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Notebook: Lloyd likes what he sees of Steelers

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2002

Former Steelers linebacker Greg Lloyd liked what he saw from his old team on his initial visit to Heinz Field on Sunday.

"The defense played well, the offense played good enough to keep them in the game and Baltimore just didn't show up today," Lloyd said Sunday after the Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 27-10. "Plain and simple, (the Ravens) didn't show up. All this ruckus about who has the best defense, the two best defenses, supposedly, in the league, they went head-to-head today and, you know, Pittsburgh just really dominated the game from the beginning to the end."

Lloyd, a Steelers linebacker from 1988-97, was one of four honorary captains present at midfield for the coin toss - former players Bryan Hinkle (linebacker), Merril Hoge (running back) and Andy Russell (linebacker) were the others.

And Lloyd has a feeling that the Steelers might just be Super Bowl bound.

"That remains to be seen," Lloyd said. "They still have to play New England and New England kind of plays the same style of defense Pittsburgh plays, they're quick. But any time you come down here and play at Three Rivers Stadium (Heinz Field), you better be ready to play.

"I'd like to say 'yes' (the Steelers are going to New Orleans), but I'm not going to make any projection. I don't want anybody to say 'Greg said, Greg said.' All I'm saying is if they play the next two games the way they played today, they might have one for the thumb."

But are this year's Steelers better than the 1995 edition Lloyd helped lead to Super Bowl XXX?

"Now, you're putting me on the spot," Lloyd said. "I'd like to say it would be a tie. I think it would be a tie. They have some phenomenal athletes. They have a good chemistry. They put players where they need to be to be to make plays and they have fun doing it, that's the key.

"As long as they continue to have fun they'll have success. I wish them well. I'd like to see them go all the way."

HOME SWEET HEINZ

The first playoff game at the Steelers' new home was a rousing success as far as fan reaction and fan support was concerned.

"It was awesome. It was rocking," punter Josh Miller said. "I'm so happy we have another game here."

"It was crazy, man," safety Myron Bell said. "At first, I was a Three Rivers fan because it was closed in and it was louder. But the fans came with it today. Now, I'm a Heinz Field guy."

BUS STOP

Offensive tackle Wayne Gandy joked that he caught Jerome Bettis "half asleep" in the trainer's room at halftime of the Ravens game.

"He was lying in there, drinking a Coke, watching TV. I don't know what he had on. It looked like he had a movie on. He wasn't even watching the game.

"When I talked to him, he had a cover on him. You all should have seen it. It was a spectacle."

NO SUPERMAN YET

Wide receiver Bobby Shaw wore a Superman shirt under his jersey during the game, but he didn't expose it such as he did two years ago at the end of a losing season.

"I have to have a special occasion," he said. "We still have some work to do."

CLEMENTS LIKES IT HERE

Steelers quarterback coach Tom Clements, who spoke with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League about becoming their coach, said he has ambitions about advancing his career, but he prefers to remain in the NFL.

"I have nothing but fond memories of the CFL," said Clements, who was an all-star quarterback there. "I had a lot of fun playing there. But I'm down here, living here and I'd like for that to continue."

Clements said he has heard about the Dallas Cowboys possibly including him in their search for an offensive coordinator. But the Cowboys aren't permitted by NFL rules to contact Clements until the end of the Steelers' season.

"I don't reject anything, but I'm happy right here and we'll see what happens," he said. "I think everyone in the profession wants to advance. I want to advance if I can."

BROWN'S RESURGENCE

Cowher said he isn't sure if Kris Brown's 46-yard field goal against the Ravens was good therapy for Brown.

"It was good therapy for me, I know that," Cowher said.

But Cowher insists that he still believes in Brown, who hadn't kicked a field goal of 40 yards or longer since Nov. 18. Brown was two for three Sunday, including a 21-yarder that was good and a 35-yarder that was wide left.

"He really has kicked the ball well, even the one he missed (from 35 yards) was probably the best one of the three," Cowher said. "I think he's fine. I think he's back. I really do."

BY THE NUMBERS

Cowher evened his career playoff record at 6-6. That gives him an overall mark of 105-67. For now, that's second among active NFL coaches, with Jim Mora, George Seifert and Marty Schottenheimer having been fired. ... Of the past six teams to qualify for the AFC Championship game, five of them were not in the playoffs the previous season. That includes the Steelers and Patriots this year. The exception is the 1999 Jacksonville team. The Jaguars won the AFC Central title in 1998.

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