Super Bowl Notebook: Get the back-up ready

TAMPA – Levi Brown was asked about facing LaMarr Woodley, the red-hot Steelers' pass-rusher, because the two had played against each other in college.

"I played him two years in a row," Brown said. "He's sort of the same player. Of course, he's gotten better over time, just like anybody. He's having a great playoff run right now. He's going to try to be very disruptive."

If Woodley's any more disruptive than he was when Michigan played Brown's Penn State, the Arizona Cardinals might want to get their backup quarterback ready.

Woodley, who has four sacks this postseason (and six in three career playoff games), was part of the Big Blue wrecking crew that knocked two quarterbacks out of the game during a Michigan win at State College. He was the end lined up opposite Brown, the Penn State left tackle. Sunday, the two players will meet up again on the right side of the Cardinals' offensive line.

"One play, I was rushing in and he gave me some kind of punch that knocked me off my feet," said Woodley. "So, he did get me one time."

Does Woodley still owe him?

"Nah, we won the game," he said.

Woodley knocked out the backup quarterback, who was playing because Alan Branch had knocked out the Penn State starter, Anthony Morelli.

"That was by far the best game," Woodley said of Michigan's win at Penn State. "I had two sacks and knocked out the quarterback. It was one of their biggest games of the year. They had a whiteout, but we came in and shut them down."

Brown played that game, but at less than 100 percent because of an ankle injury.

"He's a lot different," Woodley said. "He looks a little faster, a little quicker. He's still the same Levi who's aggressive and will get after you."

And punch you?

"You never know," Woodley said. "Anybody can catch you when you don't see it coming."

REED NOT THERE YET

Steelers kicker Jeff Reed says that if he's going to have a vision about the finish of Sunday's game, it'll come to him Friday or Saturday night.

"I won't lose any sleep over it, but I'll be in my bedroom looking out my window thinking, ‘This is the city where I could be the man,'" he said. "I don't want the game to be that close; nobody does. But if it is, I welcome the opportunity. I love the pressure, but I have to remind myself not to put too much pressure on myself. Just because it's the Super Bowl doesn't mean that if you miss the kick you're going to get killed or threatened. It's a game. So you go out there and have fun. Like I tell myself every game, don't get too stressed out, have fun. That's when you do well."

Reed has kicked eight game-winners in his career, but only one in the postseason.

"In the Jets game, when we were 15-1, I envisioned hitting the game-winner," he said. "When Doug Brien missed a couple field goals, and I hit it, it kind of came true. That was kind of cool."

THE GRUDEN EFFECT

When Tampa Bay beat Oakland in the Super Bowl after the 2002 season, most of the credit was heaped upon TB Coach Jon Gruden because of his knowledge of the Raiders, whom he'd coached the previous year.

That talk has been revived this week because of Arizona Coach Ken Whisenhunt's knowledge of the Steelers, but Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, who was the secondary coach at Tampa Bay under Gruden, downplayed the storyline.

"I really think it was overrated," Tomlin said. "It's a good story. The reality is when we were on that Super Bowl run, we faced that offense every day all season – training camp, organized team activities, etc. If you look at the teams we played in the playoffs, we played San Francisco, coached by Steve Mariucci – west coast (offense); we played the Philadelphia Eagles, coached by Andy Reid – west coast; then we played the Raiders, coached by Bill Callahan -- west coast. So we had played the same offense three weeks in a row, and besides that, we had seen it all year. It got to the point that you didn't have to draw new scout cards for the week."


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