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Old 01-13-2011, 06:11 AM   #1
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Default Steelers-Ravens playoff chat with the PG's Jerry Micco & Ron Fritz of the Baltimore S

Steelers-Ravens playoff chat with the PG's Jerry Micco & Ron Fritz of the Baltimore Sun
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ron Fritz: Hello Pittsburgh!!! How yinz doin?

Ron Fritz: I had pierogies for dinner last night, too

Jerry Micco: Hi Ron, ready to go here.

The Chief: Hi Ron, thanks for the Chat. Does the short week and traveling on the road hurt the Raven's this week?

Ron Fritz: Chief, it might, but it was such an easy win over the Chiefs and I don't think the Ravens will let anything bother them.

Stan: Will Ed Reed play Saturday? Any news on his brother?

Ron Fritz: Stan,
All indications are that Ed Reed will play. He went to La. after the game and returned to the team to prepare for the game. No new word on his brother.

Natalie: Hey, Ron, what's the latest health report from the Steelers? Anyone important out?

Ron Fritz: Natalie,
Jerry might have a better idea, but I think the extra week off helped the Steelers heal. I anticipate them to be healthy.

Jerry Micco: Natalie, I can answer that one: No major injuries reported for the Steelers. And Aaron Smith may even play. Longshot, though.

Jack B.: Any chance we see some wildcat (maybe just a play or two) out of Boldin this week? Former QB, think it could throw in an interesting wrinkle.

Ron Fritz: Jack B. -- No chance. They haven't done anything out of the wildcat all season and they won't start now. It's a pretty conservative offense.

Jerry Micco: If they haven't run it all season, I doubt you'd see it in this game.

James_Taiwan: Ron, will everyone in Baltimore be calling for a new quarterback if Flacco loses again to the Steelers? Baltimore fans can only wish that they had drafted Big Ben.

Ron Fritz: James, Flacco has solidified himself as the QB of the Ravens. He took every snap this season and I saw a stat today that he's tied for the lead in road playoff wins with four. A lot of teams wish they took Big Ben. The Browns sure do.

Six Rings: What DB for the Steelers do you think the Ravens will go after?

Jerry Micco: Probably Bryant McFadden, who has not had his best season. Ike Taylor is a good cover corner, so I don't expect the Ravens to pick on him.

Ron Fritz: Six Rings, nice name. They'll go after everybody except Troy.

PhillyMarty: Ron: Any concern that the Flacco/Harbaugh team has yet to win a truly big Dec-Jan game? The play that Troy made in December reflects poorly on Harbaugh.

Ron Fritz: PhillyMarty, Not really. They beat the Saints in December, which turned out to be a big win. That play reflected poorly on the offense.

Lone Wolf: It appears the Ravens have some injuries to key players on their OL?

Ron Fritz: Lone Wolf, they are healthy. Gaither has missed the entire season, but the rest of the o-line has been fairly healthy all season.

KS Steeler: To speak frankly, the two Ravens I worry about hurting the Steeelers are Suggs and Rice. How about Ravens fans, what Steelers worry you?

Jerry Micco: If I were a Steelers fan, I'd worry that Flacco looked very good last week and Todd Heap looks like he's playing as well as ever. Of course, if the Steelers lock down Polamalu on him, he won't be nearly as effective as he was in KC, where they chose not to cover him.

Ron Fritz: KS Steeler, Obviously Troy is always a concern, but if I were the Ravens I'd worry about Harrison and Woodley. I'm not convinced that Oher can handle Flacco's Blind Side.

The Chief: Jerry/Ron, player from each team that we don't hear alot about that could make a difference this week.

Jerry Micco: Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers rookie WR, who is capable of big plays and gets better every week.

Ron Fritz: Chief, you're back. I'd say for the Ravens it's Willis McGahee. For the Steelers, Heath Miller can really hurt the Ravens' linebackers.

DB: Why would Suggs make his comment stating that the winner of this game will be the Super Bowl winner? What happened to the '1 game at a time' approach

Jerry Micco: Terrell Suggs. Never a dull moment for the folks at the Sun, I'll bet. Sort of like Ben here, but for different reasons.

Ron Fritz: DB, Suggs has been pretty tame with his comments. I honestly think he feels the Ravens and the Steelers are the two best teams and one of them should go on to win the SB.

PhillyMarty: Ron: For a #2 back, surprised how many snaps McGahee gets rather than Rice. What is your take on the allocation of carries and has it enabled Rice to stay fresher?

Ron Fritz: PhillyMarty, Willis is more of a power back than Ray and it really brings a change of pace to the offense. It keeps Rice healthy and when he comes back in they are able to change it up again.

Little Worker: Jerry, I don't remember hearing much from Redman since the Baltimore game. Any chance the Steelers have been saving him and we could see him get 5-10 carries on Saturday?

Jerry Micco: I think you'll see Redman more, but probably not more than 5 carries. Mendenhall is still the workhorse, based on his 380 carries this year. But Redman is a goal-line guy and not a bad blocker when they try him as a fullback.

Ron: How will the Steelers try to take Heap out of the game?

Jerry Micco: Cover him with Polamalu, but also have Woodley and Harrison hammer him a the line of scrimmage. He's too good to completely take out of a game.

Ron Fritz: Ron, nice name. As Jerry suggested, they can put Troy on him. Or they can get to Flacco before he finds Heap. They were awesome last week against the Chiefs, but they covered him with an LB.

KS Steeler: Ron, FYI, I hope the Raven fans are too pumped up about that KC win, everyone out here expected exactly that. It is no more impressive than a win against a 4-12 team. KC feasted on a weak schedule.

Ron Fritz: KS Steeler, I think Ravens fans were happy to finally see the team pound a lesser opponent. They played down to the Bills, Panthers and Texans and almost lost those games. Going on the road for a playoff game and hammering the Chiefs was good for the team and the town.

Derrel: I would like to see McGahee in the backfield and Rice in the slot. Why do you think they don't run a offensive formation? It would spread out the defense and give use some additional options.

Ron Fritz: Derrel, because they have Heap, who works the slot, and then bring in Houshmandzadeh, they like keeping Rice around for checkdown throws.

James_Taiwan: Will Derrick Mason be back with the Ravens in 2011?

Ron Fritz: James, that's a good question. He's under contract and he's had a good season. I think it's entirely up to him. If the Ravens win the SB, no way he comes back. He retires. If they fall short, he might want to go for it again.

Suburban Rhythm: What is the mood around the Ravens room regarding Reed and the situation with his brother? Is this a distraction? Rallying force? Neither?

Ron Fritz: SR, I think it's a rallying force and Ed Reed has not let it become a distraction for him or his teammates. The scene in the LR after the Chiefs win was really touching and showed how much Reed and his teammates mean to each other.

Guff: Do you think the refs are going to let the game be as physical as normal?

Jerry Micco: I think this series is measured in large part by physical play. I don't see that changing Saturday.

Ron Fritz: Guff, we can only hope so. I don't think you'll see a lot of after-the-whistle crap like we saw in the Chiefs game. I think the refs let them play.

Neil: Who do you think will have a bigger impact on Saturday's game? HEEEEEEAPPP or HEEEAAAATH?

Jerry Micco: The Steelers found Miller 5 times in the Cleveland game a couple of weeks ago. He's one of Ben's favorite targets. Similar guys, and both, I'd think, will be keys for their team's offenses.

Ron Fritz: Neil, I want to answer simply, yes. Both will. But the Ravens can really get toasted if they have their LBs cover Miller.

Natalie: DB, I'm currently in Balt., and I've noticed that the fans treat this game like a Super Bowl. They don't care what else happens that season if only they can beat the Steelers.

The Mayor: Bet between you guys? I say National Bohemian and crab cakes VS Iron City and Pierogi's

Jerry Micco: OK, I'm game for that.

Ron Fritz: I'm all for it.

Ron Fritz: I think we need to create crab-filled pierogies.

Jerry Micco: I'm really game for that.

PirateApologist: Does the winner of this game automatically pack their bags for New England? Or do either of you give the Jets a chance in the other game?

Jerry Micco: There's always a chance the Jets could win, but I'm not seeing it.

Ron Fritz: PirateApologist, sorry dude. The Jets can win, sure, but NE and Belichick really want this game.

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