing yards Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had in a 37-36 win against the Packers last season, a career-high. Roethlisberger and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers combined for 886 passing yards in that game.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1C4KBJ1xV

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