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Season-opening commentary from the pros

What the TV broadcast team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth says about the game, and the pick by The Times' Sam Farmer:

September 10, 2009

The NFL season opens tonight with Tennessee visiting Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh (5 PDT, Ch. 4). What the TV broadcast team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth says about the game, and the pick by The Times' Sam Farmer:

Michaels says . . .

I'm in the camp that wants to put Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau in the Hall of Fame immediately. The more I look at his career, it has just been spectacular. He and the Eagles' late Jim Johnson were the premier defensive coordinators of the last 10 to 15 years, because you never knew what schemes they could come up with. LeBeau is still doing it at 71 years old. If you can figure out what LeBeau is going to do, you should be labeled an Einstein.

Collinsworth says . . .

Tennessee had the best record in football a year ago, then laid an egg in the playoffs with three red-zone turnovers. (I'm not taking anything away from Baltimore, because the Ravens knocked the ball out of their hands, it didn't fall out.) Even though the Titans are very low on the radar screen, they have a very realistic chance to get back to the Super Bowl. As for this game, Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin put it best: The most violent team will win. This will be a game of big men battling in the trenches, fighting for every blade of grass.

Farmer's pick . . .

Pittsburgh. The Steelers have won six consecutive openers -- the league's longest active streak -- and this will make seven. The offensive line is playing with renewed confidence, and the defensive front is the best in football. Plus, nobody in Pittsburgh can forget LenDale White cleaning his cleats with a Terrible Towel. The Titans had best bring earplugs.

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