They Said It:
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on how using a new football designed for the Super Bowl will affect his grip:
"I was just talking to our equipment guys, and I told them we should break these 12 balls in. They looked and me and said, 'Twelve balls? No, it's 54.' They've had a lot to break in. It's tough because, as you said, they do have the big logo on them and it's not the easiest thing to grip in the world and we're the only position that has to deal with it on a constant basis, so we've been working on them and getting them ready. I'm sure Kurt (Warner) will have his gloves on, which I did in the first game (Super Bowl XL) and it helps a bit. For me, it's just going to be an adjustment because my hands will be sweating for the first time in probably three months or so."
Running back Gary Russell on being at the Super Bowl
"It's great. When you were a little kid, you dreamed about this, and you always thought about the players here in this game. It's a great opportunity for us. This is my first time here, but I don't think I will get too excited until the game. We will see what happens."
Guard Darnell Stapleton on his reflections playing in the Super Bowl in only his second season as a pro:*
"When the season's all said and done, then I'll start reflecting back on the season. I can't really start now to see how far I've come or we've come since the beginning of the season. I have one more game to play this season, and I hope it's my best game."
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley on the Steelers' tradition at the linebacker position:
"As a young kid you understand that tradition about the linebackers, and then when you come here you have to embrace it. One thing about the linebackers that played here back in the day, and one thing about us is we all have that same attitude. We go out there and we play aggressive, we go out there and stop the run and that definitely starts with the linebackers. You kind of know about that tradition early in your career and you want to be a part of that tradition. I think any linebacker that comes through Pittsburgh would want to be mentioned with those guys. When you think about Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, (Greg) Lloyd, (Jason) Gildon, Kevin Greene, you want to be a part of that when you're done playing football."
*Defensive end Travis Kirschkeon if being at the Super Bowl has sunk in and comparing the first one to this one: *
"At times it has sunk in that I'm here at the Super Bowl, but other times I don't think it has. It might not sink in totally until we are running out of the tunnel on Sunday. Everything is just so exciting.
"The first Super Bowl, I didn't know what to expect and what it was going to be like. This one I know a little more of what to expect and I feel like I'm able to enjoy it more. I didn't think I would be here twice. I didn't even think I would be here once but once I got to one I definitely didn't think I would be here twice. To have this opportunity it is pretty surreal."
Offensive tackle Trai Essex on the number of Steelers fans in Tampa:
"They are second to none. I think that everybody knows that the Steelers travel amazingly well. The fan base is everywhere. I've never been somewhere in the United States without meeting somebody from Pittsburgh. It's crazy. I think they take their Steeler Nation with them."