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mesaSteeler
01-30-2009, 07:28 AM
Hartwig: Steelers not concerned about Cardinals
This article has been read 31 times.
By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Story/1-30-Steelers-arrogance-

dlolley@observer-reporter.com

TAMPA, Fla. - Unlike some previous Super Bowls, there hasn't been any disrespectful banter or trash talk between the Steelers and Arizona Cardinals.

At least there hadn't been until Thursday as the teams held their last media day before Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium.


Steelers center Justin Hartwig unexpectedly called into question Arizona's schedule while talking about the difficulty of the one Pittsburgh played during the regular season.

The Steelers went 12-4 and won the AFC North Division while playing what was considered the league's most difficult schedule.

Arizona, meanwhile, won the NFC West with a 9-7 record, losing four of its final six games.

"We played the toughest schedule in the league," Hartwig said while talking about the Steelers' offensive line.

"It's easy to point fingers and say, 'You guys didn't live up to expectations' and 'You guys were the letdown of the team.' We try not to get caught up in that. At the same time, we were playing the top defenses in the league week in and week out. We weren't playing in the NFC West. We had the toughest schedule in the league. I think we gained a lot of valuable experience from our schedule. We see things on film and things are a lot easier now.

"We're not playing Baltimore's defense. Arizona isn't as complicated as Baltimore. I think we understand what we're doing going into this game."

Hartwig also looked at what Arizona did in a Dec. 21 loss at New England - a 47-7 thrashing - as a point of reference between the Steelers and Cardinals.


"We went up to New England and we took it to them," Hartwig said of Pittsburgh's 33-10 win at New England Nov. 20.

"These guys went into New England and lost by 50 points or something like that. So I think it was a team, in my mind, that was written off at the end of the year. They snuck into the playoffs. I guess they won their division - they backed into it. Maybe they were a little underappreciated. At the same time, we're only concerned with the Pittsburgh Steelers, not the Arizona Cardinals. We feel like if we go out and play our best football and take care of business and do what we need to do, we're the only team that can beat us."

That mentality by the Steelers is one that permeates throughout the team.

Some would call it arrogance, others say it's confidence.

"It ain't about any other teams. It's about us," said nose tackle Casey Hampton. "If we go out there and play the way we're capable of playing, we're going to be good.

"That's our mentality. We feel like if we're on, we'll be all right. If we don't beat ourselves, we'll be all right. That's just how it is. That's how we've always felt. Does that make us bad guys thinking like that? It ain't no swagger, that's how it is."

Hampton did, however, stop short of making any guarantees, something he was quick to point out.

"Notice I didn't say we're going to win. I said we'll be all right," he said.

The Steelers feel that their top-rated defense will be enough to slow Arizona's offense, which averaged 26 points per game during the regular season and is average 31 per game in the playoffs.

They also feel they can exploit a Cardinals defense that allows 26 points per game.

"Arizona's a team that you don't want to get into a shootout with, but at the same time, I feel confident that our defense can slow them down a little bit," Hartwig said. "After watching tape, the opportunities are definitely there for us to put some points on the board."

Burghfan58
01-30-2009, 07:49 AM
Well after a pretty dull week for hype, Hartwig is spicing things up. I'd rather he do his talking after the game. Kick some redbird tail then talk.:helmet:

fansince'76
01-30-2009, 08:25 AM
Some would call it arrogance, others say it's confidence.

Or maybe it's being tired of hearing for two straight weeks how the other team is going to light yours up when you've been shutting down top offenses all year. Hartwig didn't say anything that wasn't true.

DACEB
01-30-2009, 08:34 AM
That mentality by the Steelers is one that permeates throughout the team.

Some would call it arrogance, others say it's confidence.

This game now, IMO, comes down to the mentality that Tomlin brings to the team. The records and matchups throughout the season speak for themselves, this is our game to lose.

I want to see a new era in Steeler football, I want to see that bullish mentality. I want to see Tomlin's mentality permeate throughout the team.

Edman
01-30-2009, 08:41 AM
The Cards have been getting the majority of the hype these past weeks. Even the Steelers D has been an afterthought. The Steelers are vegas favorites, but the Cards are as I predicted, the sports media darling.

'Warner is awesome'
'Whiz knows the Steelers'
'How are the Steelers gonna stop Warner?'
'Fitzgerald will win MVP.'
'Cardinals Defense is playing better than Steelers Defense.' ~My favorite.
'Cardinals have a running game'

stlrz fan
01-30-2009, 08:53 AM
No problem with The confident talk. It was respectful and didn't come across as arrogant. Quiet tough is awesome. I agree they are probably pretty sick of hearing about the powerful Arizona O.

Steelcitygal87
01-30-2009, 08:56 AM
The Cards have been getting the majority of the hype these past weeks. Even the Steelers D has been an afterthought. The Steelers are vegas favorites, but the Cards are as I predicted, the sports media darling.

'Warner is awesome'
'Whiz knows the Steelers'
'How are the Steelers gonna stop Warner?'
'Fitzgerald will win MVP.'
'Cardinals Defense is playing better than Steelers Defense.' ~My favorite.
'Cardinals have a running game'


Really? I have been watching ESPN all week and I think they have been very fair in their analysis of both teams. They are playing up the Card's strengths( offense..Kurt and Fitz especially) and the Steeler's strengths(defense, mobility of Ben out of the pocket..his talent for extending the play...and...how, if the game comes down to the 4th quarter, Ben is the man who can get the job done..etc.) So if anything, they have been singing the Steeler's praises a little more so than the Cards. I am basing my opinion on what ESPN has been saying..so I don't know about NFL Network or any other programs/shows.

Go Steelers! :tt03::tt03:

KeiselPower99
01-30-2009, 09:15 AM
Ya know I have to agree with Hartwig. When the Cards play decent defenses they lay eggs. For instance look at the NFL title game. They damn near blew it. I really like our matchup this week with Heath. The Eagles TE had over 100 yards recieving and I think Tone will have 1 or 2 big plays. The media is hyping the Cards to a degree. I think Hartiwg just wanted people to know there was another offense in this game.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-30-2009, 09:16 AM
Or maybe it's being tired of hearing for two straight weeks how the other team is going to light yours up when you've been shutting down top offenses all year. Hartwig didn't say anything that wasn't true.

Actually I think he is tired of hearing how the Steelers O line sucks and considering they handled the much better Ravens D line, 3 times this season.......he considers the Cardinals front 4 an easier task.

I agree, but it all comes down to if the Steelers can stop Warner or not.

Franco32Harris
01-30-2009, 09:20 AM
Really? I have been watching ESPN all week and I think they have been very fair in their analysis of both teams. They are playing up the Card's strengths( offense..Kurt and Fitz especially) and the Steeler's strengths(defense, mobility of Ben out of the pocket..his talent for extending the play...and...how, if the game comes down to the 4th quarter, Ben is the man who can get the job done..etc.) So if anything, they have been singing the Steeler's praises a little more so than the Cards. I am basing my opinion on what ESPN has been saying..so I don't know about NFL Network or any other programs/shows.

Go Steelers! :tt03::tt03:

I don't get the same feeling I have been watching ESPN for the last two weeks and they usually talk about the amazing Warner story and will he reach the hall of fame and they continue to debate that. Then everyone just talks about how amazing Larry Fitzgerald I have only seen a couple of things about the Steelers but I continue to feel like the Cardinals are favored and it's frustrating.

X-Terminator
01-30-2009, 09:23 AM
Yeah, we couldn't get through the whole 2 weeks without SOMEONE opening his mouth.

Justin, you should have just done what everyone else has done for the past 10 days and kept your big trap shut. Instead, you just HAD to give the Cards some bulletin board material. Good job. :coffee:

shevdog
01-30-2009, 10:27 AM
Hartwig makes a good point about the Patriot factor... I hate to say it, but the Patriots were a good team this year, the best team that did not make the playoffs. (Hehe!)

If the Ravens were in this game against the Cardinals, I'd say the Ravens would have a good day against them. So if the Patriots could do that and maybe even the Ravens, I say the AFC Champions who beat the Ravens 3 times and handled the Patriots should have this one against the Cardinals no problem. Cardinals had a weak division and played in a weak NFC. Eagle are a team that is cold one weak and warm the next, so I don't want to hear those comparisons again.

I think it is close to 43 hours til kickoff...

Tankus_Maximus
01-30-2009, 10:35 AM
I gotta agree with the majority of you guys, the media has been giving the Redbirds a royal ball-licking, and frankly I'm getting sick of it. Good for Hartwig to come out and tell it like it is.

We're the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the top-rated defense in the league, and a QB who's been here before, with a potent running game...and it's time to enforce our will upon the Redbirds and remind the rest of the world just who exactly we are!

HometownGal
01-30-2009, 10:56 AM
I have to agree with Gary here - Hartwig really didn't say anything that isn't true though his timing was a little poor. I don't think he was being arrogant - he just told it as he sees it.

Now STFU Justin, get ready for the big game on Sunday and put your money where your mouth is.

Steelcitygal87
01-30-2009, 11:02 AM
I gotta agree with the majority of you guys, the media has been giving the Redbirds a royal ball-licking, and frankly I'm getting sick of it. Good for Hartwig to come out and tell it like it is.

We're the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the top-rated defense in the league, and a QB who's been here before, with a potent running game...and it's time to enforce our will upon the Redbirds and remind the rest of the world just who exactly we are!

....And no analyst has been talking about how great the Steeler's D is...or how Kurt is going to have to be very aware of where Troy is before every play... how Big Ben is so clutch when it comes to 3rd downs...how good he is at extending plays..etc.?? I don't understand what everyone is looking for.... them to just talk about Pittsburgh CONSTANTLY and sing our praises CONSTANTLY(how GREAT we are and how bad the Cardinals stink and shouldn't even be playing in the Super Bowl)?? They are discussing each teams strengths and weaknesses...the play makers on each team...what each team needs to do to win. Isn't that what they are SUPPOSED to be doing? :noidea:

I am sure the Cardinal fans are probably thinking/saying the opposite...and are sick of hearing about how great the Steeler defense is and how that is all the media focuses on. Each fan base thinks their beloved team should be the one MOST talked about and praised.

GO STEELERS!! :tt03::tt03:

GodofGridiron
01-30-2009, 11:09 AM
Hampton did, however, stop short of making any guarantees, something he was quick to point out.

"Notice I didn't say we're going to win. I said we'll be all right," he said.



See......yesterday i stated how the media wanted something to run with. These last two weeks have been void of any Hooker-athlete encounters, no finger slicing with meat cleavers, and no curfew violations. You had to know this reporter wanted to bait Hampton into a guarantee.

Reporter: "Are you saying you'll win on Sunday Casey.........are u suggesting a guaranteed victory come Sunday ?"

Somewhere in Tampa there exists a reporter with a pen and a recorder with a notepad thats searching high and low for one Anthony Smith.

Reporter: "Anthony.... ?? Anthony Smith !!! A-bomb !!! Gotta second......id like to do a quick interview with you if i might "

Smith: "Naw man.........i just got done with practice. Find someone else to write about. I got to go. (Utilizing his 4.6 speed leaping railing and other obstacles in his path). Coach Tomlin is callin me......gotta split."

IronFan
01-30-2009, 11:09 AM
He didn't lie. But I would have rathered he kept it to himself. I was really into the whole "quiet confidence" the Steelers were working so far.

GodofGridiron
01-30-2009, 11:13 AM
Bottom line is if we are superior to them in most areas of this contest, we will win........be damned of any sh*t talk. Cards can get mad all they want but the bottom line is they'll have to face a Steelers unit that will have a say in the outcome of this ballgame.

Just the way it is. Theyre ready.

draejr
01-30-2009, 11:14 AM
It's hard to compare the NE games against the teams - didn't Arizona already have their division locked up? The Steelers were still fighting for the division and #1 seed. Plus it was probably cold out - those birds suck in cold weather.

I have to admit, the media had me questioning the Steelers ability to win, but when you break down every aspect of the game, it's hard to imagine the Steelers losing this game...of course, that is why they play the game.:tt:

draejr
01-30-2009, 11:19 AM
He didn't lie. But I would have rathered he kept it to himself. I was really into the whole "quiet confidence" the Steelers were working so far.

Agreed - you let your play speak for itself...there's plenty of time after Sunday to talk.

revefsreleets
01-30-2009, 11:20 AM
That's fine...it doesn't even matter if this fires up the Cardinals or not. They are not a physical team, so what are they going to do, play with MORE finesse because of this?

We're going to win this game by at least a couple TD's no matter what anybody says on either team...