Feb 02, 2011
Steelers Larry Foote: 'We thank' the Jets for starting slow in AFC title game
By Tim Gardner, USA TODAY

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to play in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday thanks to a 24-19 victory over the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game.

The Steelers jumped out to a 24-0 lead on the Jets in the first half before holding on for the victory and a spot in Sunday's big game vs. the Green Bay Packers.

"We were more prepared (than the Jets)," Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said, according to the New York Daily News. "Why on Earth they made the excuse that they started slow . . . I don't know. I don't know why any team would start slow in the AFC Championship Game. You should be more fired up than any other game. Those guys said they weren't fired up and ready to play. And we thank them for it."

The Jets, who had trash-talked their way to a victory over the New England Patriots in the division playoffs, quieted down during the week leading up to the AFC title game against the Steelers.

Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day that was a smart move -- even though it might not have worked.

"They were trash-talking to the Patriots," Sanders said. "But we got some guys on this team that if you start talking trash to us, we're going to come out and smack you in the mouth. We have that kind of swagger. Okay, you talk smack. Okay, we're going to bring the 'A' Game."

The Steelers, too, largely kept quiet to the media before the Jets game. But, according to Foote, that doesn't mean they weren't talking trash on the field.

"We talk just as much as any other team," Foote said. "We just don't do it through the media. When we get on the field, they hear us chirping. Talking is just part of it. It's fun. But during the week, we don't need to do that. We've been there and done it. We know teams are worried about us."

After the victory, head coach Mike Tomlin lobbed a jab at the team they just took down.

"Next time we play these guys, I'm sure it will be personal for them," Tomlin said, referencing Jets head coach Rex Ryan's comments before the Patriots game.

Sanders, meanwhile, knows the Jets will be coming at the Steelers hard next season.

"Of course, they're going to come after us next year," Sanders said. "We just knocked them out of the AFC Championship Game. So there's definitely going to be a chip on their shoulder. In my opinion, it's becoming a big-time rivalry.