Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held his final press conference before Super Bowl XLV. He was asked about his feelings on Friday: "I'm a robot. I'm just going to ride the wave."
Tomlin on how the weather has affected the Steelers this week: "We're kind of used to inclement weather. At least from my perspective, it hasn't changed how we've worked at all. We've been inside for several weeks now back in Pittsburgh, so it's no big deal there. I'll tell you one thing, the people at TCU have been more than accommodating. We really appreciate your hospitality."
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy held his final press conference before Super Bowl XLV on Friday. He was asked about the health status of WR Donald Driver: "I would be shocked if Donald Driver does not play Sunday. He would practice today if I would let him. He tweaked it in Wednesday's practice, and frankly I just do not want to take any chances at this point. So I will hold Donald from practice again today. Donald's played a lot of football, he knows the offense, he's had a whole week of preparation with the plan last week, so this is clearly just being safe with him."
McCarthy on handling the big stage of the Super Bowl: "And frankly, we took a moment and showed the movie from 'Hoosiers.' Everybody loves the movie 'Hoosiers,' where the basketball team walks into the arena and they measure the foul line and it's 15 feet, and they measure the hoop and it's 10 feet, and everybody goes OK, it's big in here. That's our approach. We're going to play football. When we cross that white line, it's going to be about playing Packer football, and that's what we're focused on."
Commissioner Roger Goodell held his press conference on Friday and discussed the owners' push for an 18-game regular season: "The fans have clearly stated that they don't like the preseason. We have a 20-game format, 16 regular-season games and four preseason games, and the fans have repeatedly said the preseason games don't meet NFL standards. And that is the basis on which we started this 18-game concept, taking two low-quality preseason games and turning them into two high-quality regular-season games."
Goodell on getting a new Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed to by March 4: "Our focus is on trying to get a contract done. We want to get this deal done in the next few weeks."
Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
The Packers have a tradition of rotating captains for each game, and every week, one of those captains steps up and speaks to the team before they take the field. QB Aaron Rodgers said on Thursday that the tradition is a credit to head coach Mike McCarthy. "Allowing a different guy every week to talk and call the team up has really showed us different sides of these guys that we didn't know had great leadership qualities before this," Rodgers said. "Guys like A.J. [Hawk], guys like Scott [Wells], guys like Ryan Pickett, have gotten in front of the team and said things that [were] kind of long overdue. Mike allowing those guys to talk before the games has really meant a lot to them and also to their teammates, because it's allowed us to see a different side of them."
Ben Roethlisberger and some teammates went out to dinner and a piano bar earlier this week, which concerned some reporters. Head coach Mike Tomlin, however, was not concerned. "People do have to eat dinner, you know," Tomlin said. "Believe it or not, guys lead lives."
The NFLPA held a press conference in Dallas, and executive director DeMaurice Smith said that while the players and owners fight in their negotiation for a new CBA, a third side will be affected the most: "The people that have the most to lose are the fans," Smith said.
Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011
Steelers C Maurkice Pouncy is questionable for Sunday with a high ankle sprain. He told NFL.com a decision could be made on Friday: "If I'm not on the field Friday, most likely I'm not playing. I'm not going to put the team in a bad position."
Packers WR Donald Driver has been a vital part of Green Bay's passing attack all season. He spoke to ESPNMilwaukee.com about soaking in the chance to play in the Super Bowl: "This means everything. As a kid, you watch Super Bowls on TV and you dream about it. So when it finally comes, you can't let it slip away. It's right here in front of me. This is where it all starts, and this is where it all finishes. You have to enjoy every moment."
Packers RB James Starks has really been turning it on as of late. He shared some of his tips with CBSSports.com: "You just run hard and do your best. I have confidence in myself. The main thing I've done in the playoffs is just be me."
A lot has been made of the similarities between the defense of the Steelers and Packers. Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau talked to the Green Bay Press-Gazette about how much they have in common: “This is probably the only Super Bowl ever that players from either team could jump in the defensive huddle and understand the terminology and probably run the defense."
Steelers OT Flozell Adams spent 12 years with the Cowboys before joining the Steelers. He talked to Steelers.com about deciding to play in Pittsburgh: "Coming here was a good move. There is such tradition. I went up to where the trophies are right after training camp and I saw them and was like this is a great thing to have six Super Bowl trophies. That is a tough thing to accomplish. You can tell the tradition this team has, winning two Super Bowls in the last five years. I knew the opportunity for me to at least press for it was great."
Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was the center of attention at Super Bowl media day, talking about the off-field issues he faced last summer. The two-time champion told The Toronto Sun about one of the bigger steps he's had to go through since his sexual assault conviction last April: "I've had a lot of apologizing to do. I had to apologize to the Rooneys (Steelers owners); I had to apologize to the fans. I had to apologize to the press. I wasn't always the nicest guy. I can admit that."
The man responsible for molding the defense that has to stop Roethlisberger on Super Sunday, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, told reporters at media day about his team's approach heading into the big game: "I think our philosophy is based in, number one, trying to stop the run and trying to make the game a one-dimensional game. We feel we have many different things that can attack and pressure the quarterback, and we know this is a quarterback-driven league now. If you let the quarterback sit there and he can do everything on time, then it's normally going to be a long game in this league. You have to be able to do something to try to disrupt the quarterback's rhythm, and, if you can do that, it leads to being able to take the ball away."
One of the league's tougher defenders, Steelers OLB James Harrison, said to The Washington Post that his intention isn't to hurt anybody in the Super Bowl, even (a bit sarcastically) appealing to the commissioner to make things safer for opposing players: "I don't want to hurt nobody. I don't want to step on nobody's foot or hurt their toe," Harrison said. "I don't want to have no dirt or none of this rubber on this field fly into their eye and make their eye hurt. I just want to tackle them softly on the ground, and if you all can, we'll lay a pillow down where I'm going to tackle them, so they don't hit the ground too hard ... Mr. Goodell."
The first question asked of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers at media day was by NFL Network host Deion Sanders, who wanted to know if former Packer Brett Favre had contacted the QB this week about preparing for the Super Bowl: "No," Rodgers said without hesitation.