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Steelers Daily Links: Troy Polamalu Praise, Burrow Ties Big Ben



Steelers Troy Polamalu
Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 3rd, 2021 (All-Pro Reels Photography)

Pro Football Focus: The highest graded Conference Championship game by a defensive player in the PFF-era (2006-present) was Troy Polamalu (96.0) in 2008 against the Baltimore Ravens. Polamalu’s 40-yard pick-six off Joe Flacco lifted the Steelers to a 23-14 win and a berth in Super Bowl XLIII.

Friday marked the 53rd anniversary of the Steelers drafting future Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and Mel Blount. After the Steelers and Chicago Bears finished tied at the bottom of the standings in 1969, a coin flip determined which team got the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. Pittsburgh won and selected the young gunslinger out of Louisiana Tech. Blount was selected in the third round out of Southern University.

Friday was also the one-year anniversary of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement after an 18-year Hall of Fame career.

Ben Roethlisberger recorded a live “Footbahlin” podcast episode with Andrew McCutchen and Pat Freiermuth on Friday at Cinderlands Beer Co. in the Strip District. Bob Pompeani of KDKA was the host.

CBS Sports: Joe Burrow is tied with Ben Roethlisberger for most playoff wins (5) in the first three seasons by a starting quarterback. Russell Wilson holds the record with six playoff wins. Roethlisberger and Wilson both won a Super Bowl in their first three seasons.

ESPN: According to Marcel Louis-Jacques, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains in the concussion protocol and will not participate in Pro Bowl activities. He was named a first alternate for the AFC but it’s been a deliberate progression through protocol — not result of any setback.

The Athletic: Kyle Shanahan showed the 49ers the January 2002 NFC title game — when Tampa Bay went into Philadelphia and closed Veterans Stadium with an emphatic road win (Ronde Barber 92-yard pick-six sealed it). John Lynch was on that Tampa team and was pacing in Shanahan’s office while watching. Mike Tomlin was a 30-year-old defensive backs coach on that Buccaneers team.

Pro Football Focus: Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. allowed zero touchdowns on 275 coverage snaps in 2022.

Friday marked the 21st anniversary of the New England Patriots’ 24-17 win over the Steelers in the 2001 AFC Championship Game at Heinz Field. Drew Bledsoe replaced an injured Tom Brady in the second quarter and lead the 10-point underdog Pats to a stunning win to earn a spot in Super Bowl XXXVI.


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