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Super Bowl rematch? Not quite

What’s the first thing that goes through your mind when
you think of the Pittsburgh Steelers playing the Arizona
Cardinals?

If you’re a Cardinals fan, you’ll undoubtedly be besieged
by images of Steeler receiver Santonio Holmes tip-toeing
in the corner of the end zone in front of three helpless
Cardinal defenders for Pittsburgh’s game-winning touchdown
in Super Bowl XLIII.

Now, if you’re a Cardinals fan and you immediately bill
Sunday’s game against the Steelers as a rematch of that
memorable evening in Tampa almost three years ago, you
shouldn’t.

The paths these two franchises have taken since that Super
Bowl are vastly different.

The Steelers have kept their roster largely intact. Six of
their Super Bowl starters on offense remain with the team,
including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver
Hines Ward. On defense, every player who started against
the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII is still on the roster.

In all, twenty-four Steelers from the 53 players they had
in Tampa back in ’09 are still with the team. Probably a
pretty good reason why the Steelers are 27-14 since and
have already made a return trip to the Super Bowl, losing
last season’s finale to Green Bay in Arlington, Texas.

The Cardinals have had a bit more roster turnover in the
last two-plus seasons. And yes, that is an
understatement. Only ten players from the Cardinals’ 53-
man roster heading into their first Super Bowl remain, and
only two defensive starters (Darnell Dockett and Adrian
Wilson) are still with the franchise.

The others still around are Larry Fitzgerald, Lyle
Sendlein, Deuce Lutui, Levi Brown, Michael Adams, Calais
Campbell, Early Doucet and Brandon Keith.

Ten players remain. Ten! Probably a good reason why the
Cardinals are 17-22 since the Super Bowl match against the
Steelers and are in danger of their 2nd straight last
place finish in the NFC West.

Steelers from Super Bowl XLIII Roster Still in
Pittsburgh: S Ryan Clark, T Willie Colon, QB Dennis Dixon,
T Trai Essex, LB James Farrior, LB Larry Foote, CB William
Gay, NT Casey Hampton, LB James Harrison, NT Chris Hoke,
DE Brett Keisel, G Chris Kemoeautu, QB Byron Leftwich, CB
Bryant McFadden, TE Heath Miller, RB Mewelde Moore, S Troy
Polamalu, QB Ben Roethlisberger, DE Aaron Smith, T Max
Starks, CB Ike Taylor, LB Lawrence Timmons, WR Hines Ward,
LB LaMarr Woodley

Cardinals from Super Bowl XLIII Roster Still in
Arizona: CB Michael Adams, T Levi Brown, DE Calais
Campbell, DE Darnell Dockett, WR Early Doucet, WR Larry
Fitzgerald, T Brandon Keith, G Deuce Lutui, C Lyle
Sendlein, S Adrian Wilson (LB Clark Haggans was w/
Cardinals, but on injured reserve for Super Bowl)


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