The Packers and Steelers get to go into lockdown mode from here on out. Today was the final day for the media throng to visit with players from both teams. It was another pre-dawn busride out to Las Colinas and the Packers headquarters. Mike McCarthy and Charles Woodson conducted the big press conferences (highlights below) while the rest of the guys were in nearby conference rooms. My two favorite conversations today were with Mason Crosby who just doesn't seem phased by the possibility of a mega-pressure kick to win the game, and Bryan Bulaga can't wait for the butterflies in the tunnel and trying to hold off perhaps two of the biggest Steeler threats, James Harrison and Lamar Woodley. I'll have a complete breakdown of the game before the weekend is up. As for Thursday's practice, inside again on another cold Texas day, Donald Driver was added to the injury report, nothing major, he was limited with a quad injury that has bothered him at times this year. There was no change for Chad Clifton, Jason Spitz, Erik Walden, all limited and Frank Zombo, a full participant for the Pack. The Steelers, practicing at TCU reported Maurkice Pouncey didn't practice again and Aaron Smith was limited.
More big timers paraded through Radio Row today, former Packers Dave Robinson, Brian Williams and Derrick Mayes among them. B-Dub invited me to his new lounge and restaraunt, Cedar Social. He's having a big Packer pep rally on Saturday. This afternoon, NFLPA DeMaurice Smith held his state of the lockout talks and the rhetoric was a lot more pointed than the league position earlier this week. Smith said the only one who can lock the doors are the owners who are asking the union to accept a billion dollars less per year while the league is ready to climb toward 9 billion annually in revenue. As former Packer cap master Andrew Brandt told me in the media center today, the hot air is in the fermenting stage and this will take a little time to cook properly for the hopeful settlment. Commissioner Roger Goodell holds his state of the league address tomorrow and he'll likely be very reserved on the labor front but he has other issues to deal with like player safety, the cold snap curveball this week in Dallas with cold weather Super Bowls to come in Indianapolis and New York.
Finally, the Bridgestone halftime show press conference brought out a huge crowd to see and hear from the Black Eyed Peas. All four, Will I Am, Taboo, Apple and Fergie, fielded questions and looked forward to delivering a big show at Cowboys Stadium Sunday night.