DALLAS Where's Joey Porter when you need him to liven up things?
Super Bowl XLV Media Day, along with two other interview days, have come and gone, and not one good piece of bulletin board material was produced from either the Steelers or the Green Bay Packers.
When Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Packers coach Mike McCarthy try and deliver a winning speech to their teams before Sunday's game at Cowboys Stadium, they won't have any trash talk from the opposing team to use as motivation.
It's almost been a love-fest all week.
"I like how [the Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall] runs,'' Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk said earlier this week. "He's really a very physical runner, which really suits being in Pittsburgh very well. He also can make all the cuts. He's a good blocker in pass protections. He's an all-around really good back.''
[Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers] has been off the charts,'' Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said. "He's incredibly accurate. He's got a great chemistry with his receivers. He's got a really good feel for what the defenses are doing.''
Give me a break!
Actually, with the two great franchises involved in the game, it really isn't surprising how much of a mutual respect the two teams have shown for each other this week. Privately, the Steelers and Packers players are most likely confident they have the better team, but they didn't want to show that publicly.
The players this week almost sounded like NFL geniuses in breaking down their opponents, and that is probably due to the two head coaches involved in the game.
"I think the way Green Bay uses Aaron [Rodgers], it's about getting the ball down the field, hitting seams, taking your shots when you have them and him scrambling, making plays,'' Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said. "So, even though they have the personnel to spread you out in the same way [as the New England Patriots], they go about it in different ways.''
Just as in Super Bowl XLIII two years ago, the Steelers players all seemed to give responses in the same manner Tomlin might answer a similar question. And the Packers players were pretty much straight forward in their responses, much like McCarthy.
You get the feeling both coaches spent some extra time explaining to the players on how they should answer questions from the media this week whenever the opponent was involved. No one took the media's bait.
By this point, after two weeks of pregame hype with the game one day away, most fans know how good both teams are. Yes, Rodgers is a great quarterback and has great receivers, and Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson are terrific defensive players for the Packers. And Ben Roethlisberger is hard to tackle, James Harrison is a beast, and Mike Wallace is fast.
Is it wrong to want to hear something a little more edgy, something more interesting?
"I think it will be a good game [Sunday] a close nail-biter,'' Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden said. "I hope it goes in our favor, but it's going to be a good game that everyone can enjoy.''
OK, I guess we can settle for that.
Buck Frank can be reached at 946-7461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.