Key word is physical

If you had to use just one word to describe what Saturday's Steelers-Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field is going to be like, it would be an easy choice.

Physical.

"The team that wins this game is going to be the most violent team, the team that is most physical," said defensive lineman Chris Hoke. "It's the team that goes out there to push the other team around. That is who wins. When we play the Ravens, it is whoever can be the most physical team that wins."

The Steelers-Ravens match-up has become one of the premiere rivalries in the NFL and every time these two teams meet, it's definitely a battle.

"You do love it. That is what football is all about," said safety Ryan Clark. "You know it's a physical battle any time these two teams meet. The teams are built alike, tough attacking defenses. It's going to be fun. I am sure the people are going to be happy to watch on Saturday."

These are two teams that don't like each other, and neither one will hold back on Saturday with a trip to the AFC Championship game on the line.

"There is going to be a lot of hard-hitting going on," said wide receiver Hines Ward. "They know it, we know it."

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs even referred to the game as "Armageddon," and explained a little bit more about what he meant.

"It's about what is on the line," said Suggs. "They call it Armageddon as the fight between good and evil. I am a big Star Wars fan and the emperor said, 'Evil is only a point of view.' I guess it is from whose point of view it's coming from."

When asked who was good and who was evil, Suggs said it's all about perspective.

"I guess from your point of view I am definitely evil," said Suggs. "This is a great game. I love this game and I am sure they do too."

Nose tackle Casey Hampton is at the epicenter of where the battle begins and loves bringing the physical aspect to the game.

"That is our type of game," said Hampton. "We are a physical team. We try to impose our will on people. We are carbon copies of each other.

"The fans, and TV, that is what everybody wants to see. They know what kind of games we have, the physical nature of it. I think that is what people want to see."


The Steelers and Ravens are meeting for the third time and it comes as no surprise to some of the Steelers players that this match-up is taking place.

"We knew they were a good team, we knew they were going to be in the playoffs," said tight end Heath Miller. "I didn't think about us playing them again, but it doesn't surprise me."

Mike Wallace expected both teams in the post-season, something that has been commonplace even before the second-year receiver entered the NFL.

"There are always going to be those guys, the Steelers and the Ravens," said Wallace. "Some type of way they are going to meet up. Before I got here I always saw them in the playoffs. We knew it, they know it. It's time, put up or shut up."


Defensive end Aaron Smith continues to work on making a post-season comeback, but is still waiting to hear what the doctors after to say.

"We'll see what the doctors say and go from there," said Smith, who was waiting on results of a scan on his triceps. "It's hard to say. Until I get all of the information in and evaluate it, I won't know.

"It's been a long journey up to this point. When the opportunity comes I would just like to get out there and contribute. It would be nice to be able to play."


Suggs was asked during a conference call with the Pittsburgh media why he thinks the two franchises have so much success and he had words of praise for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

"You look at this defense and the defensive coordinator," said Suggs. "I never even met the guy, but I spoke to him. I must say that I am amazed. I am impressed. That Dick LeBeau is something."


Hines Ward stated it best when talking about what is at stake on Saturday at Heinz Field.

"We know what's at stake," said Ward. "Whoever wins this game, that other team has to think about the loss all offseason."

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