Steelers knew about Fitzgerald’s skills long ago

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PITTSBURGH–Larry Fitzgerald might be the most scouted player in Pittsburgh Steelers history. For two years, they needed only to look out their office windows to watch him.

PITTSBURGH–Larry Fitzgerald might be the most scouted player in Pittsburgh Steelers history. For two years, they needed only to look out their office windows to watch him.

Fitzgerald’s exceptional hands, his knack for making difficult catches while heavily covered and his high jumper-like leaping ability might pose the biggest obstacle to the Steelers beating the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl Sunday. 1.

As Steelers coach Mike Tomlin suggested scouting and a good game plan alone aren’t enough to slow Fitzgerald, whose 419 yards receiving are the most in a single NFL postseason, with one game remaining.

“If you get down the field one-on-one with him, he’s going to come back with the football,” Tomlin said. “He is the best in the world at that, bar none.”

Not that anyone needs to remind the Steelers.

Displayed in their Heinz Field press box, alongside pictures of former and current Steelers players, is a large photo of Fitzgerald leaping above three Texas A&M defenders to make a touchdown catch while at Pitt in 2003. He couldn’t have been more covered, yet it made no difference. The football was there, and, in Fitzgerald’s mind, nobody else was going to get it.

Ask the Philadelphia Eagles about plays like that.

Fitzgerald’s series of three, can-you-top-this touchdown catches in the NFC championship game Sunday prevented an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl. It also set up an improbable matchup between the Cardinals, an old franchise that could hardly be less successful, and the Steelers, an old franchise that could hardly be more successful.

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