MIKE O'HARA

O'HARA'S FINAL THOUGHTS: Pregame chatter was about the weather

Posted Nov 17, 2013

Mike O'Hara offers his final thoughts prior to Detroit's Week 11 match-up at Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH – Final thoughts before Sunday’s Lions-Steelers game at Heinz Field:

The pre-game chatter was a lot like when strangers meet in a strange place.

It was about the weather.

With rainfall Sunday morning and the forecast for possible showers during the game, the question was whether it would help the Lions or Steelers.

On the way to the stadium, punter Sam Martin asked if there would be wind. The forecast was for winds of up to 20-20 miles an hour.

“Great,” Martin said.

Really?

No, he didn’t mean it. Punter, kickers and quarterbacks hate playing in the wind because of how it affects the ball. In fact, most quarterbacks say that throwing in the wind is more difficult than rain or snow.

The tarp was on the field when the first busload of players arrived at the stadium at 9:45. The field looked to be in good shape when players went out for their early workouts, and the footing still looked good during pre-game warm-ups.

Megatron: Several Steelers fans were staying in the same hotel as the Lions, and they got a treat as they took the elevator to the lobby a little after 9 a.m. A tall man wearing a Tigers cap got on.

“Who was that?” someone asked when the man got off on a floor before the lobby.

Eyes widened when the answer was “Calvin Johnson.”

It’s not often fans get that close to a genuine superstar, even if it’s in an elevator.

Inactive list: It looks like the edge goes to the Lions. The Steelers will be without two key defensive players – linebacker LaMarr Woodley of the University of Michigan and tackle Brett Keisel. There were no surprises on the Lions’ list. Nate Burleson, Bill Bentley and rookie Ziggy Ansah are still out.

Offensive tackle Corey Hilliard remained out after being limited in practice all week. Jason Fox will be the backup tackle as rookie LaAdrian Waddle makes his third straight start at right tackle.