Cardinals offense will be a tough test for Steelers

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By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com  When you look at Larry Fitzgerald's stats this post-season, you can't help but shake your head in amazement.

The standout Cardinals wide receiver has 23 receptions for 419 yards, an 18.2-yard average, and has scored five touchdowns.
 
They are numbers that have definitely caught the attention of fans and media, and the Steelers coaching staff as well.
 
"If you get down the field one-on-one with him, he's going to come back with the football," said head coach Mike Tomlin. "He is the best in the world at that, bar none. He's a talent. He's big. He's strong. He's got great hand-eye coordination. He's big and he plays big. He plays the ball above eye level. Very few defensive backs are 6-3, so you've got a 6-3 wide out with strong hands that play the ball above eye level. You have an issue and a problem. It's something we are going to have to deal with, no doubt.


"If we are going to be successful in Tampa, we need to limit the number of times we are down field with him one-on-one because he will come up with the football. The tape shows us that." 

There is one way to truly shut down Fitzgerald and that is put pressure on quarterback Kurt Warner so that he isn't able to get the ball to him. Sure sounds easy, but Warner is veteran quarterback who knows how to handle the pressure.
 
"He makes quick decisions, he doesn't make mistakes," said Tomlin. "He absolutely tortures you when he recognizes pressure and he gets the ball out of his hands."
 
The Philadelphia Eagles brought pressure on Warner in the NFC Championship game and managed to sack him twice, but Warner also threw four touchdown passes in the game, three of those caught by Fitzgerald.

"I think Philadelphia got after him early in that football game and Kurt Warner recognized the pressure and got the football out of his hand and diced them pretty good," said Tomlin. "That is Kurt Warner. The reality is you can't do a steady diet of anything versus a quarterback as sharp as he is and as experienced as he is. We're going to have to do a little bit of everything and roll the dice and spin the dial if we are going to be effective. If we give them a steady diet of anything, be it pressure or coverage, he's going to have a successful day."

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