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Thread: Veteran QBs hold keys to victory

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    Default Veteran QBs hold keys to victory

    Veteran QBs hold keys to victory
    By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer

    ARLINGTON, Texas - Two of the most storied franchises in the NFL will clash tonight when the Steelers play the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. Only one will add to its legacy.

    Will it be the Steelers extending their own record with a seventh Super Bowl championship? O will Green Bay, which entered the NFC playoffs as the No. 6 seed, join the Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers as the only teams with four or more championships?

    Either way, there's going to be some history made.

    Which team lays claim to the Super Bowl title might rest on the shoulders of the two quarterbacks, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers.

    Neither is considered a quarterback on par with New England's Tom Brady or Peyton Manning of Indianapolis. That status could change after this game.

    "My definition of an elite quarterback is one who wins football games," said Roethlisberger, who has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories and has a 10-2 record in the playoffs.

    "Obviously, you put up big numbers. ... But at the end of the day, to be an elite quarterback is about winning and losing."

    This will be the second meeting of the teams in two seasons. At Heinz Field last year, the Steelers came away with a 37-36 win on a last-second touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to wide receiver Mike Wallace. Roethlisberger passed for a team-record 503 yards and three touchdowns, and Rodgers had 383 passing yards and accounted for four touchdowns.

    "We did some good things that game," said Rodgers, who has surpassed 3,900 yards passing in each of his three seasons as Green Bay's starter since replacing Brett Favre.

    "We moved the ball pretty well. Unfortunately, Ben was incredible that day and beat us on the last play of the game."

    In that game, the Steelers' defense was playing without All-Pro strong safety Troy Polamalu, this season's NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

    This time, the Packers will be missing two key components from their offense, injured running back Ryan Grant and tight end Jermichael Finley. Grant ran for a touchdown against Pittsburgh last year, and Finley led the Packers with nine receptions for 74 yards and a score.

    "There were different players on both sides of the ball, and we are a different offense than we were last year," said Rodgers.

    There's also a different feeling because of the enormity of the game.

    The Steelers have 25 players who have Super Bowl experience. The Packers have only two, including fullback John Kuhn, who got his experience as a practice squad player with the Steelers.

    "Going once, then not going until nine years later, you understand how hard it is to get here. There is no guarantee that you'll ever get back," said Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson, who as a member of the Oakland Riaders lost in the Super Bowl to Tampa Bay in 2002.

    "I'm taking in every moment this. I'm enjoying it this time around, and I'm definitely looking forward to a different outcome."

    Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was an assistant coach on that Buccaneers team and will be trying for his third Super Bowl victory.

    "We are trying to maximize the opportunity that we have," said Tomlin. "The core of this unit has been together for a number of years, so we find ourselves in this game for the second time in four years. We're excited about it. It's not going to paralyze us."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Odds and end zones[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    The Pittsburgh Steelers placed the Pro Bowl rookie center Maurkice Pouncey on injured reserve Saturday, a day after ruling him out for the Super Bowl with a high left ankle sprain. Center-guard Dorian Brooks was signed from the practice squad to take Pouncey's roster spot. Backup Doug Legursky will make his first NFL career start at center Sunday in Pouncey's place.
    "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: Veteran QBs hold keys to victory

    Quarterbacks provide an elite matchup
    By: Mike Bires
    Beaver County Times
    Sunday February 6, 2011

    Arlington, Texas -- In Ben Roethlisberger's mind, there's only one way to define an elite quarterback. "At the end of the day, it's all about winning,” he said.

    It's understandable that Roethlisberger feels that way. Few quarterbacks in NFL history have won as often as he before their 29th birthday. He's 28, and has already led the Steelers to two Super Bowl victories.

    But when asked how he defines an elite quarterback, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers isn't so sure that it’s only about wins and losses. “I don’t know,” he said. “I think Dan Marino would have a problem with that.”

    Rodgers knows about the flashy stats Marino put up when he played in Miami. Marino ranks second in NFL history in completions, passing yards and touchdown passes. He’s second in those categories behind former Packers legend Brett Favre.

    But Favre and Roethlisberger have something that Marino and Rodgers don’t — a Super Bowl championship.

    [IMGL][/IMGL]Tonight as the Steelers and Packers meet in Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers will try to win his first. To do so, he’ll probably have to outshine Roethlisberger.

    “Ben’s a winner, and that’s the bottom line,” said Kevin Colbert, the Steelers’ director of football operations. “You always have to judge a quarterback on whether they are winners or not.”

    When the Steelers drafted Roethlisberger in the first round in 2004, they didn’t do so because they hoped he would shatter Terry Bradshaw’s passing records but rather because they wanted him to win games and win championships.

    With a 10-2 postseason record, Roethlisberger ranks second in NFL history with an .833 winning percentage. Bart Starr, who led the Packers to wins in the first two Super Bowls, ranks first (9-1, .900).

    If the Steelers pull off a mild upset this evening at Cowboys Stadium, Roethlisberger would become only the fifth quarterback to win at least three Super Bowls. He would join Bradshaw and San Francisco’s Montana, who each won four, and Dallas’ Troy Aikman and current New England QB Tom Brady, who have three each.

    “I’m not pretty when I play the game, I’ll be the first to admit it, but I don’t try to be,” Roethlisberger said. “I just play the game to win it. ... I’ll probably never win a passing title, probably never win the MVP of the NFL, and I’m OK with that, really I am. People may think that I’m crazy. For me, it’s about wins and losses and championships. That’s the only stat that matters to me.”

    Rodgers, 27, is 3-1 in the playoffs in six seasons. He spent the first three years in Green Bay as Favre’s backup.

    In 2008 when the Packers parted ways with Favre, Rodgers immediately began putting up Marino-like numbers. In each of his three years as a starter, he surpassed 4,000 passing yards. By comparison, Roethlisberger has only thrown for more than 4,000 yards once in seven years. That was a year ago when the Steelers missed the playoffs.

    “You have to be blessed with not only ability and opportunity, but a supporting cast as well,” said Rodgers, the 24th pick in 2005. “No quarterback has ever won a game by himself.

    “I’m fortunate to be in a situation where we have an incredible defense, a great coaching staff, solid guys on offense and I’m hopeful we’ll all put our best foot forward in the Super Bowl.”

    While that’s true, the Packers wouldn’t be in North Texas playing for the Super Bowl without Rodgers. He ranked third in the NFL during the regular season with a 101.2 passer rating (Roethlisberger was fifth at 97.0). In the playoffs, Rodgers has been outstanding with a 109.2 rating, easily the best of any of the quarterbacks who’ve played in this year’s Super Bowl tournament.

    “There have been some outstanding players who haven’t won Super Bowls. That doesn’t mean they aren’t great players,” said Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements, the McKees Rocks native who served as Steelers’ QB coach from 2001-03. “Aaron wants to be a champion. As far as being thought of as an elite quarterback, I know we think of him that way.”

    “I’m not concerned about how I get ranked among quarterbacks,” Rodgers said. “I’m concerned abut competing against them and beating them when we play them.”

    Tonight, Rodgers gets his chance. He can move into an elite class of quarterbacks by out-dueling Roethlisberger.

    But if the Steelers win, Roethlisberger’s legend grows even more.
    "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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