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Old 09-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default Steelers are Super Bowl material

Steelers are Super Bowl material
By John Harris
Monday, September 27, 2010

TAMPA, Fla. They've whipped a good team at home, a good team on the road, and an allegedly good one away from Heinz Field. Thanks to more lights-out defense, playing without their franchise quarterback isn't the end of the world for the Steelers.

One thing's certain: It isn't too early to start mentioning the Steelers and legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the same sentence.

Charlie Batch turned back the clock Sunday, passing and running the Tampa Bay Buccaneers crazy. It was all coach Mike Tomlin could do not to sprint on the field and shake some sense into Batch following a 24-yard scramble in the second quarter of the Steelers' easy 38-13 win at Raymond James Stadium.

Batch wasn't injured on the play, and even if he had been, it wouldn't have mattered. The Steelers won their first two games with a struggling Dennis Dixon, and they won yesterday with Batch on top of his game.

Batch was feeling spry for a 35-year-old quarterback making his first start in three years. Who could blame him? The defense, as expected, held the Buccaneers in check. If the Steelers shut down Chris Johnson and Michael Turner the first two weeks, how hard could it be stopping Cadillac Williams? The Steelers turned him into Pinto Williams (six carries, 13 yards).

Ah, that defense.

Everyone was so mesmerized by Roethlisberger's four-game suspension that we totally overlooked Dick LeBeau's wrecking crew.

"That might be the perception we changed for ya'll," said Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison. "But we had a perception that we're going to be the team we're used to being, and that's what we're doing right now."

Yes, these Steelers are definitely Super Bowl material. Name a better 3-0 team.

"Of course we did," Steelers receiver Mike Wallace said when asked if the Steelers players believed they would be 3-0. "We never worry about what nobody says. We know what type of team we have." This is the same team whose iffy quarterback situation was enough to give Tomlin heartburn until a solution presented itself when Dixon re-injured his left knee last week at Tennessee and forced Batch into the starting lineup.

It isn't a stretch to point out the Steelers' defense is playing with angry intentions. Their players feel slighted because fans and media paid more attention to Roethlisberger's suspension than to their high level of play. They've taken out that anger on Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Atlanta, limiting them to a total of two touchdowns and 33 points.

Statistically, the Steelers' defense ranked No. 6 before yesterday's game. Physically, the Steelers' defense is No. 1. I don't care what the numbers say.

"We want to be the most physical team out there. We want to be the ones making all the hits," defensive captain James Farrior said. "Somebody told me a long time ago, the most physical team usually wins."

The best thing about yesterday's performance is the Steelers took the fight out of a young Tampa Bay team still finding its way. After the Steelers rang up 21 second-quarter points, the Buccaneers, who also were 2-0 entering the game, lost their swagger.

"It's a testament to the Steelers' defense," Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman said. "They put pressure on us and limited what we could do in the running game. They do a great job of communicating. I don't know if it was recognition, but that's what a veteran defense does to you."

The Steelers, meanwhile, are taking nothing for granted.

"If (we were) 12-0, then it will be a lot to talk about," outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "Last year, we got off to a pretty good start, but we didn't finish. We're off to a good start. We have to continue to play at a high level like this not just the first few weeks, but every week." Next up is a visit from Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens.

"Obviously, we will try to enjoy this win, but we're already looking forward to next week," free safety Ryan Clark said. "I'm proud we didn't overlook this game, trying to get to next week."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

(So much for flying under the radar. - mesa)
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

I love how we are playing, but 3 games in is to early for any talk.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." - Vince Lombardi
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

Steelers always start off as super bowl material, but it depends if they can finish the season.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

If we beat Balt, then I'll cautiously agree

we still don't know how things will go during the transition back to Ben

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Old 09-27-2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

Ben does have it going good for him when he comes back. A bye week and against the Browns which could be a big day for him and he'll be ready for Miami the next week.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

I did not expect such a great start,but I must agree.If we get our O going,theres not a team we cant beat!
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

I really hate that article. It must the author's first time covering the sport.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

you guys are joking right?

steelers are DOMINATING with our first three qbs OUT

our RT out

our LT out for a game

the rest of the o line out at different points due to injury and dehydration...

and we are CREMATING opposing offenses.

its over when ben gets back folks....

we will annihilate all teams.

hell if we win week four we SHOULD go undefeated.

barring losing troy and aaron both.

this shit is over.

we win.

and no im not joking.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers are Super Bowl material

We ARE SB material right now. Let’s only hope that Ben’s transition will be SB material too.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:04 AM   #10
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