By Teresa Varley
Many of the Steelers players have the same plans for this weekend as fans around the NFL - watch the Wild Card playoff games.
"I will definitely be watching," said linebacker James Farrior. "I am a football fan at heart. I always watch football when it is on TV, especially this week when it's going to mean something to us next week."
With the luxury of the bye week the players will have the opportunity to tune in and get a glimpse at their opponent for the AFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday, Jan. 11.
"It's exciting to watch," said linebacker Larry Foote. "Playoff football in the NFL is big time and I am looking forward to it."
On Saturday night they can check out Indianapolis at San Diego while on Sunday it will be Baltimore at Miami. The Steelers will play the highest remaining seed from the Wild Card weekend, with Baltimore being the only team they won't have a chance to face since they are the sixth seed.
"It's football," said cornerback Deshea Townsend. "You don't care who wins one way or another. Whoever wins you know you get a chance to play them. That's when the game plan will start the following week. You just watch it as a fan to watch football."
Safety Ryan Clark plans on watching all four games, joking that the only thing that might prevent him from seeing any of it would be if his wife has plans for him. As he does watch, he won't be analyzing it either.
"I am just going to watch it to enjoy it," said Clark. "I am not going to try and pick up on what anybody is doing. I am just watching to see who we are going to play, to see who else gets to move on. I want to see who shows up for the playoffs. I am going to be a spectator, a fan and watch it with my wife."
It will be hard for all of the players to just be fans, though. Defensive end Chris Hoke, who plans on watching the AFC games for sure, said he will do so with a little bit of a different eye than a watching a normal game.
"I will be watching the guys I am going against," said Hoke. "I am watching the center and guard, seeing what they are doing and what they are like. That is how I watch it."
For Farrior, no matter how hard he tries, he is going to have a hard time being just a fan.
"I try to watch it as much as I can as a normal fan," said Farrior. "But, it's just in my nature to try and diagnose some of the things they try to do and try to get an early start."