NFL: Superbowl coaches finalising gameplans

The Super Bowl not only features a matchup of terrific quarterbacks but also a pair of shrewd coaches who know how to get the most out of their players.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin is trying to become the youngest head coach to win two Super Bowls while Green Bay's Mike McCarthy is in his first Super Bowl in his fifth season as head coach of the Packers.

"I have always dreamed about championships," McCarthy said last week.

"I have had the opportunity to be in the National Football League since 1993 and this is definitely the goal.

"To bring this trophy back home is something that we all think about as a football team and organisation on a daily basis."

Two of the NFL's most storied franchises, the Steelers and Packers, square off in Super Bowl 45 tomorrow at Cowboys Stadium.

Organisers made the decision to keep the retractable roof on Cowboys Stadium closed weeks ago but it looks like an even smarter move after Dallas was hammered with back-to-back winter storms which brought ice and bone-chilling winds then dumped 15 centimetres of snow overnight Friday.

Getty Images photographer Win McNamee suffered a broken left shoulder was one of six people taken to hospital when ice and snow rained down from the roof.

"Honestly while it was hitting me, I was thinking I'm going to die here," McNamee told The Dallas Morning News.

"I covered a war, I covered the stuff in Haiti last year. You always figure if something is going to happen it would be in one of those places - not at a football game."

Tomlin, who turns 39 next month, became the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl when he led the Steelers to a 27-23 win over Arizona in Super Bowl 43. He is one of only seven coaches in NFL history to win a Super Bowl in his first two seasons as coach.

Tomlin is young enough to relate to the younger players and mature and wise enough to listen to the veterans.

"We are all getting a little antsy and getting ready to play," Tomlin said before the Steelers practised on Friday. "We are putting the finishing touches on our plans here in a couple of hours. We are working on situational football, third downs, red zone, short yardage and goal line."

McCarthy said both teams have stingy defences which would be one of the keys to victory on Sunday.

"I look for the defences to impact this football game more than they did last year's game," McCarthy said. "These games have all the potential in the world for big plays but we are more focussed on staying true to the little things, the fundamentals that brought us here.

"We are going to play as wide open as we need to, as smash-mouth as we need to."

Sunday's game marks the first Super Bowl meeting between the Steelers and Packers, who have 13 appearances in the showpiece between them.

The Steelers are making their eighth all-time appearance in the Super Bowl and third in the last six years. Their six Super Bowl wins are the most in NFL history.

The Packers have won the Super Bowl three times and boast the league's best overall post-season winning percentage at .636, edging out the second place Steelers who have a .635 playoff winning record.

Organisers are expecting a record Super Bowl crowd, breaking the current attendance mark for a Super Bowl of 103,667 when Washington beat Miami in 1983 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

- AFP

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