01/23/06 — Warren -- It really hasn't sunk in

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Warren -- It really hasn't sunk in

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 23, 2006 2:55 PM

PITTSBURGH -- As the Pittsburgh Steelers landed back in the Steel City after Pittsburgh's dominant 34-17 win at Denver in the AFC title game, it was still sinking in for longsnapper Greg Warren -- he was going to the Super Bowl in his rookie season.

"It's just unbelievable. It really hasn't sunk in all the way," said Warren, a Southern Wayne graduate. "People say, 'don't get used to it because it doesn't happen all the time,' but I want to get used to it. This is just my first year, but our punter (Chris Gardocki) is in his 15th year and this is his first trip.

"We're fortunate to be in the position. I'm going to do everything I can to help the team, so we can win this thing."

Warren is the first Wayne County native to ever play in a Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh will face NFC champion, Seattle, who toppled Carolina 34-14 in equally dominant fashion. The Steelers and Seahawks may not have been the consensus favorites to reach Super Bowl XL in Detroit when the playoffs started, but they have both left little room for doubt after impressive finishes in the regular season and playoffs.

Seattle finished 13-3, earning the conferences No. 1 seed, and won 11-of-12 to finish the season -- clinching homefield through the NFC playoffs. They've followed with back-to-back victories at home in the playoffs over Washington and Carolina by a combined margin of 54-24.

Meanwhile, the Steelers, the AFC's sixth seed, claimed four in a row to close the regular season, then followed with an unprecedented three straight road wins in the playoffs. Pittsburgh is the first team to win three away games to make it to the Super Bowl since the 1985 New England Patriots.

"We're playing good on both sides of the ball ... playing our best ball of the year," Warren said. "You want to peak in the postseason, and that's what we are doing. Hopefully we've got one more left in us."

Warren's mother, Debra Warren, his wife, Lyndsay Warren, and Lyndsay's mother, Mary Ann Barwick, all attended the AFC Championship in Denver. Greg anticipates even more of a family following from Wayne County at the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

"It gives you a comfort level when you've got people watching you in the stands ... you feel fortunate," he said. "My dad, brother and hopefully some grandparents will be at Detroit."