Faneca picking up the media blitz

From the site of Super Bowl XL, Steelers All-Pro lineman Alan Faneca laid it down for the media Monday.

ALAN FANECA

On whether teams will still gear up to stop the run with their recent success passing the ball:
"Maybe at some point; we've only had a couple of good games at it so far but I think people know what we truly want to do and that's to run the ball."

On why he isn't wearing Bettis' college jersey like his teammates:
"It's back at the hotel. I didn't realize this was a formal occasion."

On whether the whole team wore them on the plane:
"Pretty much everybody got one."

On whose idea it was to wear Bettis' college jerseys:
"I'm not sure whose idea it was – I think Joey (Porter) was the mastermind behind it."

On whether the entire game plan was installed last week:
"We put most of it in. I think he (Bill Cowher) wants us to be geared in a little bit this week and still learning new things and geared into the game plan."

On Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher:
"I think the credit for him being around for as long as he has been is because of the Rooney's and their willingness with stick to him through the rough years. I think a lot of times, teams in the league now, they want instant results or they move onto the next guy. As a coach, he's done a good job of keeping that fire going. People talk about how he's so fiery and spirited and everybody is trying guess when that's going to leave and in my eight years here it still hasn't. It's been there every time."

On how Cowher keeps the message fresh year after year:
"In a lot of respects it's the same message but he's putting a new twist on it – you're hearing it from a different angle. I think that's what keeps his message fresh and I think his enthusiasm for the game and the guys in the locker room also keeps it fresh."

On whether he envisioned making it to the Super Bowl with Ben Roethlisberger as the quarterback:
"A couple years ago, we were trying to get here and it didn't matter who the quarterback was."

On Roethlisberger not being available today:
"I'm sure you guys are going to get him plenty for the rest of the week."

On watching Roethlisberger mature as an NFL quarterback:
"You see a big change in him from last year to this year. The extra year in the offense; the year in the league; seeing NFL defenses; you saw him get more relaxed with playing and being himself a little bit more, not necessarily worrying about X's and O's and just going out and making plays."

On whether Roethlisberger has matured in dealing with off-the-field matters:
"Definitely. A year into it, he knows what's expected of him and what people are looking at him for. He's naturally going to deal with it a little bit better."

On what concerns him about the Seahawks defense:
"They definitely have a good pass rush. They led the league in sacks. That's something that you know we're going to have to do our best to deal with."

On the lack of star players on the Seahawks defense:
"I think that goes to show you that they have a good defensive coordinator putting them in the right position. They have a solid group of guys. They're not just relying on their outside linebacker to make all of the sacks – they're all contributing."

On the Seahawks rookie linebacker Lofa Tatupu supposedly being too small:
"It's a lot like what they said about Zach Thomas (Miami) a couple years ago and I think he's proven everybody wrong."

On whether some of their young players might be overwhelmed by the bigness of this game:
"I think it definitely does if you allow it to. I think at this stage that it could get to anybody if you let it. If you take this versus the Sugar Bowl – it's a much different experience."

On whether he's concerned about rookie TE Heath Miller being overwhelmed by the Super Bowl:
"He's so grounded that I don't think anything can bother him. I think he's the last one that I would be worried about."

On the Steelers' ownership:
"I think Mr. Rooney and the way that they run the organization is great; their hands-on feel for what they do and how they run an organization runs all the way down to practice squad players. It just runs all the way through the organization. The class act that they bring into the locker room – they're worried about how the locker room is going to feel just as well as how we're going to play out on the field."

On Steelers' Chairman Dan Rooney carrying himself like a regular guy:
"He's not going to jump to the front of the line; he's going to wait until we all get off of the buses to get in there to the hotel just like everybody else. He's just one of the guys. He's going to be down there at team snack – it's great. I don't think a lot of teams get that kind of access as far as knowing how your owner feels."

On what the Seahawks defense does well and how they can prepare for them:
"I think they play good as a unit. If you look at their team sacks, they're all getting sacks – everybody is doing their part. They've got a good feel for each other and playing with each other. That's something that's going to force all five of us up front to be on the same page as well."

On whether the Seahawks are a blitzing team:
"No, not really; they're going to blitz some but a lot of it really is just natural pressure."

On dealing with the ticket requests:
"I pretty much dealt with family first and then I tried to squeeze the rookies out a little bit but failed out on that one."

On what he means by ‘squeezing the rookies':
"You know, trying to get them on that first day. I got a few from them but by the time that they got home, their family got to them and I lost out on them."

On the different approach both teams have in their run game:
"I think people know what they're getting when we bring Willie (Parker) into the game and when we bring Jerome (Bettis) into the game. It's definitely a shift in the type of runners and I think defenses need to know who's in the game. Whereas Shaun (Alexander) does a good job of doing all of it and I think that's to his advantage."

On if all the attention received by Jerome Bettis takes some of it off Ben Roethlisberger:
"I don't know if it will be any less on him – I know he's going to get a big chunk of it. It probably does help him a little bit to have JB (Jerome Bettis) be here because of the whole story behind JB being here and us getting him here."

On the chemistry of the Steelers offensive line:
"It's pretty good. We lost Marvel (Smith) for a couple of games in the middle of the season and when he came back things started clicking right away. We started to gel and we started to play a little better. We had a couple down games before that point of the season."

On whether the week off was a disadvantage for the Steelers:
"I don't look at it as a disadvantage. I know a lot of people out there think of it as taking a break and a low – but I think with three weeks on the road and three tough games for us that it was good to be able to sit back, work on the game plan and not have to play the game at the end of the week and get that extra weekend."

On the impact Jerome Bettis has on his teammates:
"What Jerome means to everybody in that locker room is something special and I think what he means to the organization is something special. I think everybody realized that last year possibly was his final year and I know several guys approached him to coax him and to make sure that he came back another year to give us a chance to get him back home and to finish the job for him because he deserves it. If anybody in this organization, team or locker room deserves it, he does because of what he means to us and what he has maintained as the identity of this organization for so long. He's that rock; he's that guy in the locker room that you're always looking for; he's that guy that is cracking jokes and keeping practice lively; he's the guy that when he breaks a 5-yard run and runs over somebody and then gets up dancing and gets everybody pumped up. He's been doing those things for so long."

On his impressions of the Silverdome:
"Somebody told me that they spent 1.5 million dollars on that just so we could practice in it for three days – I don't know if that's true or not. It's fine. The field was fine; the meeting rooms are a little small but that's definitely fine and doable."


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