Steelers Notebook: Two Steelers are named to All-Pro team
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One week after being named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year, outside linebacker James Harrison was selected to the 2008 NFL All-Pro team.
Harrison, the leader of the league's No. 1 defense, set a club record with 16 sacks and was one of 15 first-time selections. He joined Steelers safety Troy Polamalu on the first team. Polamalu was named All-Pro for the second time in his career (2005).
"To get the whole swath in one year, that's great," said Harrison, who was a second-team selection in 2007.
The selection of Harrison and Polamalu is the first time in seven years that two players from the defense were on the All-Pro first team. Outside linebackers Jason Gildon and Joey Porter were named in 2001.
James Farrior isn't sure you ever get acclimated to the weather when the temperature is hovering in the mid-20s. Especially when the exposure lasts only two hours.
But Farrior and the rest of his Steelers teammates went outside yesterday for the final full practice before the AFC divisional playoff game tomorrow against the San Diego Chargers -- the first time this week they did not practice in their indoor facility.
"I don't know why we go out in the cold when it's cold outside because I feel like we play out in the cold every week," said Farrior, a Pro Bowl inside linebacker. "I really don't understand that one. But the man wants us to go outside, we go outside."
Farrior was referring to coach Mike Tomlin, who had the snow cleared from the practice field to get his players ready for the conditions that are expected to exist for the 4:45 p.m. game at Heinz Field -- temperatures near 20 degrees at kickoff and snow flurries.
"A lot of theories go around that you want to get acclimated to the weather and you get a good feel for how it's going to be on Sunday," Farrior said. "But I don't think you can really simulate the weather."
Asked if adrenaline takes over and helps block out the cold on game day, Farrior said, "No, it's cold out there, too. There isn't that much adrenaline."
Of the eight quarterbacks who will start a divisional playoff game this weekend, Ben Roethlisberger is one of six who also has started a Super Bowl. That is one more than the previous high of five in the 1993 divisional playoffs.
The others are Arizona's Kurt Warner, Tennessee's Kerry Collins, Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb, Carolina's Jake Delhomme and the New York Giants' Eli Manning.
"It's the playoffs; there are only eight teams left," Roethlisberger said. "That's what we fight all year and in the offseason for -- just the opportunity to get here and have a chance to have a run at the postseason and see what you can do."
This will be the first time in the past eight years that the conference's top-scoring offense will meet the stingiest defense (in points) in a playoff.
The Chargers averaged 34.4 points during their four-game winning streak at the end of the regular season to finish as the AFC's top-scoring offense with 439 points. The Steelers allowed only 223 points, fewest in the NFL.
The previous time such a matchup occurred was in the 2000 wild-card round when the Denver Broncos, who had the AFC's No. 1 offense, faced the Baltimore Ravens, who had the NFL's No. 1 defense. The Ravens won, 21-3.
Hines Ward needs 104 receiving yards to become only the eighth receiver in postseason history to have 1,000 receiving yards. He also needs two touchdown catches to become only the sixth wide receiver to have 10 or more touchdown receptions. History would suggest Ward might reach one of those marks against the Chargers: He has five 100-yard receiving games in 11 postseason appearances, including 258 yards receiving in his past two.
First Published January 10, 2009 12:00 am