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Super Bowl Media Day

The Steelers and Packers–and an ice storm–descended upon North Texas, as well as 5,000 of their closest friends. Media from across the globe were on hand as players and coaches from both sides had plenty to say.

Feeling Super
“We are excited about media day. I myself personally am ready to embrace it. We always, as players, want to get to this point. We want to get to the big game, but at the same time you can over-prepare and focus too much on the game and not embrace the actual experience. But understanding that the game is the ultimate thing and that we want to win, at the same time, I think guys have to embrace the experience so we can take something away from it.”
— Green Bay receiver Greg Jennings

“I think that all the dreams that you dream about have come true. So, I’m very excited. This is a great moment for me.”
— Packers 12-year veteran Donald Driver, who will be playing in his first Super Bowl.

“I’m in Dallas, Texas. I wanted to put on my whole cowboy outfit and enjoy it. No nerves.”
— Steelers veteran receiver Hines Ward, about to play in his third, decked out in black cowboy hat, black shirt, Texas-sized belt buckle and jeans.

“Answering the questions and doing the media stuff, it’s all good for a couple of days, but guys get tired of it after a while and just want to play football. That’s the feeling for the guys on the team. They finally got on the plane and finally got to Dallas. Guys are just ready to play.”
— Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson, one of three Packers who have been to a Super Bowl

“The hardest part is really understanding everything that goes along with it, like the media sessions we have, or being in a different environment. But we have a good group of professionals, who, despite being young have helped us get to this point to be where we’re at. We wouldn’t be on this stage if we were immature or didn’t understand or had too much pressure on us. We’re here. Two teams out of 32 have made it here with hard work, dedication and perseverance, and now there’s just one game left to determine who’s the champion.”
— Packers All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews

Cold Weather Team?
“Sorry we brought the weather with us.”
— Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy

“Too cold. Feels like the AC is on.”
— B.J. Raji, 337-pound Green Bay Packers nose tackle

“It’s a little too cold for me. Texas is supposed to be hot and humid. I was looking forward to that. I AM a California guy.”
— Clay Matthews

“We’re in Green Bay right now. We’re the home team and we’re at home with this weather.”
— Greg Jennings

“I’m hoping they put the top on Jerry World, and I think they will.”
— Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said, referring to the roof at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, the billion-dollar showplace of Jerry Jones.

Jerry World
“It is huge. It’s absolutely huge. This is pretty plum right here. They did an outstanding job. I told the guys when we got in the locker room, ‘Yeah, we have the best facility (in Green Bay)… Uh, no.'”
— Greg Jennings on Cowboys Stadium

“I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how impressive it is. The Jumbotron — you can almost hit it with a punt. This place is really nice. They didn’t cut any corners here.”
— Packers fullback John Kuhn

Redemption Song
“I think that’s a great reflective question. And the time for reflecting is probably after the year, so for me, I can’t reflect now, I’ve got to think about this game.”
— Ben Roethlisberger, who was suspended the first four games of the season after being accused of–but not charged with–sexual assault in Georgia over the summer.

Center Piece
“We’ve been very aggressive in terms of treating it. We’ve even been putting it in hard casts and so forth. Just trying to do everything in our power to give him the best opportunity to participate. I don’t know what his chances are at this point. We will remain hopeful.”
— Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on whether injured center Maurkice Pouncey will be able to play in Sunday’s Super Bowl. The rookie lineman suffered a high-ankle sprain and a fracture of his ankle in the Steelers AFC Championship win over the Jets.

“I don’t think it’s going to affect us at all personally because we have a lot of guys on this team, let alone the offensive line, that can come up and step up if one of the starters come down. So I have no shadow of a doubt that Doug will do just as good a job—if not better than Pouncey—being in there for this Super Bowl. And I mean that.”
— Steelers tackle Flozell Adams on the possibility of playing with back-up Doug Legursky at center.

“The guy that is behind him is no slouch. He is a pretty good player. He is physical and finishes to the whistle.”
— B.J. Raji of Doug Legursky

“We’re comfortable if we have to go in that direction.”
— Tomlin on Legursky

Heady Stuff
“I just want to tackle them softly on the ground. If you can, can you lay a pillow down where I’m going to tackle them so they don’t hit the ground too hard… Mr. Goodell?”
— Steelers All-Pro linebacker James Harrison, having a laugh at his own expense concerning the fines he received this season for illegal hits.

“At the time, it was something that was really serious for me. Stepping back and having time to look at it and evaluate the whole situation, it was a heat-of-the-moment decision, not well thought out, not planned out.”
— Harrison, on comments he made about considering retirement in the days immediately following his $75,000 fine for hitting Cleveland Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. The fine was eventually reduced to $50,000.

“I don’t think they need to do anything to provide clarity. I just think they need to do [fine players] evenly across the board. That’s all.”
— Harrison, on his feelings about the fines today.

Are You Experienced?
“It can be overwhelming. You get off the plane and you’ve got helicopters, police and media, and then this. If you’re not used to it, it can be overwhelming. So I think it helps a little bit to at least have some prior knowledge and experience with it.”
— Ben Roethlisberger on any advantage the Steelers may have based on their Super Bowl experience. As a team, the Steelers have 54 Super Bowl rings; the Packers have one – John Kuhn, earned three years ago as a member of the Steelers practice squad.

Bringing Down Ben
“It’s extremely difficult. The thing that Ben does, he’s got great pocket instincts, he’s big and strong and obviously hard to get off his feet.”
— Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers on the big Steelers QB

Scouting the Steelers
“That’s one of the films that we watched this week. I’ve seen a ton of film. You have to look at that but also realize it was two years ago.”
— Aaron Rodgers on the success the Cardinals offense had against the Steelers in the second half of Super Bowl 43.

Man of Troy
“I congratulated Troy. He had a fantastic year. He was definitely deserving, a class act, a great player, a player who I look up to and love watching.”
— Clay Matthews, on coming in second to the steelers Troy Polamalu for the NFL Player of the Year Award.

“He’s probably the best defensive player of all time.”
— Steelers defensive backs coach Ray Horton on Polamalu

Stand By Your Man
“Clay embodies everything you want in a player. You have to remember he had to fight for playing time at USC. When I met him at the Combine I could tell he would enter the NFL on a mission. He has been ever since.”
— Dom Capers on his star linebacker Clay Matthews

Home Sweet Home
“I understand what we’re trying to do here. Chemistry means a lot. There was lots of new stuff to absorb out there. Make no mistake. I’m more comfortable here.”
— Steelers cornerback, who returned to Pittsburgh after spending one season with the Arizona Cardinals

Room for More
“I still have plenty of fingers left.”
— Steelers defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau, when asked if winning one more Super Bowl ring would satisfy his thirst.

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