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Old 02-03-2009, 07:29 AM   #1
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Default Colbert gets chance to be a fan of own work

Colbert gets chance to be a fan of own work
By Mike Prisuta
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TAMPA — As the fourth quarter's furious finish unleashed drama the likes of which few Super Bowls have produced, Kevin Colbert stepped outside of himself long enough to appreciate the moment.

The Steelers' director of football operations had a vested interest in what was taking place.

But after Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's 64-yard catch-and-run had split the Steelers' defense down the middle and established a 23-20 Arizona lead with 2:37 left in regulation, even Colbert was impressed.

"When Larry made that big play, I'm like, 'Wow, that was really special,'" Colbert said. "And then, the last two minutes, I became a fan. I said, 'I gotta watch this because this is history unfolding in front of me.' And it was awesome."

Colbert became a fan again in the Steelers' locker room as Steelers players posed for photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the wake of their spectacular, come-from-behind, 27-23 triumph on Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium.

This time, the object of Colbert's appreciation was Ben Roethlisberger, who had become the 10th starting quarterback in NFL history to win two Super Bowls by manufacturing an eight-play, 88-yard drive in 2:02 that culminated with the game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds remaining.

"We looked at some of those stats, I can't recite all the numbers, but this kid's a special player," Colbert said. "He's special and you can never short-sell what he can do.

"He wanted that. He wanted to have that ball in his hands with a chance to win a championship, and he did it. He's the best, and you can't trade him for anybody because that kid wins."

The fourth quarter had begun with the Steelers in command and leading, 20-7.

But a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kurt Warner to Fitzgerald, a safety and then the Warner-to-Fitzgerald long-distance, would-be game-breaker had the Cardinals poised to steal the game, the championship and the Lombardi Trophy.

"I was more excited early when we were doing well," Colbert said. "To Arizona's credit, they kept fighting.

"When they went ahead, I just sat back and said, 'OK, the best team's going to win. If you win, great; if you lose, then you gotta take it like a man and help your team through it.'"

Among the Super Bowl records set were longest play and longest interception return (Steelers linebacker James Harrison, 100 yards), and youngest head coach and youngest winning head coach (the Steelers' Mike Tomlin at 36 years, 323 days).

The one that resonated with Colbert was most wins, team (the Steelers, six).

"I think we look at this thing as collectively," he said. "We don't want to be the team of the 1970s and the team of the 2000s. It's the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's the organization and we're all just lucky to be here.

"The sixth is big because no one else has ever done that in the history of this game. There's only, I think, 17 organizations that have ever won a Super Bowl. You feel blessed to be one of 17, but to be the only one with six, it's unreal.

"You're here today. You're a world champion today. You get to live with it for a year. You get to defend it. But the six part; I don't think anybody will really absorb it because you're too caught up in this moment, winning this one. But when you sit back and have time to reflect on it, the organization should be proud of what The Chief (Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr.) started decades ago."

Mike Prisuta can be reached at mprisuta@tribweb.com or 412-320-7923.
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