The six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers arrived in Dallas on Monday to begin their preparations in earnest for Super Bowl XLV. On Monday, after checking into their hotel, the Steelers conducted their first of several press conferences of the week. I’ll be in Dallas as of tomorrow night, and will do my best to supplement the outstanding job the press does with some unique coverage of my own. For now, let’s check in and see what various members of the Steelers had to say on Monday, beginning with veteran inside linebacker James Farrior.
QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE
Linebacker James Farrior
(On why Mike Tomlin has been a successful head coach)
"I think with him being such a young coach, he’s able to relate to the players better. He has a good grasp of how guys are feeling in the locker room. He walks around the locker room every day. I think he has a pretty good temperature of the team at all times."
(On if there was a process of Tomlin winning over the locker room)
"It’s always a process when you get a new coach in, but I don’t think it took a long time for him to establish himself and develop a good relationship with the players."
(On what’s unique about Tomlin)
"I think he does a good job of letting the coaches coach and the players play. He doesn’t try to do too much as far as micromanage everything."
(On if the Steelers are the team of the decade)
"I don’t really know. That’s for you guys to decide. We’re just here to try to win the game and we can worry about all the other stuff tomorrow."
(On how irritated the team was when LB James Harrison was fined early in the year)
"It was frustrating because I don’t think guys knew what the NFL was looking for. We didn’t know exactly what they were trying to avoid. It was especially frustrating for him, getting all those fines. It was a rocky road for a little while, but things calmed down as games progressed."
(On if there’s a disadvantage to having a team together for a long time)
"I don’t really see a whole lot of disadvantages except for things might get stale. But us being together, I think we’ve been able to build a strong relationship together."
(On if getting stale was a part of the team’s problems in 2009)
"No, I wouldn’t say that. I’d just say we didn’t play as well as we could have and it was a disappointing season all around."
(On the team’s jersey tribute to T Flozell Adams)
"Yeah, it was pretty good. When they all had Flozell’s jersey, I was definitely surprised. It looked good on those guys."
(On how Adams responded)
"You couldn’t really get a tell on how he was feeling. He’s always got the same look on his face, and he’s a mean guy, so no one really wants to talk to him."
(On how he has evolved into a team leader)
"Being the old guy in the locker room, I think guys respect me and respect what I do out on the field. If I need to talk about something or I have to get a message across, all the guys pretty much listen and follow."
(On how difficult the Packers’ offense looks on turf)
"Oh man, I’ll go back to the days of probably St. Louis when it was the Greatest Show on Turf. Those guys look amazing on turf. The game I watched mostly on the turf was the Atlanta game and they were outstanding. I think (Packers QB Aaron) Rodgers was almost perfect that day. It’s going to be a little tougher defending those guys on the turf."
(On how the Steelers plan to attack Rodgers on Sunday)
"I think we’ll mix it up. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league, so we’re going to have to show him a lot of different looks and try to confuse him as best we can. I’m sure he’s studying tape right now so he’s going to be ready for the things that we’ve got. We’ll have to come up with a few new wrinkles and I’m sure Coach (Dick) LeBeau is going to have to go back in the archives and come up with a great game plan."
(On if LeBeau’s experience gives the team an extra measure of confidence)
"I think so. I definitely think it gives us a sense of calmness to know that he’s going to come up with something. He’s right most of the time."
(On how the Steelers’ defense compares with Green Bay’s defense)
"They’ve got similar players. They run pretty much the same defense that we do and they have some of the same bodies that we do. Some of the things that stick out in my mind are (B.J.) Raji, he’s a big guy in the middle and it definitely starts with the nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. You’ve got (Clay) Matthews on the outside. You can compare him to either one of our outside guys. They do the same thing — wreak havoc on the field. You’ve got the great Charles Woodson back there in the secondary. You can compare him a little bit to Troy (Polamalu). The plays that he makes, he’s always around the ball and
he’s a guy you have to be aware of."
(On if preparing for the Super Bowl is more of a routine since he’s done it before)
"Yeah, I definitely think it’s more of a sense of calm on our side of the ball. A lot guys in our locker room have Super Bowl experience, so I think it will help us out, just dealing with everything that’s going to be going on this week."
(On if the team backed Ben Roethlisberger during his suspension at the start of the season)
"I was highly upset about this whole situation. When Roger Goodell came to us in the preseason, I think I was the guy that asked him a lot of the questions about Ben. I was pretty upset about it. I really didn’t get any answers from him that I was looking for, but I was definitely disappointed in what the verdict was and how they proceeded. I definitely didn’t think he should be suspended for four games."
(On the team being known as a defensive team and not being known by its quarterback)
"It feels good, but when you think about the Steelers, you’ve got to think about Ben."