DALLAS, February 3 -The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers held their first practices of Super Bowl week Wednesday as an ice storm in the Dallas area forced the teams to move their training indoors.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday he expects the Packers to practice indoors at a high school football team’s facilities for the rest of the week as they prepare to face Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 45 on Sunday.
The Packers had planned to train at Southern Methodist University in Dallas but two days of snow, ice and bone-chilling temperatures have rendered the field unplayable.
Green Bay had three practices scheduled for this week. McCarthy says moving to Highland Park High School’s facilities would not affect the team’s preparations.
"I think it is practical that we will be inside for sure today and probably the rest of the week," McCarthy said.
Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews said he was excited to get back to his teammates and on the practice field Wednesday.
"It is real exciting. We are getting closer and closer," Matthews said. "First was making it through that week off in Green Bay and here we are in Dallas with media day (Tuesday). We are getting back to the basics and practice. We will take day one and see where we are at and see where we need to improve."
The Steelers also went to plan B, moving their Wednesday practice to an indoor facility at Texas Christian University in the neighboring city of Fort Worth.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward said the biggest obstacle so far this week has been adjusting to the weather in the Dallas area, which has been 30 degrees Fahrenheit below normal and that doesn’t even factor in the wind chill.
"I especially wasn’t expecting the bad weather here," Ward said. "Fort Worth isn’t prepared for the snow as opposed to Pittsburgh. We got here Monday and enjoyed the festivities. Tuesday is a kind of our day off and the big media day and that was the first time for all of our players in the stadium itself so you get caught up in that.
"Wednesday is time to get back (practice) and the reason why we are here is to try and win this game.
"We got to get extremely more detailed. We can’t have an ‘Oh, my bad’, or ‘I saw this and I did this’. We’ve got to be very sharp in our preparation this week and carry it over to the Super Bowl."
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says the bad weather should work to their advantage.
"The weather has probably been a blessing," Tomlin said. "We are probably more familiar with these types of weather conditions."
Matthews said Wednesday the key for the Green Bay defence on Sunday will be containing Steelers’ 6ft 5in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"It is almost like taking down an offensive lineman," Matthews said. "He shrugs off defenders, can extend plays.
"So it is very important we put emphasis on rush-line integrity and collapsing the pocket and getting him down when we get to him because he is still able to get the ball away even when you have him wrapped up."