View Full Version : Spaeth Excited to Take on Vikings

10-25-2009, 10:44 AM
Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Sid Hartman Column: Sid Hartman: Spaeth Excited to Take on Vikings
By Sid Hartman, Star Tribune, Minneapolis

Oct. 25--Matt Spaeth, the former Gophers tight end who is in his third year playing with the Steelers, caught an important pass in Super Bowl XLIII for a first down. It was his only catch, but it was for a first down in a drive that led to a key field goal. Spaeth said he will never forget that situation in the Steelers' 27-23 victory.

Drafted in the third round in 2007, the opportunity to play with a winning Super Bowl team that early is something that many athletes don't experience.

The Steelers actually gambled when they took Spaeth as early as they did, because the 6-7, 270-pound tight end missed a good part of his senior year with the Gophers and needed surgery to correct a shoulder problem.

"I'm second-string tight end behind Heath Miller, but you know we start two tight ends most every game," Spaeth said. "So I guess I'm kind of considered a starter."

Even though the Steelers lost road games at Cincinnati and Chicago, Spaeth believes things are going real well this year, and he looks for a winning season.

Today's Vikings game at Pittsburgh will be the second time that Spaeth has played against the Vikings. The Steelers played a preseason game against the Vikings last year.

Spaeth said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is having as good a year as anybody in the league. He is second in the league in passing, and had a big day against the Browns last week -- he was 23-for-35 for 417 yards, the second time in his career he went over 400 yards. Hines Ward had eight of those catches for 159 yards and a touchdown. Roethlisberger has been a winner in two Super Bowls, and has a 54-22 regular-season record. Spaeth is the same height as Roethlisberger, making him a good target.

Tyrone Carter is another former Gophers player now playing safety with the Steelers in his 10th year in the NFL.

"Yeah, Tyrone -- he plays a lot," Spaeth said. "He was filling in when Troy Polamalu was hurt, and he does a good job. And even when Troy's healthy, he still plays quite a bit and does a good job."

Polamalu, a Pro Bowl player, is expected to play against the Vikings. Spaeth said the Steelers are pretty healthy except for the loss of defensive end Aaron Smith, who is out for the season.

Spaeth added that he enjoys playing for Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, the former Vikings defensive coordinator.

"I love Coach Tomlin," Spaeth said. "He's a good coach, a great X and O guy, but also just a good coach and a guy you really want to play for. He's got everybody's respect, that's for sure."

This will be a special week for Spaeth, because his parents are coming in for the game with the Vikings.

10-25-2009, 10:53 AM
He'll be huge in stopping that rush of Jared Allen. That clock in Ben's head has to be a little faster today.

10-25-2009, 11:12 AM
Dump the ball off to whatever the D gives up and he will stay off the grass.

10-25-2009, 11:57 AM
Spaeth was so excited that he had to take a leak on the goal post right before the game.

10-25-2009, 12:44 PM
Spaeth was so excited that he had to take a leak on the goal post right before the game.

Actually that's how he's going to stop the pass rush! He'll take a leak on Jared Allen!