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Aaron Rodgers’ secret weapon vs. Steelers? Kurt Warner.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (L) and quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrate after the NFC Championship game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago on January 23, 2011. The Packers won 21-14. UPI/Brian Kersey

Kurt Warner completed 72 percent of his passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns against Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII two years ago. So if there were anyone that could help Aaron Rodgers try and master the Steelers’ defense, it would be him.

According to Rodgers, he’s already had at least one conversation with Warner and he hopes there are many more in the following week.

From Packers.com:

“I reached out to a couple of them. Kurt Warner’s been a great friend, really since I was drafted. And so I reached out to him about any advice he can give me this week, and the next week, it’s readily appreciated. I’m sure there will be more conversations with him. I talked to a number of buddies who played in the Super Bowl before, and I think it’s important to learn from their experiences and try and find ways to stay focused in the midst, I’m sure it’s going to be controlled chaos down there.”

If you’re a Packers fan, this is what you want to see out of your starting quarterback. He wants to win and in preparing for the game, he’s going to reach out to players who have been there before. Rodgers doesn’t have any Super Bowl experience and instead of winging it, he appears humble enough to ask for advice on how to handle the situation. Of the many attributes that he possesses, his willingness to learn will make him great for a long time.

On a related note, I’m highly intrigued to see what defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has in store for Rodgers next week. The Steelers’ secondary can be had, but they’re not going to allow the Packers’ receivers to have a free release off the ball like Atlanta and Chicago (at least in the first quarter) did. I expect Pittsburgh’s corners to try and jam Greg Jennings and Donald Driver at the line in effort to disrupt Rodgers’ rhythm. The Falcons’ defensive game plan was an absolute monstrosity and while the Bears learned from their early mistakes and corrected them, it’ll be interesting to see what LeBeau does from the start.

Speaking of LeBeau, he announced on Wednesday night that he only wants to coach the Steelers. His contract is set to expire and there’s speculation about his retirement but if he does come back, he promised that if he’s coaching, “it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

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Heart Pumping Moments: Win a Copy of EA Sports Active 2

“This series is powered by EA Sports Active 2: The complete at-home digital trainer”

The Scores Report has teamed up with EA Sports to discuss the best Heart Pumping Moments in sports. We thought it would be fun to take a look at the most heart-pumping Super Bowl moments from the 2000s. If you would like to share your most Heart Pumping Moments, leave them in the comments section and we’ll pick five readers to receive a copy of EA Sports Active 2 for the system of your choice! (Check out the rules and requirements at the bottom of this post.)

On to the heart-pumping Super Bowl moments of the 2000s!

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  David Tyree #85 of the New York Giants catches a 32-yard pass from Eli Manning #10 as Rodney Harrison #37 of the New England Patriots attempts to knock it out in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

1. David Tyree’s “helmet catch.”
Is there a better Super Bowl moment in the past decade than David Tyree’s “helmet catch?” Super Bowl XLII will best be remembered as one of the best upsets in the history of the NFL. The Patriots were looking to become only the second team in league history to finish the season undefeated and all that stood in their way was a Giants team that had been inconsistent before making the playoffs. The Giants were heavy underdogs coming into the game, but their pass rush stifled Tom Brady and held the explosive New England offense to only 14 points. Down 14-10 with only 1:15 remaining in the game, the Giants faced a 3rd-and-5 at their own 44. Eli Manning took the snap from shotgun and immediately had defensive linemen Richard Seymour, Jarvis Green and Adalius Thomas in his face. Thomas grabbed Manning by the shoulder while Seymour had the back of his jersey. Somehow Manning escaped the sack, scrambled backwards and then heaved a desperation pass downfield towards Tyree at the 34-yard line. Tyree, who had to adjust his route because of the Patriots’ pressure, caught the ball with both hands but safety Rodney Harrison had swiped his other arm. Amazingly, Tyree was able to secure possession of the ball with one hand by pressing it against the top of his helmet as both players fell to the ground. Given the situation, it was easily the play of the decade. It netted 32 yards and four players later, Manning hit Plaxico Burress for a touchdown to eventually give the Giants a 17-14 victory. Remarkable.

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2010 Year-End Sports Review: What We Already Knew

Let’s be honest: Sports bloggers know everything. Just ask us. As part of our 2010 Year-End Sports Review, our list of things we already knew this year includes Brad Childress’ biggest fail, Wade Phillips’ demise in Dallas and John Calipari’s troubles. We also knew Kevin Durant was the next great superstar (who didn’t see that coming?), Roger Clemens is the ultimate windbag and that “Matty Ice” knows fourth-quarter comebacks. We should have gone to medical school…

Contributors: Anthony Stalter, John Paulsen, Paul Costanzo, Drew Ellis and Mike Farley

LeBron is a frontrunner.

We all were a little surprised that LeBron left Cleveland, but the writing was on the wall. Growing up, LeBron didn’t root for the local teams. He followed the Yankees, Bulls and Cowboys, which in the 1990s constituted the Holy Triumvirate of Frontrunning. He wore his Yankee cap to an Indians game and was seen hobnobbing on the Cowboy sidelines during a Browns game. He says he’s loyal, but he’s only loyal to winners…unless they only win in the regular season, of course.

July 08, 2010 - Greenwich, CONNECTICUT, United States - epa02241974 Handout photo from ESPN showing LaBron James (L), NBA's reigning two-time MVP, as he ends months of speculation and announces 08 July 2010 on ESPN 'The Decision' in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, that he will go to the Miami Heat where he will play basketball next 2010-11 season. James said his decision was based on the fact that he wanted to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Brad Childress’ biggest flaw cost him his job in the end.

There were many reasons why the Vikings decided to fire head coach Brad Childress roughly a year after they signed him to a contract extension. One of the reasons was because he lost with a talented roster. Another was because he never quite figured out how to best utilize Adrian Peterson, which is a sin given how talented AP is. But the main reason “Chilly” was ousted in Minnesota was because he didn’t know how to manage NFL-caliber personalities. He didn’t know how to handle Brett Favre, which led to blowups on the sidelines and multiple face-to-face confrontations. He also didn’t have a clue how to deal with Randy Moss’ crass attitude, so he released him just four weeks after the team acquired him in a trade from New England. Childress was hired in part to help clean up the mess in Minnesota after the whole “Love Boat” scandal. But the problem with a disciplinarian that hasn’t first earned respect is that his demands fall on deaf ears. In the end, Childress’ inability to command respect from his players cost him his job. You know, on top of the fact that he was losing with a talented roster, he didn’t know how to best utilize Adrian Peterson, he…

Love him or hate him, George Steinbrenner will forever be one of baseball’s icons.

You may have hated his brash attitude, the way he ran his team or the way he conducted his business. You may even feel that he ruined baseball. But regardless of how you may have felt about him, there’s little denying that George Steinbrenner will forever be one of Major League Baseball’s icons. Steinbrenner passed away in July of this year. He will forever be a man known for helping revolutionize the business side of baseball by being the first owner to sell TV cable rights to the MSG Network. When things eventually went south with MSG, he created the YES Network, which is currently the Yankees’ very own TV station that generates millions in revenue. During his tenure, he took the Yankees from a $10 million franchise to a $1.2 billion juggernaut. In 2005, the Yankees became the first professional sports franchise to be worth an estimated one billion dollars. While many baseball fans came to despise the way he ran his team (mainly because he purchased high priced free agents with reckless abandon due to the fact that he could and others couldn’t), don’t miss the message he often made year in and year out: The Yankees are here to win. He didn’t line his pockets with extra revenue (albeit he generated a lot of extra revenue for his club) – he dumped his money back into the on-field product. Losing wasn’t acceptable and if the Bombers came up short one year, you could bet that Steinbrenner would go after the best talent in the offseason, regardless of what others thought of the approach. How many Pirates and Royals fans wish they had an owner with the same appetite for victory?

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Top 10 active NFL receiving yardage leaders

The NFL has become a pass-first league, and with that, wide receivers and tight ends have become more important than ever—not just in west coast style offenses but in all offensive systems. Here we take a look at the current active leaders in receiving yards. Being that most of the guys on this list are nearing the twilight of their respective careers, you shouldn’t use this as part of your fantasy football research. Instead, just read and enjoy…..

1. Isaac Bruce, free agent (15,208)—He doesn’t have the flash or the mouth that some of these other guys have, but it didn’t hurt that Bruce played on those great Kurt Warner/Mike Martz Rams’ teams about a decade ago. And he still has skills, so someone is bound to sign the guy.

2. Terrell Owens, free agent (14,951)—This guy DOES have the mouth but the skills to back it up. I’m kind of surprised he is team-less right now, but that should also change soon.

3. Randy Moss, New England Patriots (14,465)—That season he and Tom Brady put together in 2007 was absolutely ridiculous (1423 yards, NFL record 23 TD catches). And Moss is only 32!

4. Torry Holt, New England Patriots (13,382)—Sure, he’s getting up there in age and fell off a lot numbers-wise in Jacksonville, but he’s still got something left. It should be especially interesting to see Holt and Moss playing in the same offense.

5. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (11,807)—Arguably the greatest tight end to ever play the game. Gonzo has four seasons with over 1000 yards, almost unheard of for a TE.

6. Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina Panthers (11,438)—Like Bruce and Holt, Muhsin Muhammad has quietly put up numbers for years, and his 2004 season for the Panthers remains his best (1405 yards, 16 scores).

7. Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens (11,089)—All Derrick Mason has ever done in his career with Tennessee and Baltimore is get open. He’s topped 1000 yards three straight seasons on the run-first Ravens, and is the epitome of toughness and durability despite being just 5-10, 190.

8. Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers (10,947)—He’s consistently one of the game’s Top ten receivers, but how will he fare with Big Ben out for a few games to start the 2010 season?

9. Joey Galloway, Washington Redskins (10,777)—Galloway resurrected his fine career with Tampa from 2005 to 2007, and is really in the twilight of his career after struggling in Tampa and New England the last two seasons, respectively. Now he’s trying to latch on with the new-look Redskins.

10. Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals (9952)—One of the game’s most animated players is also one of its best receivers year in and year out. And it’s always good to be able to back up the talk.

Source: Pro Football Reference

What’s next for Cardinals?

Over the past two seasons, the Arizona Cardinals have established themselves as legit Super Bowl contenders. But now that Kurt Warner has announced his retirement, the franchise has suddenly been thrown into a state of flux.

The Cardinals knew this day was coming, so in no way are they surprised by Warner’s decision. But just because they were prepared for this eventual outcome, it doesn’t mean that their task ahead of them is any easier.

Matt Leinart was drafted to be the team’s franchise quarterback, but that was when Denny Green was still calling the shots. Leinart isn’t one of Ken Whisenhunt’s “guys,” although he’s still expected to have first crack at the starting quarterback position now that Warner has decided to hang ‘em up. The problem is that some believe Leinart doesn’t have enough tools to carry on the success that Warner has had over these last two seasons.

Leinart has come under criticism for his inaccuracy, his slow release, his poor footwork and his questionable arm strength. He’s set to make $2.4 million next season and if he can’t prove that he can take over the reins of Arizona’s offense, then there’s no way the Cardinals will pay him the $7.4 million (plus a $5 million roster bonus) he’s due in 2011. He essentially has one year to prove that he can lead the team’s offense or else the Cards will look to dump him after the 2010 season.

That said, the Cardinals will likely change their offensively philosophy regardless of whether or not Leinart proves capable of taking over for Warner. Beanie Wells will become the new focal point of an offense that will have to be balanced to win, as opposed to the pass-happy unit it has resembled over the past couple seasons. The aerial show in Arizona essentially died on Friday when Warner decided to call it a career and Leinart took over. Change is coming.


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