After three months of playing in cold weather, the Steelers offense is ready for a climate change. It should find just that at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla., where the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid- to upper 70s throughout next week.
WR Nate Washington sounded like he couldn’t wait when talking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
- “When the hot weather comes, I’m like a kid in the candy store. You get excited to go out and play in hot weather. It makes a ton of difference. You feel good playing in nice weather.”
According to the Post-Gazette, the Steelers haven’t played in temperatures above 48 degrees since Nov. 3, when they visited the Washington Redskins in 51-degree weather. In the last two months, Pittsburgh has played in 8-degree wind chill (at home against Dallas), in 45-degree weather (at Baltimore), in 19-degree wind chill (at Tennessee), in 48-degree weather with 22-mph winds (at home against Cleveland), in 26-degree weather and snow (in a home playoff victory over San Diego) and in 26-degree weather and light snow (last week at home against Baltimore).
So don’t be surprised if the Steelers are smiling and soaking in the sunshine when they step off the plane Monday in Florida. It appears warmer weather gives offensive players an advantage.
As the Post-Gazette notes, the NFL’s top five receivers in terms of yards — Houston’s Andre Johnson, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, Carolina’s Steve Smith, Atlanta’s Roddy White and Detroit’s Calvin Johnson — all play in warm-weather cities or domes.